With a few modifications, the new Air Force One, which will take the place of the existing US Presidential jet in a few years, will maintain its signature blue-and-white livery.
US President Joseph Biden has chosen to stick with the blue-and-white livery for the future Air Force One instead of his predecessor Donald Trump’s red-blue-white scheme.
VC-25B, the future Air Force One, will be a reworked Boeing 747-8i. The present Air Force One, or VC-25A, is a 747-200 that has been modified. In order to replace the two aged aircraft in the fleet, Boeing is modifying two 747-8i.
“While accounting for the VC-25B’s larger 747-8i aircraft, the VC-25B livery has three primary differences with the VC-25A’s livery. The light blue on VC-25B is a slightly deeper, more modern tone than VC-25A’s robin’s egg blue. Additionally, the VC-25B engines will use the darker blue from the cockpit area vice the VC-25A’s robin’s egg blue. Finally, there is no polished metal section on the VC-25B because modern commercial aircraft skin alloys don’t allow for it,” according to a US Air Force press release.
The Kennedy era is when the current livery of robin’s egg blue and white first appeared. Raymond Loewy created the livery of the VC-137C, a modified Boeing 707 that operated as Air Force One, at the request of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
For the future Air Force One, Trump preferred a red-blue-white scheme, with the top of the jet being white and the bottom being dark blue with a deep red stripe going from the cockpit to the tail.
“The Air Force previously displayed a red, white, and blue livery for the VC-25B because it had been publicly expressed as a preferred livery in 2019. A thermal study later concluded the dark blue in the design would require additional Federal Aviation Administration qualification testing for several commercial components due to the added heat in certain environments,” the Air Force press release said.
“The VC-25B aircraft will replace the current VC-25A fleet, which faces 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,” according to the press release.
Most likely, the first VC-25B will be delivered in 2027, followed by the second in 2028. Since George H. W. Bush, the VC-25A, the present Air Force One, has been transporting American presidents.
A modified Boeing 747-8, the final 747 model, will serve as the next Air Force One. The final 747 was delivered by Boeing to airline holding firm Atlas Air Worldwide on January 31 of this year, marking the end of the 747’s manufacture.