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VC-25A Replacement When?

Sun Feb 08, 2004 11:25 am

Ok, First off, I will say that I am aware that the VC-25s have lots of life left in them, so do not tell me "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Also, My question really isn't when as in the next few years, but more like how much longer do they plan to use the VC-25As as the presidential aircraft.

Ok, Now in the past, Most presidents would pick their aircraft such as Harry Truman and the C-118, and Ike and the VC-121, and C-121, but after they got the 707s, the presidents no longer picked the aircraft they wanted to fly. I know that over the years, the Army-Air Force has furnished the following aircraft as presidential aircraft. C-87A, C-54, C-118, C-121, VC-121, VC-137, VC-137C, VC-25A, and C-32. So, they got the twin VC-25A aircraft 82-8000, and 92-9000 in 1990 which replaced the 2 VC-137C aircraft that were delivered in 1962, and 197_?. It seems like the VC-137C 72-7000 was only 19 years old when they replaced it. Well, The VC-25As are coming up on their 14th birthdays soon, so my question is when they hit 20 does the USAF plan on purchasing new 747s or maybe the 7E7. I know this questions irks some people, but I feel like with the deficit that GWB has gotten us in, those VC-25As may be in the fleet for many many years to come. I know they came with standard 747-200B flight decks (which the air force has since fitted with Glass Flight Decks), but as they are constantly being upgraded and maintained for ready use 24/7, Does anyone think that the VC-25s could be around for another 45-50 years? Any information will be appreciated.
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RE: VC-25A Replacement When?

Sun Feb 08, 2004 11:32 am

45-50 years?.. no. It depends on the next big, best thing to roll out of Boeing's hanger doors  Big grin I would guess that replacement would come around 2020.. giving the VC25s 30 years of service..
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RE: VC-25A Replacement When?

Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:03 pm

2020 would be a good window for them to start planning for a replacement.
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RE: VC-25A Replacement When?

Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:00 pm

With the way they baby Presidental aircraft, they could still be flying them for another 15-20 years easily. These a/c fly nowhere near the amount of cycles a regular commercial jet does, so that can extend the life by many years. Of course, the big question is what will be the replacement a/c when they finally replace the VC-25A. Will the 747 still even be in production then? If so, I expect the AF1 to remain a 747, just a whatever the newest variant is; the designation to remain the VC-25, just with a new letter designation to denote the new variant. Could it possibly be a 777? The 757 is a member of the Presdiental fleet, so why not a widebody twin? Worse comes to worse, AF1 could become an Airbus if Boeing doesn't build any four engined widebodies. But for all we know, the breakthrough in the development of next generation SST will have happened by then, and AF1 could be an SST.
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RE: VC-25A Replacement When?

Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:31 am

Whatever it does come to be many many years down the road from now, I have money on it that it will not be a twin-jet even though given their proven reliability. More than likely a 4-engined aircraft.
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RE: VC-25A Replacement When?

Mon Feb 09, 2004 8:02 am

If I were the President I would get the ball rolling on a supersonic or hypersonic replacement for the 747 when the time comes. Possibly an "executive transport" version of the B-1B or something like that. I think that a supersonic Air Force One would be a "competitive advantage" of the first order, because the President would be able to fly anywhere in the world in much less time than it takes for him now, if the plane can get approval to fly overland and has sufficient range to fly transpacific routes without refueling.

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RE: VC-25A Replacement When?

Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:31 pm

Nah, the President has to carry an entourage with him. Reporters love flying on AF1.

And who says Presidents don't still pick their planes? Reagan was the one with the guts to order not one but two 747s. Too bad they weren't delivered during his presidency.

And besides, the 747 is probably the toughest large jet flying today. It may not have some of the advanced safety features of the 777, but if I was going to be in an airplane that got hit by a SAM, I'd want to be in a 747.
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RE: VC-25A Replacement When?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:56 am

Uh, Well, I have my money that the USAF will order 2 747-400ER aircraft when the time comes. BTW -- Reagan was on the First Flight with Bush SR. on the new 747. Even though Reagan was not president when Bush SR. was, Reagan still flew with Bush SR. extensively.
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RE: VC-25A Replacement When?

Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:37 am

Considering that the 707 AF1 served for about thirty years my bet is the current AF1 will be around for at least another fifteen. For the 747-400ER to be ordered one would have to assume that the aircraft will still be in production. By then the they might have a -500 or god forbid the line might not be open. My bets are on a 777-200LR or a 7E7-Stretch. My guess is the 7E7
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