“I can affirm for you right here the president has not spent a second occupied with the colour scheme of Air Drive One,” White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki mentioned throughout a briefing Friday. Psaki was first requested concerning the aircraft’s livery change Wednesday.
In 2018, Trump sat down with CBS Night Information’ anchor Jeff Glor to unveil his redesign concepts, together with the brand new paint scheme, which might strip the long-lasting plane of its Kennedy child blue shade.
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Trump quoted a earlier dialogue he had with Boeing Co., which makes the Air Drive’s VC-25A, a modified 747. The plane makes use of the decision signal “Air Drive One” solely when the president is on board.
“I mentioned, ‘I ponder if we should always use the identical child blue colours?’ And we’re not,” Trump instructed Glor. As a substitute, the aircraft was to be painted crimson, white and blue for a extra patriotic look, he defined.
“Air Drive One goes to be unimaginable. It is gonna be the highest of the road, the highest on this planet. And it is gonna be crimson, white and blue, which I feel is acceptable,” Trump mentioned.
Nevertheless, the alternative for the ageing Air Drive One platform has but to be delivered — and even totally modified.
In 2016, the Air Drive awarded Boeing a contract to start preliminary work on the VC-25 Presidential Plane Recapitalization program, higher referred to as PAR. The VC-25B program — a follow-on to the present VC-25A — started modifying the primary of two Boeing 747-Eight plane final 12 months. The planes have been initially ordered for the Russian airline firm Transaero in 2013, DefenseOne reported in 2017. Boeing by no means delivered the jets to the now-defunct airline and as an alternative put them in storage.
The primary part of plane modification concerned “reducing out giant pores and skin and construction areas in each the ahead and aft decrease lobes of the plane after which putting in two newly manufactured superpanels,” Air Drive Materiel Command, which is overseeing the upgrades, mentioned in March 2020.
The superpanels include structural upgrades “and cutouts for the VC-25B decrease lobe doorways, together with inner airstairs for mission necessities,” the command mentioned.
Boeing spent 2019 eradicating the plane’s industrial inside, engines, auxiliary energy models and “quite a few secondary system parts,” officers mentioned.
Different updates embody “electrical energy upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, government inside, and autonomous floor operations capabilities,” in accordance with the command.
The plane handed its important design evaluation final spring, in accordance with Protection Information.
However that hasn’t stopped the Air Drive from wanting towards a future platform. In August 2020, the service took preliminary steps to start prototyping a supersonic plane that would sometime carry the president around the globe in half the time.
The Presidential and Government Airlift Directorate that month awarded a $1 million contract to Exosonic, a start-up aerospace firm, to start the design and growth of a low-boom government airlift idea.
That very same month, the service awarded Hermeus Corp, one other start-up growing Mach 5 industrial plane, a $1.5 million contract to start analysis on the way it might modify and apply its industrial prototype to the navy’s VIP fleet.
— Oriana Pawlyk might be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.
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