A video showing the Air Force One - the official aircraft for the United States President - being escorted by fighter jets is viral on the internet with a claim that it shows US President Joe Biden returning to the US from the recently-held G20 summit in Delhi.
BOOM found this claim to be false; according to our fact-check the viral video is footage from Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) - a combat flight simulation video game, and does not show a real-life scenario.
The viral 1-minute video - showing fighter jets flying in formation, while escorting the Air Force One - was shared by many users with the caption, "President Joe Biden returning to USA after attending d G-20 summit in New Delhi ..... What a Security !"
The same clip has also been shared on WhatsApp with the exact same caption.
BOOM ran a few keyframes from the viral video through a reverse image search on Google, and found that the footage has been shared on social media with multiple captions over the past nine months.
An Instagram account that posts visuals of aircraft posted the same clip on September 4, 2023, with the caption, "Real or Fake."
Going through the comments, we found many users stating that the aircraft seen in the viral footage did not match the specifications of the Air Force One's Boeing 747-200B models. The users found that the aircraft in the viral footage had a winglet - vertical extensions at the far ends of the wings - which the original Air Force One models do not have.
We compared the aircraft in the viral video with images of the Air Force One on Boeing's website, and found that the former did have additional winglets, which were not seen on the official image by Boeing.
The Instagram post also contained responses that suggested that the footage was not real, and was taken from a combat flight simulator called Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) World.
Looking through the reverse image searches of the keyframes, we also found the video being shared on TikTok by user @iceman_fox1 on January 25, 2023, with the caption, "POV: President Trump returning to the White House shortly after winning the 2024 election."
The user also added hashtags like #dcs, #dcsworld, #videogame, indicating that the footage was taken from the video game DCS World.
The account bio further mentions that the user posts "Realistic DCS videos", thus confirming that the viral footage was not real, but from DCS World.
Additional reporting by Sujith A.
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