President Biden Unveils Design for the Next Air Force One
President Joe Biden has chosen the livery design for the “Next Air Force One,” the VC-25B aircraft designated for presidential travel. The design closely resembles the livery of the current Air Force One, the VC-25A, while also modernizing for the 21st century. The new livery design is an updated version of the classic design of the president’s aircraft, which has been in use since President John F. Kennedy was in the White House 60 years ago.
The original design favored by former President Donald Trump, featuring a deep red stripe down the middle of the plane and a dark blue underbelly, was rejected due to engineering requirements. A subsequent thermal study determined that, due to the increased heat in certain conditions, the dark blue in the design necessitated further FAA qualification testing for several commercial components.
The USAF says the light blue on the new model of the modified 747s that transport the president will be a little bit deeper and more modern in tone than the current robin's egg blue, with the engines using the darker blue from the cockpit area. Additionally, there is no polished metal section on the VC-25B because modern commercial aircraft skin alloys don’t allow for it.
Boeing is making alterations to two of its 747-800 planes so that they will receive the “Air Force One” designation when the President is on board. The President's current two aging Boeing 747-200 aircraft will be replaced by a new fleet. The first VC-25B is scheduled to be delivered in 2027 with second arriving in 2028. Until then, the VC-25A fleet will be available and mission-ready.
The Air Force also announced that Boeing is expected to deliver the first VC-25B in 2027, and the second the following year — well into the next presidential term. Last year, Boeing CEO David Calhoun said the $3.9 billion contract that Boeing signed to build the planes was a mistake for the company, noting how the 2018 deal with the Air Force included “a very unique set of risks that Boeing probably shouldn't have taken.”
The iconic 747 has flown for six U.S. presidents, only designated as Air Force One once the President is onboard. The firm is now in charge of performing engineering, certifying, and selecting suppliers for the program.
0. “Air Force One: New color scheme unveiled that discards Trump's design” CNN, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/10/politics/air-force-one-color-scheme/index.html
1. “Biden drops Trump design for new Air Force One” Defense News, 11 Mar. 2023, https://www.defensenews.com/air/2023/03/11/biden-drops-trump-design-for-new-air-force-one/
2. “New Air Force One will stay blue and white, Biden decides” The Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/03/10/biden-air-force-one-boeing/d0e1a66a-bfa1-11ed-9350-7c5fccd598ad_story.html
3. “New paint design for ‘Next Air Force One'” Air Force Link, 10 Mar. 2023, https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/3326103/new-paint-design-for-next-air-force-one/
4. “Boeing unveils updated color scheme for $3.9b Air Force One replacements that have deeper blue paint” Daily Mail, 11 Mar. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11846769/Boeing-unveils-updated-color-scheme-3-9b-Air-Force-One-replacements-deeper-blue-paint.html
5. “Delivery Of New ‘Air Force One' Pushed Back And New Livery Confirmed” Simple Flying, 11 Mar. 2023, https://simpleflying.com/new-air-force-one-delivery-pushed-back-new-livery-confirmed