Presenting the new Air Force One

May we present to you: the new Air Force One. On Wednesday 28 January, the US Air Force said it  has officially selected the Boeing 747-8 as the next presidential mode of air transport.  A surprise the announcement is not, good news for Boeing it is.

Three 747-8s will replace two VC-25As (heavily modified Boeing 747-200s) that currently serve as Air Force One with Air Mobility Command’s 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The two well traveled VC-25s have been in service since the early nineties and are expected to reach their planned flight hour service life in 2017.

The final contract has yet to be awarded to Boeing. The news is welcome to the company anyway, as the 747-8 showed itself not a great seller so far. The type was announced in 2005, first flew in 2010 and since has attracted only 119 orders, mostly for freighter versions. Boeing recently said it was slowing down production time of the type.

Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) versions of the 747-8 have found their way to rich middle eastern countries. The Airbus A380 was named as an Air Force One candidate, but only in a race that never really was.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest

The current Air Force One. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
An anonymous Boeing 747-8 taking off for a test flight. (Image © Boeing)
The next Air Force One. (Image © Boeing)