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Boeing may have to change Trump’s color plans for new Air Force One

The Air Force revealed there’s a design flaw in former President Donald Trump’s wish to paint the presidential plane in his signature red, white and dark blue colors.

Trump’s plan for the two new 747s being built into flying White Houses called for the underside of the plane and its engine area to be painted dark blue. 

But that could contribute to excessive temperatures on the plane, a problem that Boeing would have to pay out-of-pocket to fix, Politico reported.

Boeing has already lost nearly $1.1 billion so far in converting two 747 aircraft into new Air Force Ones and its CEO has expressed regret at taking on the project at Trump’s terms.

President Joe Biden’s White House has not decided whether it will keep Trump’s color scheme or revert the design back to the traditional baby blue and white it now bares.

Trump’s design – that features a dark blue under carriage – may require the plane to incorporate some modifications to cool some of its components, a source told Politico.

Trump revealed his redesign in 2019.

The new color scheme resembles the color scheme of Trump’s personal Boeing 757, which 2016 campaign crowds called ‘Trump Force One.’ 

The model of the new Air Force One design - with its red, white and blue livery - was displayed in President Donald Trump's Oval Office; now Boeing could have to pay for a design flaw - the dark blue covers the engine area and could make plane hotter

The model of the new Air Force One design – with its red, white and blue livery – was displayed in President Donald Trump’s Oval Office; now Boeing could have to pay for a design flaw – the dark blue covers the engine area and could make plane hotter

President Joe Biden will decide whether to keep Donald Trump's new paint job for the presidential plane or switch it back to the traditional baby blue and white

President Joe Biden will decide whether to keep Donald Trump’s new paint job for the presidential plane or switch it back to the traditional baby blue and white

Meanwhile, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in April that the company should have refused Trump’s terms for building the two new presidential planes.

There are two as the presidential plane always needs a backup. 

The company had announced that it had lost $660 million in the project to convert two 747 airliners. 

The presidential plane contains classified communication gear to allow the president to be in constant communication with the outside world and features special items like a surgery suite.

Unlike a normal 747, the plane has its own retractable stairways, for the rear entrance and the front entrance. And its own baggage loader so it can be entirely self servicable if it needs to be.

It also has an in-flight refueling system that gives it the ability to stay up in the air indefinitely.

Trump’s deal involved a fixed price of $3.9 billion, leaving Boeing to foot the bill for any design changes or ballooning costs.

‘Air Force One I’m just going to call a very unique moment, a very unique negotiation, a very unique set of risks that Boeing probably should not have taken,’ Calhoun said, ‘but we are where we are, and we’re going to deliver great airplanes.’

Trump's personal Boeing 757, dubbed 'Trump Force One' by reporters and campaign crowds, has a similar color scheme to what he's proposing for the government

Trump’s personal Boeing 757, dubbed ‘Trump Force One’ by reporters and campaign crowds, has a similar color scheme to what he’s proposing for the government

Jackie Kennnedy, the first lady at the time, worked with an industrial designer on the look and feel of the jets that the last 11 presidents have flown on. The design was modified slightly for the different body shape of the double deck 747-200Bs which now fly as Air Force One

Jackie Kennnedy, the first lady at the time, worked with an industrial designer on the look and feel of the jets that the last 11 presidents have flown on. The design was modified slightly for the different body shape of the double deck 747-200Bs which now fly as Air Force One

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in April that the company should have refused Trump's terms for building the two new presidential planes

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in April that the company should have refused Trump’s terms for building the two new presidential planes

Since the 1940s, seven different plane types have been specifically designed to carry the American president - the 747 (see above) has been in use since the 1990s

Since the 1940s, seven different plane types have been specifically designed to carry the American president – the 747 (see above) has been in use since the 1990s

Trump took a close interest in plans for the new presidential airplane although it won’t be delivered until 2024, meaning he would never have gotten to use it.

A model of the new design took pride of place in the Oval Office, on the coffee table by the fireplace where he often showed it off to guests.

The work on the two 747s is taking place in San Antonio, Texas.

The last Air Force One reboot came during John F. Kennedy’s presidency when industrial designer Raymond Loewy worked with first lady Jackie Kennedy on a sky blue and cyan motif.

That design stayed when the converted Boeing 747-200 planes that President Biden flies on were placed into service in 1990.

‘Air Force One’ isn’t really a specific plane. It’s the radio call sign of any aircraft the President of the United States is aboard.

But the name has become shorthand of the specific jumbo jet that attracts attention and photographers wherever it lands.

A rare color picture showing John and Jackie Kennedy in front of the Air Force One design which they oversaw. The photograph was taken when they landed in San Antonio, Texas, the day before JFK was assassinated. Air Force One at the time was a Boeing 707

A rare color picture showing John and Jackie Kennedy in front of the Air Force One design which they oversaw. The photograph was taken when they landed in San Antonio, Texas, the day before JFK was assassinated. Air Force One at the time was a Boeing 707

History of Air Force One 

In 1943, officials became concerned about the president traveling on commercial airlines.

A C-54 Skymaster was converted for presidential use, carrying Franklin D. Roosevelt to Yalta in 1945 before it was used by Harry Truman.

The call sign was created in 1953 after a Lockheed Constellation, named Columbine II, was almost destroyed.

Dwight Eisenhower was on board when air traffic controllers confused flight numbers of Eastern Airlines flight 8610 and the presidential craft, which at the time was called Air Force 8610.

Officials thought it was wise to use the name ‘Air Force One’ to prevent an event like that happening in the future

The first Lockheed Constellation was replaced by another, Columbine III, and then two Boeing 707s from the 1960s.

Since 1990, two customized Boeing 747-200Bs have been used.

Soon after taking office, Trump publicly criticized ‘out of control’ costs of Boeing’s then deal to build a new presidential plane.

‘Cancel order,’ he tweeted. 

The result was that Dennis Muilenburg, then Boeing CEO, personally negotiated terms with the president at the White House and at Trump’s Florida resort of Mar-a-Lago.

Trump trumpeted the fixed-price agreement in 2018. 

‘Boeing gave us a good deal,’ he said. ‘And we were able to take that.’ 

Boeing also spoke favorably about the deal at the time.

‘Boeing is proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers,’ the company tweeted. 

‘President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people.’

But last year Boeing sued a subcontractor that it blamed for delays. 

In April, Boeing officials said the pandemic and supply-chain issues have also slowed the work.

Boeing promised to deliver the planes by December 2024. 

The company said the new Air Force Ones will be based on its 747-8 series.

And Calhoun said he did not want any more fixed-price contracts.

Since the 1940s, seven different plane types have been specifically designed to carry the American president. 

MEET THE NEW AIR FORCE ONE – THE FASTEST AND BIGGEST BOEING 747 EVER

Artist's impression: Boeing says the new Air Force Ones, which will be based on its 747-8 series, could look like this

Artist’s impression: Boeing says the new Air Force Ones, which will be based on its 747-8 series, could look like this

Two Boeing 747-8s will be modified to replace the existing fleet of presidential 747-200s, which are designated VC-25A by the Air Force.

The planes are expected to enter service by 2024 and will be designated VC-25B. Here is how the old and new compare.

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Wingspan

Boeing 747-200: 95ft 8in

747-8: 224ft 5in 

Length

747-200: 31ft 10in

747-8: 205ft 2in 

Top speed

747-200: 0.85 Mach – 644.5 miles per hour

747-8:  0.855 Mach – 656.0 miles per hour

Range

747-200: 6,375 nautical miles – equivalent of Washington D.C. to Tokyo 

747-8: 7,730 nautical miles – equivalent of Washington D.C. to Hong Kong 

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Maximum load at take-off

747-200: 833,000lb  – 427.5 tons

747-8: 987,000lb – 493.5 tons

On board facilites

Travel in style: President Obama in the 747-200's conference / dining room

Travel in style: President Obama in the 747-200’s conference / dining room

747-200: In-flight refueling; self-contained baggage loader; two galleys providing 100 meals in one sitting; capacity for 3,000 frozen meals held in five chillers; conference / executive dining room; self-contained office for president; sitting area which converts into bedroom for president and first lady; on-board hospital; offices for staff; crew rest area; business-class style cabin for reporters.

747-8: Specifications still to be released but extra floor area – the top deck is more than twice as long as on a 747-200 – will mean more space for conference and rest areas. 747-8s can allow extra rest areas above the passenger floor at the rear called the ‘crown’.

Service history

747-200: Commissioned by Ronald Reagan,  entered service 1990 and have carried presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. They will fly the winner of the 2020 election.

Obama on board: The 44th president was one of five who have flown on the 747-200s. If Trump loses in 2020, that number will climb to six

Obama on board: The 44th president was one of five who have flown on the 747-200s. If Trump loses in 2020, that number will climb to six

Personal space: Laura Bush and her husband President George W. Bush in the president and first lady's quarters

Personal space: Laura Bush and her husband President George W. Bush in the president and first lady’s quarters

747-8: Need for new presidential planes first put in writing in 2009, with three requested. Airbus A380s were also considered but their manufacturer dropped out of consideration. Latest order was due to be delivered  in 2024

Who else has got one

747-200: No other known VIP 747-200s exist. No 747-200s remain in scheduled commercial passenger service

747-8: Current owners of VIP 747-8s are believed to include: Qatar, four, one reserved for the emir; Kuwait, one; Sultan of Oman, one; Sultan of Brunei, one; Morocco for use by its king, one; United Arab Emirates, seven; Hong Kong real estate tycoon Joseph Lau

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