In the coming years, the United States government is expected to take delivery of two new aircraft, which will serve as Air Force One. The livery for these new jets has just been revealed…
Basics of future Air Force One Boeing 747-8s (VC-25Bs)
Boeing planes have been transporting US presidents since President Roosevelt. At the moment there are two Boeing 747-200s that serve as Air Force One (because of their modifications, they’re referred to as VC-25As). Whichever plane the president is flying on serves as Air Force One, so I guess you can say there are two Air Force Ones (though only one gets that designation at a time).
These planes are getting old, as they were delivered in 1987, so they’re over 35 years old. Furthermore, these planes are facing capability gaps, rising maintenance costs, and parts obsolescence.
As a result, in 2018, former President Trump reached a multi billion dollar deal for ordering two new Air Force Ones. Specifically, the government ordered two Boeing 747-8s, which will be referred to as VC-25Bs.
Keep in mind that Boeing 747 production is totally done. The reason these planes cost so much more than standard Boeing 747s is because of all the extra technology they’re outfitted with, which literally takes years and costs billions of dollars to install.
These modifications include electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, an executive interior, a self-defense system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities.
Not surprisingly, the delivery timeline on these planes has been delayed significantly. They were initially supposed to be delivered to the government in 2024, while the two jets will now be delivered in 2027 and 2028.
A look at the new Air Force One livery
This week, President Biden has unveiled the livery for the new Air Force One, featuring a design that will closely resemble the livery of the current Air Force One, while also modernizing it for the 21st century. There are three primary differences between the new livery and the old livery:
- The light blue on the VC-25Bs will be a slightly deeper, more modern tone than the robin’s egg blue on the VC-25As
- The VC-25Bs engines will use the darker blue from the cockpit area, rather than the robin’s egg blue on the VC-25As
- The VC-25Bs will have no polished metal section because modern aircraft skins don’t allow for that
The reason a livery decision was made now is because Boeing needs to conduct engineering, certification preparation, and supplier selection for the program.
Below are some renderings of the new Air Force One livery.
As a point of comparison, below is what the current Air Force One livery looks like.
If you ask me, the new livery looks fantastic. It has the same iconic look as the old one, except it’s more modern. I love it.
Keep in mind that back in 2019, Trump unveiled a patriotic livery that he wanted to put on the new Air Force One.
This livery has been rejected for non-political reasons. A thermal study has concluded that the dark blue in the design would require additional FAA qualification testing for several commercial components due to the added heat in certain environments.
The upcoming Air Force One livery has just been revealed. The livery is very similar to the old one, except it has a much more modern look. I’m happy to see this design being maintained, and think it looks great. Perhaps the bigger update is just how delayed these plane will be, as they’ll now be delivered in 2027-2028.
What do you make of the new Air Force One livery?
The original livery is so iconic! I'm glad they've decided to keep it very similar. Trump's livery wasn't horrible, it was just a little boring and as was noted looked very similar to British Airways.
Very nice for a domineering, end-stage empire ruled by a mendacious Predator Class.
No interior designs? Then why share this information, just to say it's delayed?
Neftlix MH370 is far more interesting.
So many rogue comments.
well- it is an odd political blog with this one...... good luck on all comments.
From a geopolitical standpoint, I don't think it'd be a wise decision for a design that displays so-called American "might", "power", "projection", whatever you want to call it to be chosen by someone who has been impeached twice, (Whether he deserved to be impeached, let alone twice is a story for another day). I also read the current colours camouflage the aircraft from enemies on the ground. At the end of the day, Air Force...
From a geopolitical standpoint, I don't think it'd be a wise decision for a design that displays so-called American "might", "power", "projection", whatever you want to call it to be chosen by someone who has been impeached twice, (Whether he deserved to be impeached, let alone twice is a story for another day). I also read the current colours camouflage the aircraft from enemies on the ground. At the end of the day, Air Force One is not supposed to be about 1 man or woman, but the presidency, and the nation. As an aside, I don't even think the proposed livery was even blue, looks more black to be honest!
At least if Trump was still around he'd made sure he gets to fly in his version of the Air Force One. So delays would be unacceptable to him.
But you really see black not blue?
Remember the dress that broke the internet?
Trump cannot control the engineering, testing, and delays that we all face. No president can. This Blue vs Red debate between Dems and Republicans is hilarious. You do realize that all of us Independents who actually decide the presidential election are laughing at both parties and your sad attempts to make everything POLITICAL.
Classic and classy! Love it!
"Air Force One" is the name of the aircraft carrying the President, with no President, the aircraft cannot be named "Air Force One"
So the only tangible difference is the lack of the bare-metal slit at the center bottom?
The most beautiful plane and livery in the world!
The Air Force nixed Trump's proposed livery and the quoted text is the real reason why: as with anything that he did, Trump wanted one of the most recognizable symbols of American power, Air Force One, to be about him by...
The Air Force nixed Trump's proposed livery and the quoted text is the real reason why: as with anything that he did, Trump wanted one of the most recognizable symbols of American power, Air Force One, to be about him by proposing a livery that was unmistakably and transparently similar to that of his outdated B757-200, just inverted.
I am elated that the Air Force and Biden have decided to stick with the Jackie KO/Raymond Loewy design that was first slapped on a B707, making it part of "Camelot" lore.
As you say: "--so I guess you can say there are two Air Force Ones (though only one gets that designation at a time)." Generally correct, but often the President uses two other craft in the Air Force executive fleet as Air Force 1. These are C32 aircraft (modified 757's) that are used when the larger planes can't be accommodated at the President's destination. These are part of a fleet of executive aircraft that AF...
As you say: "--so I guess you can say there are two Air Force Ones (though only one gets that designation at a time)." Generally correct, but often the President uses two other craft in the Air Force executive fleet as Air Force 1. These are C32 aircraft (modified 757's) that are used when the larger planes can't be accommodated at the President's destination. These are part of a fleet of executive aircraft that AF doesn't talk a lot about because: (1) the taxpayers at large would be outraged at the expense (deserved or not); and (2) some of the missions flown by these aircraft are of the secret and spooky variety.
Interestingly, Biden used one of the C32's as Air Force One recently when he flew to Europe and went to Ukraine. He was snuck out of the White House and they flew the C32 as to not raise suspicions. I'm sure an avgeek somewhere would've picked up on a VC25 leaving Andrews in the middle of the night.
Maybe it's a little too on the nose, but you'd think they'd choose some more obvious combination of red, white, and blue? I guess they're erring on the side of not being tacky, though. It is a nice color
I don't like the current design, and I think the options shouldn't be either or.
The dark color comment is interesting. Afterall, we have Air New Zealand planes flying around in all black and no problem??? Of course, Air Force did not elaborate further on that comment, and as an engineer, I'd like to understand the comment in a deeper level.
The Air NZ livery has always been fascinating to me, because numerous airlines have had problems with darker paint jobs in the past (including the Concorde story someone else mentioned). Especially because Air New Zealand has flown seriously long haul routes by necessity, you'd think they would be more concerned about the logistical challenge of their black paint?
Exactly! I vaguely remember that ANZ claimed that the new coating technology allows sunlight to deflect off the plane even though it's a black body so no issues (or something like that). Another example would be the old BA landor scheme with a dark blue bottom. We all know why the full landor livery was not applied to the Concorde, but it's fine on their 747s.
Air Force One clearly has higher performance and safety standards than Air New Zealand, not to mention communication and defensive systems way beyond what any commercial airliner flies. I wouldn't consider "Air New Zealand seems to make it work!" as at all relevant to AF1.
I do not know who painted Air NZ's planes, but a local New Zealand paint company called "Resenes" has been promoting a heat reflective paint for years. Paint your house black and it stays coolish to the hand rather than burning. Kiwi's favourite colour is black. Almost all out national sports teams both male and female seem to have black in their names All blacks, Black caps, Black sticks etc.
In the same vein, the Pepsi Concorde had its own issues with dark blue:
Designed by Raymond Loewy, by far the greatest designer of the twentieth century.
Hopefully they develop an escalator for President Biden. He's having some real problems with stairs.
Joking-aside....There are already escalators developed; used my the late ruler of Saudi, to board his private 744.
I like the current / proposed livery but let’s not be naive there wasn’t a political aspect to the interpretation of the heat consequences of that study. Additional testing is hardly a typical deal breaker.
«This livery has been rejected for non-political reasons. A thermal study has concluded that the dark blue in the design would require additional FAA qualification testing for several commercial components due to the added heat in certain environments.“
Naive and stupid is what defines those that truly believe in Donald Trump and his message. The man is a rube. A crook, a rapist, and a criminal.
I can’t imagine being this angry on the internet @LadyOlives.
As a DC native, I can tell you that everything is always political despite what you may hear. Regardless, I do prefer the retro design.
It's the same livery as it has been since the 707. Thankfully, the Trump proposed livery wasn't used.