Donald Trump reportedly wants to repaint Air Force One, the iconic Boeing 747 that has carried 11 U.S. presidents, to be more “more American,” Axios is reporting.
According to an insider source close to the negotiations, Trump and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg met back in February to discuss specifics of a pending $4 billion deal to replace the aging presidential aircraft with two new, fresh replacements. He apparently has a wish list of new features, not the least of which is a new color scheme. Specifically, he doesn’t care for the current color scheme of white on robin’s egg blue (or officially, “luminous ultramarine,” according to the manufacturer). The design dates back to the Kennedy administration, and Trump is apparently not fond of it. He’d prefer red, white and blue.
Officially, any aircraft on which the president is flying is given the handle “Air Force One.” So if, for example, Trump went for a ride in a buddy’s Cessna, that plane would be “Air Force One” for as long as the POTUS was on it. Unofficially, the term “Air Force One” refers to either SAM 28000 or SAM 29000, the twin presidential aircraft that have been in use since 1990. Those two planes are at – or well past – the end of their useful lives, and are scheduled to be replaced in the next few years.
Though Trump may be interested in a new color scheme, the Air Force is reportedly not pleased at all about it. The scheme has five decades of history behind it and is instantly recognizable around the world. Reportedly some “top Air Force officers” reject the proposed change.
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss isn’t thrilled, either.
“Every time you see that blue trim and the words ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’ spelled out in that same typeface as an early version of the Declaration of Independence, it brings back JFK landing in Germany to speak at the Berlin Wall, Richard Nixon flying to China, Ronald Reagan stepping off the plane to see Gorbachev in Iceland and a thousand other scenes of Presidents in our past.”
Besides the new color scheme, Trump has a few other items on his agenda for the new aircraft. For example, rumor has it that he wants a bigger bed, as well as luxuries such as he would find on his own personal aircraft, such as the Boeing 757 that served as his campaign plane.
Even if he gets his wish to have a new paint job on Air Force One, Trump may not get to fly on it. If he’s not re-elected in 2020, Trump will be out of office before the new planes are expected to come into service sometime in 2021.