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  • 105

Air Force picks Boeing 747-8 to replace Air Force One

提交時間:
 
The U.S. Air Force plans to announce on Wednesday that it has decided to use Boeing Co's (BA.N) commercial 747-8 airliner to replace its current fleet of Air Force One presidential aircraft... (www.reuters.com) 更多...

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siriusloon
siriusloon 8
One of the reasons for wanting four engines is to have additional electrical generating capacity for the additional equipment on board. It's not only for safety and redundancy.
preacher1
preacher1 2
That would make sense.
Moviela
More engines do not generate more electricity. More generators do. The 787 has two on each engine, and two spare on the APU. Many of the systems on the 78 that used to be powered by bleed air or hydraulics are now electric. Even with both engines out the APU can supply current to land the plane.

rgraves845
rick graves 1
Well, I would imagine the A380 / 330 / 350 was out of the equation! And,I think Gulfstream was out also.

This only leaves a 747 and 787 and not sure the 87 has the space for all the press and all of the AF Personnel on those flights.

In fact - not sure why are debating this?
JENNYJET
Why not just kick the press off and let them go via commercial services at cost! Then a 787-10 would be ideal.

[This poster has been suspended.]

rgraves845
rick graves 1
Detonate
Detonate 5
The National Airborne Operational Command Center (NAOC), the E-4B is a 747-200 also and there are 4 of them still operational. I was the last PM for E-4 acquisition and those platforms have been flying since 1973-1979, depending on the modifications. Big thing is the power requirements of the mission. E-4B has a 1200KVA system.
siriusloon
siriusloon 2
Having four engines for the primary "Air Force One" isn't just for safety and redundancy. It's also for the extra electrical generation capacity required by the additional onboard systems. It's probably less than the E-4B, but it's still considerable. They never seriously considered anything with two engines.

It has been mentioned in any of the posts, but the VC-25As can be refuelled in flight. It's been practised many times, but it's never been done with the President on board. One report I read said that the closest they came to doing it was on 9/11.
MrWidgeon
Bill Bailey 1
Yep, you're right.
I forgot about the E-4's, they probably have more hours on 'em than the VC-25's do.
siriusloon
siriusloon 0
Any idea approx how many hours are on each of them? I'm sure the VC-25s are lower time than the E-4Bs and also much lower compared with airliners of the same age.

bonami
Tony Martin 7
Good choice, the best airplane ever built .
oldfolkie
Even if the A380 had been a better aircraft all round, Airbus isn't American so it would never have been considered.
MattHauke
Matt Hauke 3
A380 doesn't even come close to meeting the specifications, one of the most important of which is that the AC needs to be able to land at most of the major airports in the world. Something the A380 cannot do.
rgraves845
rick graves 1
You miss the point Matt. The US Gov is not going to get in to a Billion Dollar Contract with a foreign company. Obama has enough issues already.
siriusloon
siriusloon 3
This media release from DoD will answer some of the questions posted here...



Air Force Identifies Platform for Next Air Force One

Air Force News Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2015 — Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, in coordination with Frank Kendall, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, has determined the Boeing 747-8 will serve as the next presidential aircraft, commonly known as Air Force One, Air Force officials announced today.

"The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of America and the office of the president of the United States," James said. "The Boeing 747-8 is the only aircraft manufactured in the United States [that], when fully missionized, meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission, while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest."

Meeting a Presidential Mission

Analyses of the capability requirements conclude a four-engine, wide-body aircraft is required to meet the needs of the Air Force One mission. Market research determined there are two four-engine platforms that could meet the requirements; the 747-8 manufactured by Boeing in the state of Washington and the A380 manufactured by Airbus in Toulouse, France.

The decision, made official through a Determinations and Findings document, authorizes the commercial aircraft purchase by other than full and open competition. This decision, in conjunction with the notification of the Air Force's intent to award a sole-source contract to Boeing for the modification of the 747-8, allows discussions with Boeing that will likely lead to a contract for the aircraft platform as well as the modifications necessary to missionize the aircraft.

Acquisition Strategy, Risk Reduction Work Remains

"This decision is not a contract award to procure 747-8 aircraft," said Col. Amy McCain, the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program manager. "We still need to finalize the overall acquisition strategy and conduct risk-reduction activities with Boeing to inform the engineering and manufacturing development contract negotiations that will define the capabilities and cost."

The Air Force wants to own enough of the technical baseline to permit competition for sustainment throughout the aircraft's planned 30-year life cycle, officials said. Competition can keep costs down, spur innovation, and provide options.

"We are committed to incorporating competition for sub-systems of the missionized aircraft as much as practicable and will participate substantively in any competitions led by the prime contractor," James said.

"The current fleet of VC-25 presidential aircraft has performed exceptionally well, a testament to the airmen who support, maintain, and fly the aircraft," James said. "Yet, it is time to upgrade. Parts obsolescence, diminishing manufacturing sources, and increased down times for maintenance are existing challenges that will increase until a new aircraft is fielded.

"The Air Force provides the president with safe and reliable air transportation with high levels of security and communication capability as the alternate airborne White House," she added. "This platform will meet the requirements necessary to provide that level of service for future presidents."

The secretary made clear affordability will be a key element of the PAR program.

"The program will use multiple strategies, such as the use of proven technologies and commercially-certified equipment, to ensure the program is as affordable as possible while still meeting mission requirements," James said. "We will insist upon program affordability through cost conscious procurement practices."
lyonstom2003
Tom Lyons -3
The Secretary of the Air Force has a degree in "Comparative Area Studies" and no military experience.

Sounds about right for this regime.
siriusloon
siriusloon 5
If you really believe she made the selection without any input from people who know WTH they're talking about, then there's really nothing I can say to you.
jdriskell
This poor horse has been whipped to death but some are still beating it with everything but the kitchen sink. Must have lots of free time on their hands!
zcolescott
...did I miss the competition for this one or was it not required due to the specialized mission?
arcticdodge
Jeff K 8
Given the A380 can only operate at six mainland USA airports, the Airbus is a non starter.
andyc852
I got LAX, SFO,DFW,JFK,MIA,IAD for sure. ORD, ATL, IAH maybe. I am surprised it is so few. Any others?
MultiComm
MultiComm 2
Yes ATL can handle the A380. Currently there is a Korean Air that comes in every day. Must use Rwy 27L for departures...not sure about arrivals.
birdhunter317
dave lyons 1
Although its not a major airport......MDT is 10,001 feet long.....it can handle any plane
mduell
Mark Duell 3
There was only one interested bidder. Airbus indicated they would not bid.
adambear8
adambear8 1
I read a different article that said while they did not bid the Pentagon did look into the A380 as the sole competitor.
siriusloon
siriusloon 8
An article a few years ago quoted a USAF officer involved in the RFP and writing the specs as saying that the additional "real estate" of the A380 was nice, but that the 747-8 was plenty big enough.

If you recall the huge fight over the choice of the A330 to replace the KC-135, there was simply NO way the U.S. was going to buy a foreign aircraft for such an important political symbol as "Air Force One". Airbus knew that and didn't waste its time or money on a bid or proposal.
n914wa
Mike Boote 2
They are sole-sourcing it.
delmonaco03
Is this a pitch somehow by Boeing to keep the 747 program alive? I was hoping they would go with a 777 but having seen AF1 in the last month or so, the 747 in AF1 livery for some reason says WE ARE HERE when you see it.
mduell
Mark Duell 9
A couple airframes won't keep the program alive.

Boeing has been dragging out the production of the B748 in part to have the line last long enough to complete the AF replacement.
siriusloon
siriusloon 6
Having four engines was a firm requirement from the start, so the 777 was not in the running.
preacher1
preacher1 1
And I can't really understand that. The 777 has been flying since the 90's and has lots more room than the 707 did that worked for ages. The just need to toss the press corp, tighten up a little bit and go with it. All of us fly it as PAX now and those operators that still run the 747 either have them on the trade block or scrap, but are replacing them with the 777/87/ or Airbus equivalent. DAL would have never ran them at all had it not been for inheriting them on the NWA merger. They are a fine airplane but to a degree, it is overkill. To me, a 757 looks bad ass when it comes in.
MultiComm
MultiComm 1
The fact that they are retiring them commercially makes even more appeal for the use of AF1. Sure it is a little overkill but when has government been responsible with our spending ... I digress. All the 2 engine jets look the same from a predetermined distance but nothing says "we've arrived" better than a 4 engine jet the defined the industry many years ago and still continues to do so. That being said, if they would have picked Airbus, I am sure we would have a revolt so that only leaves one non-military option, the B747. Long live the 747!
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, in the "WE'VE ARRIVED" category, I have to agree. It does make a statement. However, I'll not give up the "my miss badass" award on my 757. LOL
andyc852
757 still is the best looking aircraft of it's era. It has only recently been rivaled by the 787 and the A350.
s2v8377
s2v8377 1
The 757 is a great plane!!!!!!!!
MultiComm
MultiComm 1
Don't get me wrong ... it is a nice bird, but not the best.
adambear8
adambear8 6
No, the Pentagon wants 4 engine jets so no way there was a 777 getting picked.
Zany4God
Zany4God 1
NF2G
David Stark 2
Tankers don't carry the President.
preacher1
preacher1 3
I really don't know if all they have would fit in a 777. You wouldn't suggest they scale back, would you?
joelwiley
joel wiley 7
Is that number of staff or egos having trouble fitting in a 777?
Av8nut
You beat me to it. Definitely the egos.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I don't think they should scale back. I THINK THEY SHOULD FLY WHAT THEY GOT!!!
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, they will be 30 years old when the 748's are delivered but as noted above, what about the E4B's delivered in the early 70's. I imagine the got a lot more hours and cycles on them and still flying good. I have been against new planes for a long time, but who am I, just a lowly taxpayer,
TorstenHoff
>> [...] some reason says WE ARE HERE when you see it.

Until you're parked next to an A380 on the ramp... (c8

I'm not suggesting that they should even have considered the A380. I think it's a fantastic airplane, but image and national prestige are as important as features and functionality for the primary international form of transportation for POTUS. Jobs and national security considerations are also critical. I think Airbus understood that this was a non-starter for them and decided not to bid on the contract.
MultiComm
MultiComm 3
The A380 is huge and great functional needs but it still doesn't have near the "lines" of a 74. Always will be my favorite non commercial aircraft!
preacher1
preacher1 4
The 380 can't go everyplace either, not only because of the gates but because of weight and needing 200' wide runways because the outboard engines hang out so far, it takes that extra width to keep FOD out of the engines. Besides, it's built in France. That's nothing against the French. Them and most of the European heads of state will have the bus.
NF2G
David Stark 1
The Airbus aircraft that I have seen (via ADS-B) operating as state executive flights have been A340s, A300s and at least one A319.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Yeah, seems like Khadafy had a gorgeous 340. He shoulda used it to get out of town on. I know the interior got stripped but I never heard what happened to the plane.
jgoedker
jgoedker 2
The A380 was an ego trip the Europeans couldn't afford. And still can't. Wait till it's fifty years old and see if it made money.
arcticdodge
Jeff K 0
The A380 can only be operated out of a handful of USA airports. Being able to fly around the USA fundraising in as many places as possible is a top mission criteria that the A380 can't do.
evanr81
evanr81 4
Airbus didn't bid on plane but will on components
kc46b
S Schiele 4
Flying the President requires special types of logistics and security.

AF1 is more that just a pravite jet, it serves many different roles in national security. When you compare commercial use of 74 -2 to flying the president, it has nothing to do price per seat and all to do multi-role missions that the aircraft offers.

Single aisle aircraft like the 75 offer neither the space or range that the current 74-200 offers or the new 74-8 will offer.

77 although a wide body aircraft does not provide the needed configuration space to meet the needs of Special Air Missions.

Even though the 74 has been around a long time it is not the same aircraft that first flew in 1969 by evidence of 74-8. Boeing engineers just keep redefining the aircraft to meet the customers needs without a totally new airframe design.

I certainly glad that when the president shows up some where in the world that he is stepping off a Boeing aircraft and not a Airbus.

I think all Boeing aircraft in any model are the best buy and most reliable to the customer in any or configuration.
preacher1
preacher1 0
All I am saying about the 777 is that it has way more room than the 707 and Connie that flew for years. What have we added that is so necessary that it must go that we can't do without. To boot, if they don't sell some more 748 in the next few years, these 2 may be the last off the line.
bdabneyjr
God point, preacher. I still don't understand why people need to watch television with all of those colours in it. My fingers still work, so I wouldn't mind having my old dial telephone back. And who the hell is using these new-fangled computer machines anyway. Back to the Connie. Forget progress.
bkoskie
I keep waiting for Boeing to develop a 2 engine version of the 747. This would fill a valued role for the pax capacity while embracing the fuel savings in today (and tomorrow's) engine development.
preacher1
preacher1 3
You'd have to have some mighty big horses to get that thing off the ground
siriusloon
siriusloon 2
It's called the 777.
MultiComm
MultiComm 1
I hope Boeing can find a way to make the 747 project more appealing in the future. It is a great aircraft. Maybe pulling off the composite design of the 787 and other newer feature can decrease its weight and possibly increase it's efficiency to stay in competition with that of the 777 or A380
preacher1
preacher1 1
Them 4 engines have about killed it as far as the commercial pax market goes; even the major freighters aren't looking at it and even the fact that smaller ones are buying them so cheap, they really have no value left at life's end, which is why everybody must fly them out.
MultiComm
MultiComm 1
Well, innovation leads to amazing things...look at the A380. While not as popular as Airbus had hoped there is still a demand for them. Boeing just needs a little creative engineering. Course in all reality I have little hope for my favorite commercial bird.
preacher1
preacher1 4
Boeing kinda shot themselves in the foot with the 777 and 787 as far as 747 production goes. I also think they screwed up by killing the 757 myself. They could have taken it and ran with it and probably not get caught pants down with a 737MAX, but that's just me. After 23 years on a 57, all can be said is, you just got a touch of class going down the taxiway in one of them. High steppin' and good lookin', and that nose was generally off the ground before you got ROTATE completely out of your mouth.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Preacher- Don't think that Boeing shot themselves in the foot. The 757 was a "Beauty Queen" but she just wasn't comfortable for pax and crew. The 57 was a fine looking and performing machine. When she rotated, you literally were pressed/ slammed against your seat. And the angle of attack was unbelievable! But the girl was brutal to the pax and in-flight crew.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Yeah but that ego boost overcame the tightness in the cockpit. LOL. It wasn't any worse than an RJ. Ours was set up with corporate interior anyway so I never noticed about the pax. As it was kinda slim, I can imagine it was though. Friend of mine was a high time DAL Captain, and was only checked in the 767 and 777. He had been flying ATL to LHR or an ATL-LAX return. As he got closer to retirement, he checked in a 757 to do some mx flights at ATL and stay home. That lack of cockpit room was the first thing he noticed. I am 6'2" and while flying, maintained about 225lbs. I flew ours from 86 until I retired in 09. When I went back up there a couple years ago, they had bought a 767-200ER and yeah, it was like daylight and dark in the pointey end. There are still a bunch of 57's flying but the newest one is about 10 years old now.
MultiComm
MultiComm 1
Ah...so the love of the 75 comes from a corporate layout. I think I would like it much better that way. Haha!
dee9bee
dee9bee 5
What a shame this aircraft won't be ready until another President is in office...Where in the world is Obama today, anyway? I've lost track the last few days...
preacher1
preacher1 2
He actually doing something official. He was in India then he went up and paid respects to the old Saudi King and met the new one; where he is now, not sure. He may be back home.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

jdriskell
Nice racist remark!
MultiComm
MultiComm 10
Clearly not ... Profiling, Yes. Inappropriate, Yes, but not racist. It is a remark from someone that does not like the political actions of our current President (and likely voted NO) and simply because the current POTUS is the first non-white to serve in office, you concluded directly that it was a racist remark, probably based on your own opinion on the effectiveness of the last 6 years. Why does everything have to be about race. Geez!
sparkie624
sparkie624 -4
I did my best... :)
RECOR10
RECOR10 4
I thought it was a very funny remark.

[This poster has been suspended.]

sparkie624
sparkie624 -3
Yeah,, We all Do... It was not my vote that put us here... And you are right in the middle of the slim with us... They are the ones who put him in office...
jdriskell
It's too bad that this discussion has deteriorated in to a political rant rather than a civilized discussion of aviation. Everyone is entitled to their own political opinions but there are better forums for them. This forum is one that's specifically designed to share our interest of aviation.
joelwiley
joel wiley 3
What is the average time any discussionon FA stays on topic without veering into a tapestry of divergent threads?
jgoedker
jgoedker 0
Ya But! With this aircraft it is impossible to leave politics out of it. There can be little doubt the current resident of AF1 misuses it with his constant vacation and golf schedule. There needs to be limitations and used for official use only. No more expensive vacations or campaigning! Hell, he wore the damn thing out!
siriusloon
siriusloon 4
And his predecessor took countless vacations, but that doesn't matter, right?
Moviela
No he does not "misuse" the airplane. There is no restriction on his travel plans, and the Secret Service makes the decision as to mode of transportation. I may not care for some of the policies of the President, but he needs to be protected at any cost. It is actually small money out of the budget for Executive transportation.

Moving the President around is an Air Force mission, and they need equipment suitable for the job. The 747 has proven itself to be the only plane that can do that mission.

Of course the mission has expanded since the days of the Connie and 707, but so have the capabilities of enemies of the state.
jdriskell
It's difficult to have a battle of wits with someone who comes to the fight unarmed.
bdabneyjr
I really do hate to add to this nonsensical argument, but the logic put forth about the misuse of the aircraft is just plain nonsense. On Aug. 8, 2014, President Obama had taken 19 vacations totaling 125 days so far while in office. Those numbers have risen a bit due to the Martha’s Vineyard vacation, but that’s still many fewer than George W. Bush’s 65 combined trips to his Texas ranch and his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine, which totaled 407 days at the same point in his presidency. An investigation of his use of the aircraft for vacation time yields similar results. Let's stop propagating idiocy.
fiddlehead1
Non political guy ,,,,,,,, Thanks Robert .
MultiComm
MultiComm 2
Just out of curiosity ... where does one dig up these public records ... and who has the time to do it (or has it memorized just for the sake of argument), assuming it is true of course.
bdabneyjr
One of the White House correspondents at the Washington Post did a story debunking the myths around POTUS' use of the airplane and vacation time.
MultiComm
MultiComm 1
Link? or I guess I could Google it.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
You might contact your local congressperson to see if they have info on a subject from the Congressional Research Office- the official research arm. The fruits of their labor is available to congress but not the public who pay for it. Amazing things can come out of such a request- if your congressperson wants to release it.
jgoedker
jgoedker 1
Pushing twenty trillion dollars in debt. No place to cut? I mentioned the present occupant only due to the fact walking up the air stair to AF1 is our only view of this guy. But I'm referring to all future Presidents. This one will be gone long before the new model arrives. At over $100k per hour operating costs not counting all other travel expenses, I believe it's time to limit the use of this thing. Campaigning would be a good start. And I don't give a damn it George Bush used it more.
AAaviator
AAaviator -1
No it isn't. You're the racist for seeing the world through racist glasses.
initprompt
Excellent choice ,
Trevor1007
Outstanding aircraft. Just ask Lufthansa.
gmailander
One reference stated that the USAF plans on ordering three 747-8.
vanstaalduinenj
Can't wait to see it
PhthaloType
I wonder if it'll be "VC-25B", or get a new MDS.
siriusloon
siriusloon 2
Considering how screwed up the implementation of the designation system is, I'm quite sure that it will get an entirely new number. They've been assigning "C"-series designations in both the 40s and the 140s in recent years (e.g. KC-46 and HC-144), so it's anyone's guess what they'll pick, but it won't be VC-25.
bigkahuna400
What do you think, time for new livery as well maybe?? Starting to look a little dated, but prob not.
SWEATINTHSWAMP
Nope. It's stunning still 40 years later
MultiComm
MultiComm 5
The blue color has never been my favorite but it is iconic and should remain a standing symbol of the US Presidency!
stewagreen
Definitely not! It still looks awesome every time it flys over my house.
joelwiley
joel wiley 5
Well, for that matter the stars and stripes has remained unchanged since 1959. Is that looking dated?
preacher1
preacher1 2
The argument could go on forever on old vs. new and plenty for both sides, BUT it sounds like we are getting new ones and that Boeing will build them. Airbus did not bid and rightly so after the tanker flap. I personally think some of the egos need to stay at home. In particular, the press corp needs to find their own way. Even if they are partially paying, they take up way too much space.
vanstaalduinenj
Don't forget
These planes have far less cycles then commercial aircraft that fly all day everyday for revenue.
The airforce has several examples of equipment (like the B52) that they will fly for at least 50 years.
With that being said, I agree it's time for a new executive aircraft, my query is why do they need 2 examples?
Just a thought but If the need for a back up is required why not keep one of the old ones as a spare?
MHarryE
Thee is always a need for a backup - one example is during long maintenance periods or when upgrading comm systems. Can't postpone travel for a president because the "car is in the shop". Size - the media hoard that is always accompanying. Question I never researched is what does each member of the media pay - do they pay like it was an airliner on the same route? First class price? Full fare if it is a sudden trip and they haven't booked 2 weeks in advance? Does what they charge the media actually pay the fuel & lube cost of each flight? As for the A-380, aren't there more airfield limitations? After all the 757 fleet fills in as Air Force 1 on flights into US mainland airfields where the VC-25 won't fit. If I remember correctly, the VC-25s were ordered during Prez Regan's first term yet it was Prez GHW Bush who first got to use the already obsolete plane. The time needed for all the modifications, mainly installing all the comm equipment. Won't the cost of each plane be less than a F-35?
preacher1
preacher1 4
There aren't any major restrictions on the 747. There are only a handful of Airports that can take the 380 both from weight and width standpoint. They need a 200' wide runway on account of the outboard engines hanging so far out. There haven't been very many subs that were talk about since the Clinton days. He came into LIT a couple of times on the Gulfstream but that was by his choice. The rest of the time he came into Little Rock AFB. Can't remember if he was in the 707 or had the 747, but LIT was capable of handling either one.
dmaviation
This aircraft is what is known as a Group VI design aircraft for airport layouts. Many airports are not built to this standard. I am surprised they are selecting a Group VI aircraft because of possible restrictions for its use. It is not just about runway design but also taxiway and ramp designs for this aircraft type and size.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Thanks for the posts with good info. A quick read of the specs to which you referred elsewhere in the thread picked up the 748-8 can be handled procedurally- limiting adjacent taxiways to a/c small enough to get by. With POTUS aboard, I think other traffic would be minimized.
dmaviation
Yes....if AF1 was suddenly required to land at an airport not designed to group VI standards I feel certain everyone would pull together to make it happen. Unfortunately, restrictions to taxi routes and procedural changes are not something easily determined at the last minute. Most POTUS movements are certainly preplanned but in aviation we all know things can occur that are unannounced. Just thought I'd bring up the issue as there are likely airports that will be used that are not yet prepared for an aircraft of this size. Still love that the Air Force went with Boeing. Great thread and good info to know if you're an airport that Air Force One uses frequently based on who is elected.
ToddBaldwin3
ToddBaldwin3 -1
If the government charges a price for the ticket, it would be at the current GSA negotiated city pair rate.
anthony96
anthony96 2
Wow i was hoping for the 777 but 747 is good
thefaceman
What happen the president ran this one past high time
cfiblythe
Never get the smell out of the ole one
jdriskell
Another raciest remark. What's wrong with you?
MikeMohle
Mike Mohle 1
OK, do we really NEED new airplanes???? How are we paying for this with no money and $18+TN debt?
joelwiley
joel wiley 8
We aren't. Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will.
MikeMohle
Mike Mohle 2
Great. In that case, let's get 20 if they are "free". A couple extras for spare parts can't hurt!
joelwiley
joel wiley 6
Will that be Visa, Amex, or China Finance Online?
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
When the VH-71 was going to be the next "Marine One", they were planning to buy about 23 of them. Even allowing for some being pre-positioned before a visit somewhere, and some being airborne decoys, and some being in maintenance, that was a LOT of aircraft.

Over the past few years, there was talk from the USAF about buying three new aircraft to replace the two VC-25s, but the DoD media release I posted above makes no mention of quantity. Because the 747 line might be closing down, I wouldn't be surprised if they do buy three, but time will tell.
NF2G
David Stark 1
OK, how many people here believe that there is only one VC-25? There are, in fact, three of them (maybe four). At least two go on any presidential trip where they are not using a smaller aircraft.

So, of course, they will have to buy at least three 747-8s in order to deploy them in the customary fashion.


BTW, there are 757s used for VIP flights as well (VC-32), and one gets to be AF1 when the President needs to use it.
siriusloon
siriusloon 3
There are in fact, TWO VC-25As, not one, not three.
preacher1
preacher1 2
and the 2nd one only flies when they go overseas. It may shadow on domestic but doesn't directly follow.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
I saw a program on the building of those 2. Cost was estimated at 7 to 800 M. these new ones should easily top a B.
Av8nut
Print more money? HAHAHA
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -2
B.O.O.B. (borrow over one billion).
darseyfa
Pretty Hillarious
RetAF
RetAF 1
Minor point, but the current AF 747 fleet (AF1 & E4) both have a UARRSI and the plumbing to go with it, something I'm sure the specs required.
VY1RM
Boeing 747-800 series.....Best airplane ever...Buy US.....Airbus not likely..although hear on TV today plane will not be ready until 2022 !!!
Was in thre Boeing plant cool

R
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Rumor has it that 47-8 will be available for the next "Prez".
dmaviation
Both the A380 and the 747-800 are Group VI design aircraft. There are a lot of ramifications for airport access when it comes to aircraft of this size. I am surprised they are going with this model for that reason alone. The FAA has been less inclined to approve MOS (Modification of Standards)allowing Group VI aircraft to operate at airports only approved/designed for aircraft up to Group IV or Group V standards. Here is a good article on the issue although it appears to be written some time ago (2010?)and the data is dated on the issue. http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/2010_q3/3/
I love the fact that the Air Force is buying American for Air Force One...I really could not see the U.S. doing otherwise. Be interesting to see how this works out for them.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
There's a good article at DefenseOne.com about buying a new Air Force One, along with a couple of interesting photos:

http://www.defenseone.com/politics/2015/02/buying-new-air-force-one-complicated/104220/?oref=d-mostread

It's worth a look.
VY1RM
747 Boeing the best for 27000
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
God save "the Queen"! She will always have an overwhelming presence wherever she lands.She will continue to keep her legacy alive with the new 747-8 Air Force One! BORN IN THE USA!
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, love it or leave it, with sole source bidding, there was never a question of who, just what. Several stories here below and all of them probably have some merit.
preacher1
preacher1 1
No real choice about it as it was sole sourced, but I wonder what we'll be looking at in another 30 years down the road.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Really a duplicate; there is another post below with about 57 comments already
Gary747
Gary747 1
Any indication of what engines this new AF1 will have? GEnx?
pmbell64
Pat Bell 1
GEnx is the only option on the 747-8, so yes, GEnx.
LordLayton
Was there ever any question? All they need to do is hang Four 115,000 lbf thrust GE-90s off it, Beef up and jack up the MLG along with a few inboard Hellfire missile pods or better and there ya got it!
MANBOI
MANBOI 1
The old 4 jets vs 2 jets argument.
MrWidgeon
Bill Bailey 1
Not really, this time it's the Secret Service that wants 4 engines.
None of the new XL 2 engine airplanes have enough hours to make them happy.
Next time they're going to have to pick a 2 engine airframe unless they go with something foreign or the Lazy B comes up with a new 4 engine design.
Also, the 747 has more interior room for communications gear and the other "things" the S.S. wants like a medical suite and enough storage space for food and such to feed the Pres. & company for a week plus if need be.
By the time they replace these new 747s there should be something suitable to take their place.
fiddlehead1

Know to much about airplanes to join this fray . Just for many very extended long range flights 4 four engines dont have to work as hard and they have a load with all those heavy egos on board .
VINNYHERMAN
vin herman 1
THANK GOD IT'S NOT AN AIRBUS!!
(Although it'd be "pay for the course with the current administration)
I heard a Tuples was considered... LoL
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
The "Queen of the Skies" should represent the U.S.A.. One of the best decisions this government has made!
ihsanushshabri
great news for that (y)
JENNYJET
I have a problem with the concept of the US Head of State being airborne upon a flying White House not knowing if there is a serviceable runway to eventually land upon?

I have no doubts that if a nuclear event occurred that any poor individuals airborne at that time will have a decision to make if aware of the situation!
smoki
smoki 1
The nation will have much bigger problems to deal with than a missing "US Head of State" after a nuclear event. Presumably you have some knowledge of the Constitution's provision for a succession of power for the POTUS? The scenario of a missing airborne POTUS and the succession of power was depicted in the film "Air Force One" with Harrison Ford playing the part of the president and Glen Close the VP. The effects of a surface nuke detonation even if its a "decapitation strike" when compared to that of an EMP induced by a high altitude nuke detonation over the geographic center of the continental U.S. will likely be of less concern for the nation as a whole given the vulnerability of our aging electrical grid to a lengthy (possibly years) shutdown.
Boodog710
Jack Carson 1
Tony, I second that 100%.
MrWidgeon
Bill Bailey 1
Because they want an airplane with a proven track record and 747-800 is the only one in it's class.
Pilot78
Pilot78 1
For all that he has done--get him 4 new planes. If the current frames are over 20 years old--time for new ones. I can also see the 4 Eng vs. 2 idea. Besides what is more beautiful than the Queen of the Skies....

[This poster has been suspended.]

WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -3
Or not!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -5
Maybe delivery time will preclude him from darkening the doors.
MrWidgeon
Bill Bailey 1
The 2 current VC-25's used for Presidential transport are getting long in the tooth and cost more to operate and those costs continue to rise.
The first one was put into service in 1990, the second a year or so later or going on 24 years ago.
Getting 24 + years of service out of what's basically an airliner ain't bad.
I think they are the last 2 747-200's in service.
I don't think they'll do much about the paint scheme, it's a classic design, known around the world and the rest of the Special Missions fleet is based on it.
SWEATINTHSWAMP
If I recall correctly the paint scheme was designed by Mrs. John F Kennedy.
MrWidgeon
Bill Bailey 4
It was actually designed by Industrial Designer Raymond Loewy who was asked by Mrs. Kennedy to do the job.
siriusloon
siriusloon 4
I knew he'd designed a lot of things, but when I looked him up, it was a much, much longer list than I realised: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Loewy

He also created the U.S. Coast Guard's orange-stripe-on-white livery for their ships and aircraft.
BluegrassFlyer
They were the last 747-200B's built I believe.
MrWidgeon
Bill Bailey 2
I think you're right, the -400 was already in production, but it was too new for the Secret Service to okay.
I was living in SEA at the time and remember all the hoopla about it.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
These won't be the first -400 in USAF service, though. The now-retired YAL-1A airborne laser testbed is a -400.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
There were three more -200s down the line after the two VC-25As and more were built later that intermingled with -300s and -400s. There were also -400s built prior to the two VC-25As.
deakon509
frank hahn 1
good to hear! glad they didn't go to airbus.
fedexman2
85 unnecessary comments...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -3
AAaviator
AAaviator 0
Is a plane that big really necessary to haul King Barry's golf clubs around?
bdabneyjr
It is the same size as it was when it carried George W's clubs many more times than the current president's!
AAaviator
AAaviator -1
You're wrong - yet another instance of liberals making up their own facts. First of all, President Busch gave up golf once the war started to avoid the appearance of frivolity as something more serious was taking place - unlike the "S" whistling King Barry, who begrudgingly interrupted his golf game to reluctantly face the cameras on Marta's Vineyard to glibly state that James Foley (an American) had been beheaded by ISIS, only to return to the golf course, and photographed 15 minutes later with that stupid, cheesy, cheshire cat grin on his face while "high fiving" Alonzo Mourning. He's no leader, and not fit to be commander in chief. Furthermore Robert, most of President Bush's vacations were at his (paid for) Crawford ranch in Texas at a fraction of the cost of our high roller emperor, and his princess bride who often travels separately at substantial taxpayer cost.
jgoedker
jgoedker 1
Good point! How often has AF1 taken Barry to Chicago. Or wherever he calls home?
bdabneyjr
Sigh...I guess some people never will get over the fact that he won two elections. Too bad.
MultiComm
MultiComm 2
Mostly due to the fact that the Repup's couldn't produce a qualified nominee that could out debate our current POTUS...that and the sudden surge in voter interest/participation on the Dem's side of the battle.
AAaviator
AAaviator -1
Robert, my concern is for the well being of our country and its citizens. Your focus, like a lot of other snarky, small picture liberals is on the current regime's campaign prowess, treating an election (and its outcome) like some kind of game show. That's your level of sophistication and seriousness apparently. The ability to campaign is a far cry from the ability to govern. For over six years now, we've seen, and suffered through his appalling failure to govern, and NO REAL LEADER "leads from behind" as this dithering feckless potus shockingly admits is his foreign policy approach. Yes, he and his handlers duped enough dopes to eek out a 2nd election with with a slim 4% margin (51-47) - lots of reasons for that, and none having anything to do with presidential talent, or effectiveness. Early in his regime, he famously said, "elections have consequences". Yes, they sure do, and we are all suffering the consequences every day. It's just that you and every other obedient Obamunist minion will defend, to the point of absurdity, an administration that is ruining our country, diminishing our standing, influence, and respect world wide, while putting ALL Americans (yourself included) at much greater risk - and the world at large for that matter. Just before the 2008 election, he said "we are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming America". Only a man whose mentoring growing up includes the likes of communist, Frank Marshall Davis can develop such a hatred and loathing for America to want to fundamentally transform America. A REAL patriotic would want to RESTORE America, not fundamentally change her. That is all. "If you like your (lying president), you can keep your (lying president)".
joelwiley
joel wiley 0
Kudos to you for being able to compose syntactically correct sentences. As for the slim 4% margin in 2012, perhaps you could look back on Bush-Gore, which was decided by a mere 5 votes- all from SCOTUS. I imagine it is difficult to lead when one house in Congress essential declared jihad on the president. A "REAL patriot would want to RESTORE America" by restoring the constitutional rights taken by the passage of the US PATRIOT ACT. As for lying presidents, please refer to John 8:7 on casting stones. They all do. IMHO the greatest contribution GW Bush made was to survive his presidency while his VP (who must not be named) was in line.
g'day
AAaviator
AAaviator -1
Bush-Gore? Really? Ha! - another pathetic liberal dredging up old history, desperately trying to fabricate relevance in a never-ending struggle to establish moral equivalency - classic! News flash dipstick: Bush has been out of office for over 6 years, and THANK GOD that lunatic, enviro-hypocrite Gore lost the election. It's horrifying to consider his incompetence while trying to deal with the events and aftermath of 9/11. Regardless, I'd rather not join you running to the past. Get with the present, stay in the present, and focus Joel. I know it's hard for you liberals, because there is nothing to cheer about with the present administration, just back to back scandals and policy failure. And before you even go there, 2012 is the present (in this context) as it relates to the (golf cart) sitting president. And milk is shooting out my nose as I laugh at your dimwitted understanding of the Patriot Act, what it was (and is) and how it's used, and not only did this potus sign off on it, but raised the bar a thousand fold - 3 letters genius - NSA. And the last thing I need from a brain dead, cliche based, talking point regurgitator like you is throwing around biblical references, groping for a cute way to craft a sneering comeback. Until you are as adept at deranged, unhinged rhetoric as Chris Matthews, you should stop trying to imitate him. As for you and the rest of the liberal loons. I'm done with you all and this thread. I rarely make time for discourse with ignorant and illogical nit-wits, and when I do, I instantly remember why.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Thank you for the most entertaining, fact-free ad hominem attack sent in my direction in years. I am impressed by your assumed knowledge of who I am, my belief structures and cognitive abilities. I have only your 40+ comments and duplicate squawk submissions to go on to understand your positions and opinions. If you follow through with your being done with the thread, I will miss your diatribes, if only slightly.
bdabneyjr
Robert Dabney -1
I submit humbly to the far superior name-calling methodology of argument employed rather than intelligent discussion. You are, by FAR, the better man sir.
siriusloon
siriusloon -1
Yeah, high-fiving someone is sooo much worse than holding hands (literally) with the King of Saudi Arabia, or waiving the grounding order so many Saudi nationals could fly out of the U.S. on 9/12. Because, after all, the Saudis had *nothing* to do with 9/11 in any way at all.
AAaviator
AAaviator -3
Loon?- as in your handle, Siriusloon? There is no doubt about that! What a pathetic analogy, delivered in true school-girl style! You got any more incongruent realtivism to share? Perhaps you can entertain us with other wack-a-doodle conspricay theories? What I really can't beleve is that I am composing any reply at all to such siriusloon idiocracy!
joelwiley
joel wiley -1
He inherited it from the Decider, who inherited it from ....
RECOR10
RECOR10 0
According to what I saw on a Discovery Channel program on Air Farce Won. The media does not have to pay for their seats. It is offered as a courtesy.
4U85771
IF AF1 WOULD BE A C-5 MORE HEADS WILL TURN!
preacher1
preacher1 1
That's an idea. LMBO
bnsfcam
Nice. They need to give it a new paint scheme to go along with it.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

bkoskie
I'm waiting (hoping) for Boeing to announce a 2 engine version of the 747. I think there is a valuable role at its pax capacity if the current engine and composite technology is applied.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
You'll have a very long wait. I hope you're not holding your breath.
MelbourneFlyer
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Boeing 747-8 to become the new Air Force One

The Pentagon confirms that Boeing's 747-8 will become the next generation Air Force One, with the first of the highly modified jets due to fly around 2021.

http://www.ausbt.com.au/boeing-747-8-to-become-the-new-air-force-one
GaAubie
Ken Hardy 0
What's wrong with the current Air Force One 747's they can be upgraded with different engines if necessary, they have plenty of range to go nonstop to anywhere in the world, they get kid glove treatment, always hangered unless they are on a flight. Just another example of wasteful DoD spending and since they are used by just politicians and their friends, no one will question spending the hundreds of millions ( over 1 billion when everything is counted ) for a few -8 that really don't buy much.
nasdisco
Chris B 0
Boringly predictable. What will they do in a decade when the 747 might just be a shadow in the past?
Useless
U.S.A.F.1. an A380 that would have made some interesting press reports!
joelwiley
joel wiley 4
All decked out and only 8 places in the US to go.
siriusloon
siriusloon 0
Despite the headline above, this is not yet an order or a contract award. The Air Force was allowed to sole-source the selection and the 747 is the only American-made, four-engined aircraft suitable for modification for the mission. Now that the 747-8 has been named as the preferred choice, the negotiations with Boeing will get underway.
vanstaalduinenj
The e-4 does not carry the president.....
I suspect they will be around for several years to come as they had a billion dollar Reno in 2005.
honzanl
honza nl 0
why the USAF always buys old models ? they bought the last 747-200's and now when the 747-8 is nearly out of production they buy it again...
jgoedker
jgoedker 1
If Boeing decides to cease production on a specific aircraft, it does not become obsolete with the last airframe to roll out the door. B-52 come to mind? Delta flew DC-9's that were out of production for thirty years and they serve the purpose well. Not to mention their present fleet of 88's still in service and doing a great job long after MD disappeared. Obsolete refers to an item that no longer performs the function which it was intended. The present AF1 obviously does the job very well. With commercial aircraft, which the -800 is, it's all about money. And as we all know, money is no object with the government.
johnatwohy
John Twohy -1
having problems holding the Hulk in the one they have now?

[This poster has been suspended.]

siriusloon
siriusloon 5
They won't be in service until long after he's out of office, same as with the current VC-25s being ordered while Reagan was in office and not delivered until after he was gone.
s2v8377
s2v8377 5
The current aircraft are over 20 years old, and it's time to replace them. I have no problem with them investing in new aircraft.

The other issue that makes this a good call is that Boeing may not be producing the 747-8 for much longer. It makes sense to secure airframes while they're available.

I can also certainly understand do to the nature of the mission why the Air Force would prefer to have a four engine 747 compared to a two engine 777.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
Older than that. I saw one of the two VC-25s test-flying at McConnell AFB in 1990. It was wearing a bright metallic green primer.

Getting spare parts is a problem and there's a lot of old technology in the aircraft. Starting over with a clean slate will solve a lot of problems.
30west
30west 0
Its not an investment, it is an expenditure.
bdabneyjr
The new airplanes will not be ready until LONG after President Obama is out of office, sir.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

preacher1
preacher1 -5
That I figure is when somebody will really fuss. I wonder where they will live, if they will pollute Hawaii or fit right in at Chicago.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
Whether a fan or not, Chicago is, after all, home.
darseyfa
They are planning on living in washington D.C. girls going to school there. When they suddenly pick up and move its time to buy potasium chloride pills in bulk.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -1
Chitown deserves that honor.
rwf1001
So let me see here--if the timing on delivery is wrong, not this President, not the next president, unless of course whoever it is gets a second term will get the new planes! Lucky them....wonder if they'll get new cars for the motorcade too.
bdabneyjr
The new president has his vehicle delivered (brand new) on Inauguration Day of his first term.
zainulp
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

USAF picks Boeing 747-8 as next Air Force One platform

US Air Force has choosen the improved Boeing 747-8 to replace the current fleet of two iconic Boeing 747 Air Force One presidential transport planes.

http://www.aviationanalysis.net/2015/01/usaf-picks-boeing-747-8-as-air-force-one.html

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