The United States government has selected a brand new model of jet to fill the role of Air Force One, President Obama’s specialized plane. The U.S. Air Force announced that a fleet of Boeing 747-8 jets will take over the duty of Air Force One, flying the president around the world quickly, safely, and luxuriously.
According to AOL, the Pentagon was responsible for picking the new Air Force One jets, replacing the outdated model of Boeing VC-25 airplanes. The new model of Boeing 747-8 were chosen based on strict Air Force One requirements, including four engines and a wide body.
Currently, no single Air Force One jet has been labeled as Obama’s private vessel. Whichever plane Obama takes at a given time will be considered Air Force One. All the Boeing 747-8 jets will be fitted with the necessary assets and amenities for the President, including 4,000 square feet of personal office space, a conference room, and a lavatory.
The secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James, released the following statement about the new Air Force One jets.
“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. 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.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the new Air Force One planes are listed at $368 million a piece and stand as Boeing’s most recent model of world-famous jumbo jet. 747-8’s have been in production since 2012. While the Pentagon hasn’t officially signed a contract with the production company, they informed Boeing that, after careful evaluation of the vessels, the 747-8 was likely to win the bid as the new Air Force One jet.
“This decision is not a contract award to procure 747-8 aircraft,” said Colonel Amy McCain, the program manager of Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization.
“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.”
As the process of choosing the new Air Force One model is finalized, the United States Air Force will exercise full control over the production of Boeing 747-8 jets to ensure that the planes remain state of the art.
What do you think about the Pentagon’s choice for new Air Force One jets?