It’s exciting when the presidential Air Force One planes get upgraded. The new Air Force One fleet will look similar to the existing fleet but have significant internal changes such as a self-defense system. In March 2023, President Biden approved a blue color that differs from the robin’s egg blue on current planes.
What To Expect With the New Air Force One Fleet
Each new plane should contain a medical facility, self-defense system, mission communication system, executive interior, autonomous ground operations capabilities and power upgrades. The newer planes feature livery differences such as a deeper, more modern blue, a darker blue on the engines, and no polished metal section because it is not possible with more modern skin alloys.
The new planes should remain in use for 20 to 30 years. The current fleet has been in service since 1989 with the first President Bush. Maintaining the existing planes has become challenging due to increasing maintenance costs, more obsolete parts and gaps in the planes’ capabilities.
The new Air Force One should be able to make nonstop flights to just about every populated continent from the District of Columbia. For example, the president could fly without stopping to Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and other far-flung locations.
However, the jet won’t be able to refuel in the air. Its nautical range should be about 5,900 nautical miles, less than the current fleet’s capabilities. (The current fleet allows for air-to-air refueling.)
Presidents Clinton, Obama, Trump, Biden and both Bushes are the commanders-in-chiefs who have flown on the current fleet.
Air Force One planes are modified Boeing aircraft. The current fleet works off 747-200 aircraft, while the new planes will be modified from 747-800 aircraft. The first plane should arrive in 2027, with the second in 2028. The new fleet will be known formally as VC-25B, with the existing fleet being called VC-25A.
New Colors Reverse Red, White, Blue Plan
President Trump had earlier chosen a red, white and blue livery design for the new Air Force One. However, Air Force assessments said the colors would increase the price tag and delay delivery.
History of the ‘Flying Oval Office’
Air Force One is technically any Air Force aircraft carrying the president but traditionally refers to the two planes specially designed to transport the commander-in-chief. A plane may be called Executive One Foxtrot if it is carrying presidential family members but not the president.
Air Force One has the nickname the “Flying Oval Office.” The current planes feature 4,000 interior square feet of floor space, quarters for the president and first lady, a conference and dining room, office area, work and rest areas, meal galleys and much more.
- In 1962, President Kennedy became the first president to fly in a jet specifically modified for presidential use.
- The Presidential Airlift Group in the White House Military Office maintains and operates Air Force One.
- Cargo planes usually travel ahead of Air Force One with vehicles and other essentials for remote locales.
Are you interested in the new Air Force One and thinking about joining the United States Air Force? Read more on our website about how to find recruiters.