It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... definitely a plane! Iron Maiden are preparing to kick off The Book of Souls World Tour in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They'll be getting an early start on setup, as the band's plane, Ed Force One, took off from Cardiff, England last night (Feb. 19, video above) and landed at the first stop on the tour hours later (video below). Once again, Maiden's high-flying frontman Bruce Dickinson will be piloting the aircraft across the globe. The tour marks the debut of the Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet that Dickinson had yet to be certified to fly when they announced the upgraded plane.

The newest incarnation of Ed Force One can hold three times as much cargo weight —12 tons in all — as Maiden's previous planes, tantalizing fans at the possibilities of how much else the band can possibly fit into their historically elaborate stage designs. The plane looks intimidating on the runway with The Book of Souls Eddie painted onto the plane's tail and other forms of his famous head coming by way of the Trooper Ale design and Maiden Audio. The tribal Eddie seen on the inside of the album adorns the four turbines, all of which will surely shock unsuspecting travelers in airports around the world.

The plane can be seen taking off in the video above, navigating the runway before finally going airborne and igniting excitement in fans as Maiden inch closer to the beginning of the trek that will steadily take them to the beginning of August to complete all of the scheduled dates. After watching Ed Force One take off, turn to the video below to watch it land. The clip starts showing the plane descending from the heavens and lands gently on the runway before coming to a complete stop.

For a list of North American Iron Maiden tour dates, visit our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

Earlier in the month, Bruce Dickinson's personal plane, not Ed Force One, was used to fly an endangered turtle to Spain's Canary Islands. Terri the turtle was found with a broken shell and what was described as a "nasty infection" and attracted enough attention where money was raised to cover the costs of the transportation from New Jersey.

Watch Ed Force One Land in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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