President Joe Biden has selected a new paint design for the next Air Force One, discarding a red-white-and-blue livery that former President Donald Trump preferred.
In a statement on Friday, the Secretary of Air Force Public Affairs said the new color scheme would closely resemble the livery of the presidential aircraft currently in use, formally known as the VC-25A fleet.
The next Air Force One, known as the VC-25B fleet, is projected to be delivered in 2027, followed by a second one in 2028, the agency said, noting that the new model will replace the current fleet. The VC-25As will remain operational until the new planes are delivered.
The VC-25B fleet, two Boeing 747-8i aircraft, will be larger than the current planes, and the design will have three primary differences.
For the new livery, Biden has selected a light blue tone on the bottom of the plane that is “slightly deeper” than the current “robin’s egg blue.” Additionally, the shade of blue around the new presidential plane’s engines will be a darker colored blue than is currently in use.
The Air Force said replacing the current fleet, two aging Boeing 747-200 planes, is due to capability gaps, rising maintenance costs, and parts obsolescence.
“Modifications to the aircraft will include electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, an executive interior, a self-defense system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities,” the agency stated.
The choice of the plane’s exterior colors follows an earlier decision by the Biden administration to scrap a red-white-and-blue design favored in 2019.
An Air Force review had suggested the darker colors would increase costs and delay delivery of the new jumbo jets.
In Friday’s statement, the agency said a thermal study found the dark blue “would require additional Federal Aviation Administration qualification testing for several commercial components due to the added heat in certain environments.”
In 2018, Trump unveiled a white-and-navy color design for Air Force One that would replace the plane’s blue-and-white color scheme that had been in place since then-President John F. Kennedy decided during his time in the White House about six decades ago.
A model of Trump’s design shows he preferred the top half of the plane to be white and the bottom, including the belly, to be dark blue. A streak of dark red would have been present from the cockpit to the tail, similar to the coloring of the exterior of Trump’s personal plane.
The existing generation of planes has carried all American presidents, staff members, and guests since President George H.W. Bush introduced the VC-25A program in the early 1990s.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News