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The US Air Force and Boeing have unveiled what the new Air Force One planes will look like – with very slight tweaks made to the existing color scheme.

Both VC-25Bs – a heavily modified Boeing 747 – have the familiar duck egg blue, gold and white design commissioned by former first lady Jaqueline Kennedy-Onassis. 

Officials say the blue is slightly darker than on the outgoing version. The bright silver sections which strafe the body of the existing plane have also been made smaller. 

The pair of planes are set to cost $3.9billion – far higher than a regular 747-8, which used to retail for about $420million, but they’ll be packed with sophisticated technology that’ll effectively render them an airborne White House.

The new color scheme scraps the darker red, white, and blue livery proposed by former President Donald Trump.

A rendering provided by the U.S. Air Force shows the new livery design for the new Air Force One, selected by President Joe Biden

A rendering provided by the U.S. Air Force shows the new livery design for the new Air Force One, selected by President Joe Biden

Biden is sticking with a blue-and-white color scheme for the exterior of the coming new version of Air Force One

Biden is sticking with a blue-and-white color scheme for the exterior of the coming new version of Air Force One

In 2018, President Donald Trump came up with a 'patriotic design' using red, white and blue

In 2018, President Donald Trump came up with a ‘patriotic design’ using red, white and blue

A model of Trump's proposed Air Force One is seen in the Oval Office in June 2019

A model of Trump’s proposed Air Force One is seen in the Oval Office in June 2019

Trump looked at four different color schemes and preferred a red, white and blue design with blue engines. Trump said the redesign was 'stronger' and 'actually more beautiful'

Trump looked at four different color schemes and preferred a red, white and blue design with blue engines. Trump said the redesign was ‘stronger’ and ‘actually more beautiful’

Trump’s preferred ‘patriotic color scheme’ was rejected last year because Boeing said it would require additional engineering and add to the time taken to build together with additional costs.  

The dark blue paint threatened to overheat sophisticated electronic components on board and would have required additional Federal Aviation Administration qualification testing, the Air Force explained. 

It was also claimed Trump’s proposals could compromise the security of the plane, as the sky-blue paint on its underbelly helps camouflage it from potential enemies on the ground. 

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung couldn’t resist a dig at Biden following the move away from Trump’s patriotic color scheme.

‘Sounds like Joe Biden isn’t a fan of Red, White, and Blue– the colors of the American flag.’

The existing Air Force Ones were introduced during the presidency of George H.W. Bush in 1990. And while they’ve been impeccably maintained and updated, airliners’ air frames weaken slightly with each trip into the skies, meaning the jets were always eventually going to require a replacement. 

The ‘Next Air Force One,’ as it is being called will largely feature the same colors as the aircraft it’s replacing, with one subtle change to the shade of blue around the nose and engines of the aircraft which will be a slightly darker color.

Overall the scheme stays true to the design Air Force One has worn since President John F. Kennedy was in the White House 60 years ago and which then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy advised on the design. 

President Joe Biden selected the new livery in order for Boeing to conduct engineering, certification preparation, and more for the VC-25B aircraft, which is a modified Boeing 747-8i. 

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Although the modified 747s are commonly referred to as Air Force One, the name is actually applied to any plane that the president is traveling on.  

The Air Force also announced the first VC-25B is scheduled to be delivered in 2027 with second arriving in 2028. 

The newly selected paint scheme will not add any further costs to the price of the plane. 

Overall the scheme stays true to the design Air Force One has worn since President John F. Kennedy was in the White House 60 years ago, with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy advising

Overall the scheme stays true to the design Air Force One has worn since President John F. Kennedy was in the White House 60 years ago, with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy advising 

A rare color picture showing John and Jackie Kennedy in front of the Air Force One design which they oversaw. The photograph was taken when they landed in San Antonio, Texas, the day before JFK was assassinated. Air Force One at the time was a Boeing 707

A rare color picture showing John and Jackie Kennedy in front of the Air Force One design which they oversaw. The photograph was taken when they landed in San Antonio, Texas, the day before JFK was assassinated. Air Force One at the time was a Boeing 707

Air Force One, a Boeing VC-137C in the final assembly stage at the Boeing Plant in Renton Washington in 1962

Air Force One, a Boeing VC-137C in the final assembly stage at the Boeing Plant in Renton Washington in 1962

Ariel view of Air Force One in flight over Virginia, in 1977. The plane entered service in 1972, and was retired in 2001

Ariel view of Air Force One in flight over Virginia, in 1977. The plane entered service in 1972, and was retired in 2001

History of Air Force One 

In 1943, officials became concerned about the president traveling on commercial airlines.

A C-54 Skymaster was converted for presidential use, carrying Franklin D. Roosevelt to Yalta in 1945 before it was used by Harry Truman.

The call sign was created in 1953 after a Lockheed Constellation, named Columbine II, was almost destroyed.

Dwight Eisenhower was on board when air traffic controllers confused flight numbers of Eastern Airlines flight 8610 and the presidential craft, which at the time was called Air Force 8610.

Officials thought it was wise to use the name ‘Air Force One’ to prevent an event like that happening in the future

The first Lockheed Constellation was replaced by another, Columbine III, and then two Boeing 707s from the 1960s.

Since 1990, two customized Boeing 747-200Bs have been used.

Boeing first struck a deal for two new planes with then-President Trump. 

Trump had wanted the aircraft to be ready by 2021, but the project has faced a several of delays including the pandemic, manpower shortages, and design timelines.

Last year, Boeing CEO David Calhoun said the $3.9 billion contract that Boeing signed to build the planes was a mistake for the company, as it incurred losses noting how the 2018 deal with the Air Force included ‘a very unique set of risks that Boeing probably shouldn’t have taken.’

Trump was very hands-on when it came to the Air Force One redesign and met with deal meeting with Boeing execs at the White House to seal the deal. 

‘Air Force One is going to be incredible,’ Trump said at the time. ‘It’s going to be the top of the line, the top in the world. And it’s going to be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.’  

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The presidential plane contains classified communication gear to allow the president to be in constant communication with the outside world and features special items like a surgery suite. 

It has a private office and conference room for the president’s use. If necessary, a president could run a nuclear war from his plane.

Unlike a normal 747, the plane has its own retractable stairways, for the rear entrance and the front entrance. And its own baggage loader so it can be entirely self serviceable if it needs to be.

It also has an in-flight refueling system that gives it the ability to stay up in the air indefinitely.

The updated planes will also have updated security features, many of which are classified. 

National Geographic’s experts speculated the plane would be equipped with decoy burning flares to deflect heat seeking missiles and would have high-tech lasers that could not only disable a guided missile’s tracking system, but actually destroy them in flight.  

New wiring was being installed for the plane to be able to withstand electromagnetic interference allowing Air Force One to keep operating even if there’s a nearby nuclear blast.   

The new wingshape will also allow the planes to take off and land on shorter runways. 

Air Force One’s new kitchen will allow staff to serve 2,000 meals on an overseas trip and prepare fresh meals while in flight. 

Once all the additional elements are in place, the two planes that will serve as Air Force One will be flight-tested for two years. 

Since the 1940s, seven different plane types have been specifically designed to carry the American president. 

Air Force One's current livery originated in the 1960s and the two 747s currently used as Air Force One date back to the 1990s

Air Force One’s current livery originated in the 1960s and the two 747s currently used as Air Force One date back to the 1990s  

President Joe Biden gets off Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, after traveling to Virginia Beach, U.S., on his way back to the White House, last month

President Joe Biden gets off Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, after traveling to Virginia Beach, U.S., on his way back to the White House, last month

A welcome mat of one of the two 747s currently being used as Air Force One. These planes have been flying the president since the 1990s

A welcome mat of one of the two 747s currently being used as Air Force One. These planes have been flying the president since the 1990s 

MEET THE NEW AIR FORCE ONE – THE FASTEST AND BIGGEST BOEING 747 EVER

The USAF says the light blue on the new model of the modified 747s that transport the president will be a little bit deeper and more modern in tone than the current robin's egg blue

The USAF says the light blue on the new model of the modified 747s that transport the president will be a little bit deeper and more modern in tone than the current robin’s egg blue

Two Boeing 747-8s will be modified to replace the existing fleet of presidential 747-200s, which are designated VC-25A by the Air Force.

The planes are expected to enter service by 2027 and will be designated VC-25B. Here is how the old and new compare.

Wingspan

Boeing 747-200: 95ft 8in

747-8: 224ft 5in 

Length

747-200: 31ft 10in

747-8: 205ft 2in 

Top speed

747-200: 0.85 Mach – 644.5 miles per hour

747-8:  0.855 Mach – 656.0 miles per hour

Range

747-200: 6,375 nautical miles – equivalent of Washington D.C. to Tokyo 

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747-8: 7,730 nautical miles – equivalent of Washington D.C. to Hong Kong 

An artist's sketch of what the presidential office could look like on the new Air Force Ones, which aren't expected to come online until 2027

An artist’s sketch of what the presidential office could look like on the new Air Force Ones, which aren’t expected to come online until 2027

A worker walks around the floor of one of the 747-8s currently under construction to become the new Air Force Ones

A worker walks around the floor of one of the 747-8s currently under construction to become the new Air Force Ones 

This is what upgraded president's conference room could look like in the two new planes, which aren't expected to be in use until 2027

This is what upgraded president’s conference room could look like in the two new planes, which aren’t expected to be in use until 2027

Footage reveals that Trump requested that the new Air Force Ones' beds become queen-sized instead of twin

Footage reveals that Trump requested that the new Air Force Ones’ beds become queen-sized instead of twin 

The current layout of the presidential bedroom has twin beds that convert into seating

The current layout of the presidential bedroom has twin beds that convert into seating 

One upgrade Trump requested was for Air Force One to have a bigger bed, a queen-size, compared to the twin fold-outs available now in the president's bedroom

One upgrade Trump requested was for Air Force One to have a bigger bed, a queen-size, compared to the twin fold-outs available now in the president’s bedroom 

A National Geographic documentary, 'The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress,' shows behind-the-scenes footage of the two new 747-8s being constructed

A National Geographic documentary, ‘The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress,’ shows behind-the-scenes footage of the two new 747-8s being constructed 

Maximum load at take-off

747-200: 833,000lb  – 427.5 tons

747-8: 987,000lb – 493.5 tons

On board facilities

Travel in style: President Obama in the 747-200's conference / dining room

Travel in style: President Obama in the 747-200’s conference / dining room

747-200: In-flight refueling; self-contained baggage loader; two galleys providing 100 meals in one sitting; capacity for 3,000 frozen meals held in five chillers; conference / executive dining room; self-contained office for president; sitting area which converts into bedroom for president and first lady; on-board hospital; offices for staff; crew rest area; business-class style cabin for reporters.

747-8: Specifications still to be released but extra floor area – the top deck is more than twice as long as on a 747-200 – will mean more space for conference and rest areas. 747-8s can allow extra rest areas above the passenger floor at the rear called the ‘crown’.

Service history

747-200: Commissioned by Ronald Reagan,  entered service 1990 and have carried presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. They will fly the winner of the 2020 election.

Obama on board: The 44th president was one of five who have flown on the 747-200s. If Trump loses in 2020, that number will climb to six

Obama on board: The 44th president was one of five who have flown on the 747-200s. If Trump loses in 2020, that number will climb to six

Personal space: Laura Bush and her husband President George W. Bush in the president and first lady's quarters

Personal space: Laura Bush and her husband President George W. Bush in the president and first lady’s quarters

747-8: Need for new presidential planes first put in writing in 2009, with three requested. Airbus A380s were also considered but their manufacturer dropped out of consideration. Latest order was due to be delivered  in 2024

Who else has got one?

747-200: No other known VIP 747-200s exist. No 747-200s remain in scheduled commercial passenger service

747-8: Current owners of VIP 747-8s are believed to include: Qatar, four, one reserved for the emir; Kuwait, one; Sultan of Oman, one; Sultan of Brunei, one; Morocco for use by its king, one; United Arab Emirates, seven; Hong Kong real estate tycoon Joseph Lau

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