The president of the United States will get a new Air Force One — the official plane of the president — and while former President Donald Trump had asked for its new look to be red, white and blue, that won’t happen for technical reasons, according to the Air Force.
The Air Force said Friday the designs of the new Air Force Ones, two Boeing VC-25Bs (there are always two Air Force Ones), will more closely resemble the robin’s egg blue design that has been used since it was first suggested by first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
In 2019 during Trump’s presidency, he announced the new plane would be donned in red, white and blue. But the Air Force said Friday in a news release that a thermal study found that the dark blue in the design “would require additional Federspanl Avispantion Administrspantion qualification testing for several commercial components” because of the added heat in certain environments.
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But the new plane will have some color adjustments, and upgrades.
The new plane’s lighter blue is slightly deeper than the original. And the new plane’s engines will use a darker blue from the cockpit area. Also, while the old Air Force One had a polished metal section, modern commercial aircraft “skin alloys” don’t allow them, according to the Air Force.
The Air Force says the new aircraft will be “uniquely modified” to provide the president, staff and guests with the same level of “communications capability and security” available in the White House.
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The old Air Force One is being replaced because of what the Air Force calls “capability gaps,” rising maintenance costs, and obsolete parts. Upgrades will include “electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, an executive interior, a self-defense system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities.”
The new Air Force One should be ready by 2027 for the first aircraft and 2028 for the second aircraft. The Air Force remains postured to keep VC-25A available and mission-ready until delivery of the VC-25B.
Some interesting facts about Air Force One
● According to the Associated Press, U.S. presidents once flew in a Boeing 707 that had orange above and below the nose and ‘United States of America’ painted on the sides in blocky, all-caps lettering.
● In 1947, according to whitehousemuseum.org, President Harry Truman flew in a Douglas DC-6 Liftmaster named Independence with its nose painted to look like a bald eagle.
● According to Boeing, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy selected the baby blue colors of the first “Air Force One.” It is said the lettering was changed to a font inspired by the heading of the Declaration of Independence.