TUSaadvantage From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 160 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
As you all know, Air Force One has been a 747-200 for quite some time. Does anyone think its time for an upgrade? Should Bush upgrade to a 744, 777LR, or possibly a 787? Maybe he'll go eco friendly and get a BBJ (I doubt it though). Maybe an Airbus, to improve his standing with the French? I'd love to see him in a "pansy" French A380. Your thoughts?
AirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
The current AF1 came on line in 1988/89 time period. Based on the number of flight hours and cycles it still has a long life span left, and parts are still available.. the previous AF1 lasted nearly 26 years, so lets not spend $400 million non new planes (have to purchase at least two) just yet.
Columba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7141 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
First of all the VC 25A will stay around for a while. Remember who long the VC 137s (707s) were used ?
I would rule out the 747-400 since it won´t be in production anymore when it comes to a replacement.
Leaving only the 777 and the 747-8 as an option. Both airplanes are a realistic option and I guess it depends on how the priorities are. Does the US goverment want to give a signal and buy the little smaller more economic plane or will they go for prestige with a bigger 747.
I could very well imagine a VC777LR as "Air Force 1". Technology is getting smaller so they could get everything that they fitted in a 747-200 in a 777 now.
The 777LR would have the range to reach every possible destination nonstop.
Fuel consumption would be lower a good argument for the tax payers.
It would be cheaper to get if the AF decides for the KC777 as well.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
Ikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21890 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting SkyvanMan (Reply 3): New aircraft aren't needed and should only be ordered once spending has gone to everyting that is needed, so basically once the U.S. is in top 5 worldwide in education agian then maybe consider it.
While the Federal Government does provide money for education, it is actually the responsibility of the STATES to provide funding. Money for presidential transport is frankly much more constitutional than federal spending on education. It may not be PC to say that, but it's reality.
And Bush aint gonna get to fly it, so it would be a matter of legacy, not of "I want to fly a new jet."
Quoting AirCop (Reply 6): the previous AF1 lasted nearly 26 years
That isn't true, at least as AF1.
SAM 26000, the Kennedy's AF1 was from 1962. But SAM 27000, added in 1974, became the primary aircraft as AF1, with SAM 26000 relegated to backup duty. Thus, SAM 26000 was the primary AF1 for only 12-13 years, SAM 27000 was the primary AF1 for 16-17 years.
The first 742 arrived in 1990, and took over primary AF1 duties. SAM 28000 was the tail number. SAM 27000 replaced SAM 26000 as AF2 until the 757s came online. But SAM 27000 wasn't scrapped, so if you mean that it lasted 26 years (1972-1998) then that is true to the extent it served as a white house aircraft, but not as AF1.
29000 entered service in 1991, and it and 28000 have been interchangeable since. But both will have served LONGER as AF1 than either of the 707s by the time a 748i can be built and modified as a replacement (2012?). 21-22 years is a pretty long time, really. Technology has progressed quite a bit since then, and retrofitting the current 747s would be quite expensive.
Neither would act as AF2 in normal situations, though I would imagine there would be instances where one of the 742s would be designated AF2. But I doubt both 28000 and 29000 would be kept in presidential trim. The Air Force would convert one to other uses.
Quoting Columba (Reply 8): Does the US goverment want to give a signal and buy the little smaller more economic plane or will they go for prestige with a bigger 747.
It's got nothing to do with that. 4 engines.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
IMatAMS From Netherlands, joined Feb 2005, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
I don't think anyone will be in a big hurry to replace them. Such aircraft are 1 of a kind (or rather 2) and very expensive to build/modify. And there really isn't much need yet. the VC-25A, while originally based on a 742, has a lot of modifications and modernisations, including modern engines I believe, and is kept rather up-to-date. Moreover, while old in years, in cycles, which is what really counts, it still has lots of years of active service left..
AirTranTUS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
The VC-25 has the best maintenance program that can be had. When was the last time you saw one divert for mechanical reasons? Those airplanes are kept in exquisite shape. They probably clean them after every trip to keep the silver exhaust cones gleaming. With the way they are kept, they will probably last as long or longer than B-52's or NW DC-9's.
The VC-25s currently serving as Air Force One are relatively young in terms of cycles.
Furthermore, the cost to replace them will be enormous. Additionally, the time to build them will be lengthy. These 747-200 based aircraft currently in service were ordered during the Reagan administration when the 747-200 was still in production. By the time they were delivered, Boeing was already building a 747-400.
If USAF replaces the VC-25s, they will surely secure replacements with 747-8s.
Quoting Elite (Reply 14): Does anyone know how much does it cost (roughly) to replace Air Force One?
Wikipedia reports that the current VC-25s were $325 million, each. Account for inflation, etc, I'd make the bet a replacement will run $500 million, each.
Gh123 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting BigJimFX (Reply 4): I love Airbus more than the next guy, but to indulge the thought that the American President will fly in a foreign assembled aircraft is laughable.
It would shake the American people to the core
Well they have selected the Merlin EH101 over that S92 for the Marine Presidential helicopter flight.
Granted, it will be made my MD (I think) but it is still a European aircraft.
BDL2DCA From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Quoting N174UA (Reply 7): Any AF1 replacement won't occur until after W leaves office...Bill-ary may get to fly in the new plane, or maybe John McCain.
The 742s were ordered during the Reagan administration and came into service during the Bush (I) administration. Even if the plane were ordered today, it is unlikely it would be built prior to the 2012 election.
Quoting IMatAMS (Reply 12): I don't think anyone will be in a big hurry to replace them. Such aircraft are 1 of a kind (or rather 2) and very expensive
Actually, there are more than that. Two aircraft are regularly used as AF1, but there are other planes built to similar spec which serve as the flying command center.
As for the 777 versus 747 issue, I think it is likely that a new 747 would be ordered because of its distinctive profile. Even though the 777 really represents the current pinnacle of American aviation engineering, the 747 is still more recognizable.
Right now, even though the appropriation would be relatively small in US Government terms, it is unlikely that ordering new aircraft would get through the Senate. It is just too visable of a transaction, and the Democrats as well as the fiscal conservatives would make political hay out of further increasing the deficit just to "improve" Air Force 1.
Remember, that the 707s were not only falling apart, but way too small when they were replaced. There is no current size need to replace the 742s with a bigger plane.