New Air Force One Jets-Less Range, No Mid-Air Refueling
Let’s walk this back. Trump wanted a less costly AF1. Boeing had a couple of airframes a Russian customer canceled. Huh. Fair enough so far. But then we discover these won’t fit in the existing hangar, so a new one would have to be built. No more savings, now more costly. The plane was said to have more range than the old one. Also untrue as we see below.
This means a real mid-air refueling capable command aircraft will accompany AF1 on many of its trips, adding another sophisticated classified aircraft, crews and all that goes with it moving forward. Very expensive. 5.4 Billion dollars.
A new Pentagon report to Congress reportedly says that the two future Air Force One replacement aircraft, which won’t have a mid-air refueling capability, will have an approximate maximum range that is over 1,000 miles less than originally planned. The pair of modified Boeing 747-8is, which will be designated VC-25Bs, will have a number of other reduced capabilities compared to the original requirements, even as it appears that the program’s costs have grown. These revelations all come as President Donald Trump’s Administration is seeking to speed up delivery of the planes and maybe even change their iconic blue-and-white paint scheme.