The Biden administration has found a polite non-political means to dump former President Trump’s contentious design for Air Force One after concluding that the patriotic red, white and blue design would require additional safety testing that could set the already delayed project back even further.
Instead, the White House has opted for a slightly updated version of the iconic baby blue and white Air Force One livery that has flown the US President since John F Kennedy’s time in office.
The US Air Force said on Friday that the next Air Force One, or VC-25B as the aircraft is correctly called, would display a strikingly similar livery to the current VC-25A aircraft that it is replacing… albeit with some modifications.
For example, the blue hue is going to be a “slightly deeper, more modern” tone than what is painted on VC-25A, and the engines are also going to feature the same darker blue – unlike VC-25A, which features engines painted in robin’s egg blue.
In addition, the polished metal swish section just forward of the wings is no longer feasible because of the materials used to produce modern commercial aircraft skin alloys.
Former President Trump unveiled his preferred design for Air Force One in 2019, which featured a deep red cheatline running along the side of the fuselage and a dark blue underbelly.
Defense sources, however, claimed last year that the livery had been dumped due to the additional engineering tests required to turn it into reality. On Friday, the Air Force finally confirmed this as the reason for sticking with the baby blue livery.
In a statement, the Air Force said a thermal study of the proposed red, white and blue livery “concluded the dark blue in the design would require additional Federal Aviation Administration qualification testing for several commercial components due to the added heat in certain environments.”
VC-25B is a heavily modified version of Boeing’s 747-800 which will offer an “equivalent level of communications capability and security available in the White House.”
The first of two VC-25B was originally destined to be delivered next year but operational delays mean the first aircraft won’t now be ready until 2027. The second aircraft will then be delivered for use by the Air Force in 2028.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.
Does the new slightly darker bottom not require testing but the very dark Trump one does? Or lying ?