The Air force announced that they have chosen a new model for the next fleet of presidential aircraft. Air Force One will change over as the aircraft are completed, moving from the current VC-25s to the Boeing 747-8. The statement issued by Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force, said that the current fleet had performed admirably, but that it was time to upgrade.
Research indicated that the requirements for the presidential aircraft demanded a wide-body, four-engine plane, and the Boeing 747-8 was one of two identified to meet the specifications. The other is built by a company out of France. The decision was made to go with Boeing, though specifics of the acquisition have yet to be ironed out. These planes are intended to operate for a 30-year cycle, and part of the negotiations will be for the government to own enough of the specs to be able to create competition for maintenance contracts over the duration of those 30 years. Her statement stressed that affordability would be a factor in all decisions related to the acquiring and maintaining of this fleet, within the guidelines of the requirements for the mission of the aircraft.
By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Vince Alongi – Flickr License