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New Air Force 1 And E-4Bs?  
User currently offlineDL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6040 times:

Right now there are 2 "Air Force 1s" and (i think... i couldnt find an exact number) 3 E4s (a and b models combined). As of now they are well maintained and up to date. But eventually these planes will need to be replaced. Lets face it, the 742s they are based off are not as efficient, even with the newer engines, compared to newer aircraft. That makes 5 747 planes. Right now there are 5 747-8 Biz Jet models on order. I kind of doubt there would be that many people who would want the 748 around the same time. Obviously the 747-8 is the best replacement, i don't think they would move to a smaller plane like the 787, the president probably likes having a 747 (i would to).

Now the current planes are maintained and kept up to date, but the first 748s wont even enter service until late 2009 or 2010. Just like the first AF1, they were ordered then underwent extensive changes in wiring and missle detection sensors and all the rest of the good military stuff and of course the awesome interior. That obviously takes a lot of time for a normal airline and with it being for the president it would take even longer. So if they were ordered now, delivered in 2010-2011 by the time they were retrofited for the President and for the pentagon it would be time to replace the old 742s.

Does this make sense, it seems a little odd that 5 748s would be ordered around the same time, while there are currently 5 742s.

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3424 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6032 times:

Some speculate that is what the 2 748-BBJ orders are for, but I doubt it. I would assume that they would order 1 to start with, since the current VC25 frames have plenty of life left. The second one could come a few years later creating a natural refit/upgrade cycle between the two frames. Its also within reason that a 777LR model would be selected for "AirForce 1" duty as modern systems are smaller/lighter, it has a huge floor space too, and is more "modest".

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6030 times:

I could see the E-4s being retired in the next 15 years with no replacement as there is little chance of a Nuclear attack from the USSR. the VC-25s are proably the best maintained commercial aircraft on the planet. These aircraft have relitivly low hours and are babied by the USAF, they will not need to be replaced for 20 years.

As for the 5 748 UFOs, I am sure that a few are VIP aircraft, but I would guess that atleast 2 are for the YAL-1 ABL program. They have stated that they will purchase 748s rather than getting used 744s. I remember hearing there was 2 744Fs ordered, 1 was delivered, modified, and is currently having the weapon system intergraded, but I havent heard anything about the second airframe in quite a while.



User currently offlineDa man From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 887 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6024 times:



Quoting DL767captain (Thread starter):

There are actually 7 747s in the USAF: (But only 6 are passenger models)

In order of age:
4 E-4s (3 originally delivered as A model and later upgraded to B model) (One originally delivered as a B model)
Ordered in 1973 and delivered 1973-1975
2 VC-25As - Ordered in 1986 and delivered starting in 1990 according to Boeing



War Eagle!
User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6003 times:



Quoting DL767captain (Thread starter):
But eventually these planes will need to be replaced. Lets face it, the 742s they are based off are not as efficient, even with the newer engines, compared to newer aircraft.

While this may be true, a civilian 747 has a different roll to fill than it's military cousin.

A civilian 747's primary role in an airline setting is to make money. When the cost of operating and maintaining it grows to a point when it is not generating enough profit for its owner, it is replaced, generally speaking.

The VC-25, on the other hand, isn't in service to make money for its operator. Its primary purpose is to transport the President and enable them to conduct the business of the nation anywhere at any time. How much money it costs to operate the aircraft is a consideration, though not high on the list of priorities.

The day will come when a new aircraft will take its place in the Presidential fleet. But that won't happen for a long time, as the current aircraft is more than capable. I would be surprised if the contract for the VC-25 replacement is awarded before 2020 or so.


User currently offlineMCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5997 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
As for the 5 748 UFOs, I am sure that a few are VIP aircraft, but I would guess that atleast 2 are for the YAL-1 ABL program. They have stated that they will purchase 748s rather than getting used 744s. I remember hearing there was 2 744Fs ordered, 1 was delivered, modified, and is currently having the weapon system intergraded, but I havent heard anything about the second airframe in quite a while.

I could be wrong, it's a classified program and things are pretty fluid around ABL, but it's my understanding that they need to demonstrate an actual shoot down capability before they'll be allowed to order even one "production" frame. You're right though, if ABL goes forward they'll be 748s. Actually, Boeing looked at the ABL timetable and pretty much dictated it, telling USAF that they don't really have a choice since 744 will out of production by then. I'm sure ACC isn't crying about the more powerful engines and longer range though. 

[Edited 2007-12-11 22:55:36]


Airliners.net Moderator Team
User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7088 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5950 times:



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 1):
Some speculate that is what the 2 748-BBJ orders are for,

I don´t know how it is in America but the 747BBJ are on order for quite a while now and I doubt that you can keep an order for new aircraft a secret for that long especially since they have to be approved by the budget committee.



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineScouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3398 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5939 times:



Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 4):
The VC-25, on the other hand, isn't in service to make money for its operator. Its primary purpose is to transport the President and enable them to conduct the business of the nation anywhere at any time. How much money it costs to operate the aircraft is a consideration, though not high on the list of priorities.

Very true, the cost of running a military bird has to get proportially much, much higher than a commercial one before replacing it becomes cost effective - I guess when it starts to wear out and / or become a safety risk then it's time to think about new planes.


User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2457 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5874 times:



Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
As for the 5 748 UFOs, I am sure that a few are VIP aircraft, but I would guess that atleast 2 are for the YAL-1 ABL program.

You can eliminate the speculation that some of the 748BBJ's would be for an ABL platform as it has been stated that the freighter would be the platform used and not the passenger version.

With the extra size of the 748i, and the evolution of capabilities of the VC-25, don't look for an E4 replacement. I believe you'll see the "next generation" VC-25's to have all the capabilities of the E4's. There should be more than enough room in the upper deck and in the crown attic space for all the electronic equipment which currently is not used for anything. (that we know of) Then you'll have the "flying white house" and "flying pentagon" all in one.



Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8698 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5826 times:



Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 7):
I guess when it starts to wear out and / or become a safety risk then it's time to think about new planes.

My guess is the VC-25s will remain flying in perfect condition until about age 30. At that time, they will not be close to worn out, but they will be retired anyway for the sake of appearances.

NWA, for example, has 742s which appear to be in very nice shape, with around 100,000 hours on them, age 30 or so. We can expect VC-25s will last as long without a problem. Fuel burn is not a concern for them, either. Fuel is a very minor expense, compared to the total cost of a Presidential trip.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8698 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 5825 times:



Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 8):
Then you'll have the "flying white house" and "flying pentagon" all in one.

Interesting idea, but should we really place such a sensitive asset at every location the President flies to?

Why not continue to have the E4-B, to use especially for wars? Obviously the AF1 needs military hardware, but to kit it out as a "flying Pentagon" makes it an espionage risk. JMO.

Or how about this, buy 2 new 748I for Presidential use, and re-fit the interior of the VC-25s for a full Pentagon configuration. Our military is awfully big. It seems an entire 747 could easily be filled with the hardware and staff needed to run it.

AF1 can carry the essentials, but...


User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2457 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5779 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Interesting idea, but should we really place such a sensitive asset at every location the President flies to?

My understanding is that whenever the POTUS goes abroad, the E4's are relatively close by as well.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
but to kit it out as a "flying Pentagon" makes it an espionage risk. JMO.

Well, no more than on the VC-25 or even the E4 for that matter.



Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31241 posts, RR: 85
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5760 times:
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Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
I could see the E-4s being retired in the next 15 years with no replacement as there is little chance of a Nuclear attack from the USSR.

The E-4B fleet is being retired much sooner then that (a few years, I believe) and their duties are being added to the USN's E-6 TACAMO planes.

Quoting Columba (Reply 6):
(T)he 747BBJ are on order for quite a while now and I doubt that you can keep an order for new aircraft a secret for that long especially since they have to be approved by the budget committee.

Correct. If the USAF had purchased these planes as part of a recent US defense budget authorization, then there would be a public record of them as they are not considered a "black" project.


User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4936 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5749 times:

Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 8):

Quoting Oroka (Reply 2):
As for the 5 748 UFOs, I am sure that a few are VIP aircraft, but I would guess that atleast 2 are for the YAL-1 ABL program.

You can eliminate the speculation that some of the 748BBJ's would be for an ABL platform as it has been stated that the freighter would be the platform used and not the passenger version.

What aircraft Boeing actually installed a laser weapon on so far, is a (surprise) Lockheed C-130H for system testing and demonstration.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...nstalls-laser-weapon-on-c-130.html

Quote:
"Boeing moved closer earlier this month to realizing a seven-year goal to demonstrate a high-powered laser as a weapon aboard a Lockheed Martin C-130H.

The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL), including its 12,000lb integrated module was integrated on the aircraft on 4 December. The combined system also was aligned with the beam control system.

Boeing plans to demonstrate the combined system in 2008 for the US Special Operations Command, completing an advanced concept technology demonstration project begun in 2001."


[Edited 2007-12-12 12:19:21]


"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3424 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5593 times:



Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 13):
What aircraft Boeing actually installed a laser weapon on so far, is a (surprise) Lockheed C-130H for system testing and demonstration.....

Uh, Thats a different program than the one the 747 is being used for. The 747 has been flying around Whitesands for years doing testing and development work.


User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5571 times:



Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 8):
I believe you'll see the "next generation" VC-25's to have all the capabilities of the E4's.

I agree. I've spoken with individuals familiar with both programs, and the general consensus is that the E-4 is not significantly more capable than the VC-25As, which have been upgraded far more frequently since service entry. If they are as close as these folks suggest, its not hard to imagine a single-aircraft replacement (especially when we consider aircraft like the E-6 will pick up any slack).



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineFsnuffer From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 252 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5496 times:

One thing to consider is the E-4B's have been very valuable at getting communications and "office space" into disaster areas like New Orleans after Katrina very quickly. The E-4B's may find a new home at a non-DoD agency.

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31241 posts, RR: 85
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5449 times:
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Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 16):
One thing to consider is the E-4B's have been very valuable at getting communications and "office space" into disaster areas like New Orleans after Katrina very quickly. The E-4B's may find a new home at a non-DoD agency.

I imagine FEMA could get them, but Congress is not too happy with them at the moment and may not want to spend the cash to convert and maintain them.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8698 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5420 times:

According to this link Boeing Continues E-4B Modification Work, the E-4B fleet is getting some very new communications gear at Wichita. Or, at least reasonably modern gear, to replace the rotary telephones  Smile

User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5381 times:



Quoting DL767captain (Thread starter):
but the first 748s wont even enter service until late 2009 or 2010. Just like the first AF1, they were ordered then underwent extensive changes in wiring and missle detection sensors and all the rest of the good military stuff and of course the awesome interior. That obviously takes a lot of time for a normal airline and with it being for the president it would take even longer. So if they were ordered now, delivered in 2010-2011 by the time they were retrofited for the President and for the pentagon it would be time to replace the old 742s.

I really wish people would stop beating this horse. The 707s flew for how long? did they really *need* to be retired? No.

Just think of it this way. The first pilot of the next generation Air Force 1 hasn't even been born yet. In fact, his parents might still be in diapers.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31241 posts, RR: 85
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5246 times:
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Quoting Flighty (Reply 18):
Or, at least reasonably modern gear, to replace the rotary telephones.  Smile

Yes, the rotary telephones added with the -B variant were a nice upgrade from the tin cans used in the -A. The only reason the E-4 was a 747 instead of a 707 was they needed the larger cargo bays to hold all the string.  Silly


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8698 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5210 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 20):

Yes, the rotary telephones added with the -B variant were a nice upgrade from the tin cans used in the -A. Th

Ahahaha.

Quoting CaptOveur (Reply 19):
The first pilot of the next generation Air Force 1 hasn't even been born yet. In fact, his parents might still be in diapers.

If you are saying today's VC-25 can last until 2040 or 2050, well, of course you are right. Even then it will not crack 100,000 hours. A new interior in around 2012 for say $50 million to $80 million, each jet, is very cheap compared to new airframes. And new airframes are not needed.

However, for simple symbolic reasons, the president might want to have new jets. I am thinking Y3 possibly. After all, the VC-25 is just about as good for the mission as a 748. A bit shorter range, a bit less space, but no big deal really. With upgraded electronics and interior, the VC-25 can be a very fine head of state jet. I hope it does get that interior makeover.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5209 times:



Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 8):
You can eliminate the speculation that some of the 748BBJ's would be for an ABL platform as it has been stated that the freighter would be the platform used and not the passenger version.

Ohhhh... I was just assuming these orders were UFOs, not specifically BBJs.


User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2457 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5058 times:



Quoting Oroka (Reply 22):
Ohhhh... I was just assuming these orders were UFOs, not specifically BBJs.

I don't know if this is the case, I was just simply stating that the ABL would not be on the passenger version.



Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
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