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Patriots to make first trip on team-owned plane

The Patriots have some problems with their defense, but they don't have issues with air travel.

Back in August, the Patriots confirmed they had purchased two 767 Boeing wide-body jets for team travel, complete with gaudy graphic wraps that included all five of their Lombardis on the tail wing. They've yet to deploy either of the airKrafts (their team owner name pun, not mine) -- until now.

The Patriots will make their inaugural flight on their team plane on Wednesday, according to a release from the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. The journey will include a pre-flight press conference to celebrate the inaugural flight, which will depart from T.F. Green Airport (listed as the official airport of the Patriots) with the destination set for Tampa Bay, Florida.

New England is the only franchise in the NFL to own its own plane. The Patriots own two, with one presumably serving as a backup aircraft. Nothing but the best for the defending world champions, who will presumably expect the pilots and flight attendants to also do their jobs.

The Patriots face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week on Thursday Night Football. No guarantees their team plane, retrofitted with first-class seating that allows for full reclining (lucky!), will help them get back over .500. At least they'll arrive in comfort -- and style.

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