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concorde007
Topic Author
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New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:23 pm

Ok, here goes... This is my first post on Airliners.net I have been a fan for many years, and now FINALLY i am a first class member.

Congratulations aside, this article stirred my imagination...
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010...lops-plan-buy-new-air-force-fleet/

Secretary of Defense Gates, stated that there is room in the budget (ha) for a new fleet of Presidential aircraft. I cannot help but wonder what it will be, 777 787 748 A380... and what it might look like. Being the most recognized airplane in the world makes this decision difficult. What would be the biggest factor in making this choice, loyalty to American aircraft manufacturers, efficency, price, availability??? I was just wondering what all of you thought...
 
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pylon101
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:29 pm

I guess it will be Boeing 747-800. Looks obvious to me.
I am on EK 231/232. The rest is just jet lag.
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:30 pm

Quoting concorde007 (Thread starter):
Secretary of Defense Gates, stated that there is room in the budget (ha) for a new fleet of Presidential aircraft. I cannot help but wonder what it will be, 777 787 748 A380... and what it might look like. Being the most recognized airplane in the world makes this decision difficult. What would be the biggest factor in making this choice, loyalty to American aircraft manufacturers, efficency, price, availability??? I was just wondering what all of you thought...

Welcome to a.net.....  

I would be extremely surprised if a future Presidential plane was anything but American....tankers are one thing, but the Presidential plane....well, quite unimaginable.....an especially when the US has one of the worlds finest manufacturers of commercial planes who can easily customise their to meet whatever requirements the Presidential plane has.....
 
sfuk
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:30 pm

Quoting concorde007 (Thread starter):
I cannot help but wonder what it will be, 777 787 748 A380...

I'm guessing that you could pretty much rule Airbus out of the picture!

Stu
 
Eagleboy
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:31 pm

Well I would have to assume a US aircraft for reasons of national pride. The B777 or B747-8?

Yes the B747-8 is not even built yet (pax version) but the procurement process for a new AF1 could take 5-10 years.
 
tarheelwings
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:36 pm

Quoting concorde007 (Thread starter):
Secretary of Defense Gates, stated that there is room in the budget (ha) for a new fleet of Presidential aircraft. I cannot help but wonder what it will be, 777 787 748 A380... and what it might look like. Being the most recognized airplane in the world makes this decision difficult. What would be the biggest factor in making this choice, loyalty to American aircraft manufacturers, efficency, price, availability??? I was just wondering what all of you thought...

As much as Air Force One's primary purpose is to transport the President, it also is a symbol of the US (power, technology, etc) when it travels abroad. With that in mind, and will ALL DUE RESPECT to the other fine aircraft that could potentially serve in this capacity (A380, A340)..........would it make any sense for Air Force One to be anything other than an American made airplane?
 
Gr8Circle
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:38 pm

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 4):
Well I would have to assume a US aircraft for reasons of national pride. The B777 or B747-8?

Was the 747 originally chosen because it was the only available plane with range...? Does the US President really need such a big plane...? I mean, I know there is a lot of electronic equipment, etc. on board, but can't a 787 be sufficient? It has the range required....
 
caetravlr
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:42 pm

I wonder if four engines is a requirement for this plane? Something that doesn't requiring adjusting routing around being within a certain distance of a diversionary airfield at all times? Also, if the plane was not itself built in America, would all of the customization work have to be done in the U.S.? I'm guessing there are some highly secretive technologies aboard these birds.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
isitsafenow
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:49 pm

Quoting pylon101 (Reply 1):
I guess it will be Boeing 747-800. Looks obvious to me.

The way Washington has thrown $$$ around the last two years, I agree. It will be the most expensive airplane
congress will buy regardless of what the Air Force wants.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
tharanga
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:50 pm

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 6):
Does the US President really need such a big plane...?

There's a lot in that plane. Journalists who cover the White House get to ride along. I think there's a mini-hospital, as well as a lot of communications and defensive equipment.
 
413X3
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:53 pm

Isn't the replacement Marine One helicopter fleet going to a foreign manufacture? I think it's all about cost more than anything else these days. But I believe the 747-800i is the best fit. Maybe one 748i and one 777LR
 
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keesje
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:53 pm

Welcome!

There is always the future risk of a Chinese or EC AF1 showing up behind the AF1.

Not that it is really important of course..

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/747a3801024.jpg
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
tharanga
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:53 pm

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 6):
Was the 747 originally chosen because it was the only available plane with range...?

I think the DC-10 was also considered (?)
 
yooyoo
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:56 pm

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 8):
It will be the most expensive airplane
congress will buy regardless of what the Air Force wants.

How much did the President's limo cost $500,000?.....translate that into a flying "beast"  
I am so smart, i am so smart... S-M-R-T... i mean S-M-A-R-T
 
blueflyer
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:59 pm

It is kinda old news and I'd like to see the context of that comment by SecDef Gates. Did that come out of the blue, or was that in reply to a guided question from, say, a certain Republican representative from Kansas who happens to think this is a good idea ? Surely, it is only a coincidence that both Spirit, a major Boeing supplier, and Boeing itself both have factories in the state.

USAF started talking about replacing the VC-25s back in early 2009, with the first new aircraft entering service in 2017. Inquiries went out to Airbus and Boeing, but EADS decided that POTUS flying Airbus One was about as likely as snow in Florida (yeah, I know, this year etc...) and declined to answer at the time, although they may have changed their tune since (it did snow in Florida after all). Boeing replied with specs on both the 747-800 and the 787, obviously.

I have heard that back when Reagan ordered new presidential uplift, USAF could have used the 744 instead of the 742 as the basis for the VC-25 but chose not to because the 744 wasn't in service yet at the time and they didn't want to order an aircraft with no in-service reliability record. Looking at the timeline, it would have been pretty tight though, with the 744 launched in 1985 and the VC-25 due in 1987, which makes me wonder whether what I heard was correct or just a rumor. Anyone can clarify?
 
concorde007
Topic Author
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:02 pm

Thank you for all the welcomes. I know that although cost doesnt seem like much of an issue for our government, it is. One of the main reasons for replacing the fleet is soaring maintenence costs. It is no secret that 2 engines is cheaper than four, at the time i believe that the only aircraft capble of meeting the range requirement was a 747-200, now its range is shattered by a great number of new aircraft, many of them only have 2 engines. That would seem to make the 777 or 787 a solid choice. But the other issue is space. What is the size comparison of floor space on a 742 to a 777 to a 748??
 
vfw614
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:03 pm

Can the POTUS refuse to have a new AF1 ordered by the air force? (I mean, technically he can of course, being the prez). Didn't he cancel the helicopter procurement, stating that the knackered helicopter fleet has quite a few years left in it and new ones would be a waste of money?
 
blueflyer
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:07 pm

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 6):
but can't a 787 be sufficient? It has the range required....

It has the range and the interior volume to fit everything mission-critical that is in the current VC-25, and then some. it would even take less space today as a lot of the onboard electronics that was initially loaded in the VC-25 has shrunk in size. It's the "extra stuff" that the 787 may not have room for, like...

Quoting tharanga (Reply 9):
Journalists who cover the White House get to ride along.

Yeah, in first-class seating, along with a galley to keep them fed, so they don't ask too many questions. I say put in coach seats and feed them peanuts.

Quoting tharanga (Reply 9):
I think there's a mini-hospital

Correct, alongside a full pharmacy, staffed with a doctor and a nurse.

Quoting tharanga (Reply 12):
I think the DC-10 was also considered

Correct again.
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:08 pm

Quoting CAETravlr (Reply 7):
I wonder if four engines is a requirement for this plane?

I don't think it is. The fleet also has 757's, Gulfstreams, etc., those are only 2-holers. I may be wrong though as to the necesity of 4-holes for the long range stuff though.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
anstar
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:09 pm

Defiantely between the 777 and the 748.

I think the 787 is too small.

Ok - My money is on the 748
 
isitsafenow
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:10 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 14):
I have heard that back when Reagan ordered new presidential uplift, USAF could have used the 744 instead of the 742 as the basis for the VC-25 but chose not to because the 744 wasn't in service yet at the time and they didn't want to order an aircraft with no in-service reliability record. Looking at the timeline, it would have been pretty tight though, with the 744 launched in 1985 and the VC-25 due in 1987, which makes me wonder whether what I heard was correct or just a rumor. Anyone can clarify?

Reagan shot down a new bird. The Air Force was snooping around as early as 84 to replace the 707-320B or 27000.
The USAF looked at 747's, L1011 and DC10's and even peeked at the 767.
Reagan, a conservative told the AF what he has was good and fegitaboutit!
Toward the end of Ronnies second term he was convinced by other officials its time to buy a new bird or two.
Boeing had a couple of new 747-200 sitting around(They were not built for the USAF) and gave the AF estimates on converting them to their specs.
The AF took the deal to congress...they appropriated more $$$ and George Bush Senior was the first pres to use the 747-200.
safe
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:19 pm

In the Military forum I posted a note about this under a thread on the air separation around AF1. It is one thing for Gates to say there is funds to do studies etc. about a new AF1 and quite another for one(s) to be ordered. Firstly until Obama is re-elected to his second term there would be no order period. During this time of supposed fiscal restraint he wouldn't want to head into an election with a new AF1 on order. So if the economy behaves and a second slowing doesn't happen, a new AF1 could be ordered in his second term with less political fallout. Since the Europresidentialcopter   was shelved for cost overruns you know they are going to be careful with the optics.

The secret service will be so conservative with requirements, I think it is a foregone conclusion it will be a 4 holer not a 2. AF1 leaves often with a full compliment onboard so going smaller isn't a possibility. Possibly a domestic version that is smaller would be possible (77W) but a larger version for foreign trips could be looked at though. On international flights the President has to be able to conduct full operations from the aircraft and is much further from any support. 9/11 pointed out many deficiencies in the Secret Services mind, and you know requirement creep is happening big time.
 
PlaneAdmirer
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:20 pm

747-800, hands down. For international with administration on board, it's going to be a four holer and it's going to American. Is this even a debate? Two holers are fine for a VP and various cabinet secretaries and even a president going to a smaller locale, but otherwise, I doubt it.

The US can only "afford it" if the the world is willing to lend us the money for it and somehow, IMO, the rates that the world charges for us money are very, very likely to rise. The deficit was only $220 billion in February, so why not? Pull out the Visa and call Boeing.
 
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mayor
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:21 pm

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 20):

Well, I know the Air Force was flying E-4s (airborne command post) in 81 or 82 because we had them doing touch and goes at SHV when I worked there. I thought sure that the VC-25s were already in service, then.


BTW, does the VC-25 have inflight refueling capabiliity?
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
bcoz
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:21 pm

I don't want to get too much into the politics of this... And I know Secretary Gates says there is some money in the budget for some new SAM aircraft.... But, man.... with the economy the way it is and the budget deficit we have, it may not be the easiest sell politically (to the general public. Not those of us here on a.net) for the DOD to go out on a executive flight shopping spree.

Although, as noted, SAM 28000 and SAM 29000 were both delivered in late 1990... And have now outlasted their cousins as the primary presidential aircraft

SAM 27000 (1972-1990)
SAM 26000 (1962-1972)

Just some food for thought.

Also... One of the best documentaries on the history of presidential flight was done for PBS back in the late 1980s and updated in the early 1990s after the USAF took delivery of 28000 and 29000. Jimmy Stewart narrated the program. I used to have a copy on VHS and can't seem to find it. It also doesn't appear to be on YouTube. Nevertheless, if you come across it, it is a great program.

bcoz
 
boacvc10
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:24 pm

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 21):
AF1 leaves often with a full compliment onboard so going smaller isn't a possibility.

Does AF1 have extended fuel tanks for ultra long range flights? Does the aircraft have any range advantages over its civilian counterparts?
Up, up and Away!
 
kalvado
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:24 pm

I wonder what would happen with the old VC-25.
Linked article mentions 200k miles a year. If I understand things correctly, that's about 700 hours a year, or 20k hours at the time of replacement; probably top notch maintenance is there as well - so those birds should be in a good shape for resale. Wonder if that may help raising some funds towards the new order as well?..
 
BMI727
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:31 pm

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 6):
Does the US President really need such a big plane...?

The short answer is yes, he does. And there are smaller planes at his disposal when necessary.

Quoting pylon101 (Reply 1):
I guess it will be Boeing 747-800.

They would want to wait a while before choosing the 747-8. I think that they want the plane to have some years of service under its belt before it carries the president. In the late 80s when the current VC-25s were purchased the USAF could have had 747-400s, but went with the -200s instead.

Quoting yooyoo (Reply 13):
How much did the President's limo cost $500,000?

Probably more than that. The thing is built on a commercial truck chassis and has full NBC protection.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 14):
with the first new aircraft entering service in 2017.

If that is the timeframe then the 747-8 is an excellent possibility.

Quoting mayor (Reply 23):
I thought sure that the VC-25s were already in service, then.

They didn't show up until 1987 and didn't enter service until 1990.

Quoting mayor (Reply 23):
BTW, does the VC-25 have inflight refueling capabiliity?

Yes it does, along with other tricks.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:38 pm

Quoting kalvado (Reply 26):
I wonder what would happen with the old VC-25.
Linked article mentions 200k miles a year. If I understand things correctly, that's about 700 hours a year, or 20k hours at the time of replacement; probably top notch maintenance is there as well - so those birds should be in a good shape for resale. Wonder if that may help raising some funds towards the new order as well?..

IF VC-25's are replaced soon, there is a lot of service life left in the airframes and they have been maintained out the wahzoo. I could see them going to a private/public use like in one of the Arab States or to another head of state. There also could be other uses for the Air Force but that would require substantial conversion costs. A donation of one or both to a museum would be possible but that is quite a large writedown. And it isn't like the government can write it off as a charitable donation on their tax return  .
 
BMI727
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:40 pm

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 28):
I could see them going to a private/public use like in one of the Arab States or to another head of state.

There would have to be a lot of modification to remove classified equipment, so basically, they would need to more or less be gutted. I think that it is more likely that they remain in service with the USAF, but just are not the primary presidential transports.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
blueflyer
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:45 pm

Quoting kalvado (Reply 26):
those birds should be in a good shape for resale.

If they put them for sale. The 707s the VC-25s replaced were kept, as far as I can recall, and used for other government officials until several years later when they were replaced by V32-As (752).

Besides, reselling the VC-25s may not be as financially rewarding as one might think. Interiors have to be pulled, all the non-navigation electronics removed (and perhaps even some navigation ones), nooks and crannies have to be swept in case a confidential memo fell somewhere out of sight, etc... Turning the VC-25s back into civilian aircraft may cost so much that its sale price would far exceed its actual value.
 
blueflyer
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:51 pm

Quoting bcoz (Reply 24):
And I know Secretary Gates says there is some money in the budget for some new SAM aircraft.... But, man.... with the economy the way it is and the budget deficit we have, it may not be the easiest sell politically

That is why I suspected in an earlier post that there is context missing in the news article and that Gates did not volunteer this information but was answering a question along the line of "what are you doing to replace the VC-25" by a representative from a state that would benefit from a future contract.

Think what you want about the Obama administration, but I don't believe that they're stupid enough in these times of austerity to decide that they should be seen buying a couple of new planes for the prez.
 
Flighty
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:56 pm

Quoting pylon101 (Reply 1):
I guess it will be Boeing 747-800. Looks obvious to me.

It will be whatever Boeing commands it should be. If Boeing wants to deliver a stretched C-17 with custom engines that rolls on a force field instead of wheels, then that is how the contract will be drawn up.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 30):
Turning the VC-25s back into civilian aircraft may cost so much that its sale price would far exceed its actual value.

Yes. Their value is minimal except as a VIP transport. The best user of it is probably... the US government.

Plus it is politically very easy for the government to keep operating and maintaining old aircraft... because it looks "frugal."
 
BMI727
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:01 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 32):
because it looks "frugal."

Air Force One itself is pretty frugal. It is comfortable and bordering on luxurious but certainly not opulent. It looks like what it is: an office.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Flighty
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:15 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
Air Force One itself is pretty frugal. It is comfortable and bordering on luxurious but certainly not opulent. It looks like what it is: an office.

Sure. Simply commenting that it looks more frugal to keep old aircraft working, so the public thinks they are "patching up the old family car" which in some cases, becomes an expensive charade. It's easier for Congress to spend money doing "maintenance" rather than replacing aircraft. Even though financially, it ends up about the same.

It still might be hard to convince a skeptical press that there is anything wrong with the VC-25. The USAF always says it is shiny as new. Scuff marks on the leather perhaps?

I hope it's not just to change the color of the drapes. That can be done on VC-25.
 
LimaNiner
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:18 pm

Quoting concorde007 (Thread starter):
I cannot help but wonder what it will be

Have the Russians submitted a bid yet?   

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
They would want to wait a while before choosing the 747-8. I think that they want the plane to have some years of service under its belt before it carries the president. In the late 80s when the current VC-25s were purchased the USAF could have had 747-400s, but went with the -200s instead.

But that was when the 747 as a family was fairly new -- a whole lot newer than it is today. Yes, the -8 doesn't have much of a record, but the 747 as a family does...

Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 28):
IF VC-25's are replaced soon, there is a lot of service life left in the airframes and they have been maintained out the wahzoo.

But isn't the whole point of replacing them not the fact that they *need* to be replaced (as many have said, they work just fine), but that this maintenance is very, very expensive, due in great part to the fact that there simply aren't many -200s left in service?
 
blueflyer
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:25 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 34):
It still might be hard to convince a skeptical press that there is anything wrong with the VC-25.

There does not need for anything wrong to justify replacing it. There is but a dwindling numbers of 742s still in service. The less there will be, the higher the cost of type-specific spare parts and maintenance. Over the lifetime of an aircraft, there comes a point where a perfectly maintained, completely trouble-free aircraft becomes so expensive to keep in this pristine condition that buying a new one makes more sense financially. With USAF seeking a replacement to enter service in or around 2017, one might suppose that is when they think that threshold will be reached.

To go back to your point, it will be even harder to convince the press a new aircraft makes sense if there's absolutely nothing wrong with the old one and the decision is purely driven by long-term cost-advantages.
 
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par13del
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:53 pm

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 2):
I would be extremely surprised if a future Presidential plane was anything but American....tankers are one thing, but the Presidential plane....well, quite unimaginable.....an especially when the US has one of the worlds finest manufacturers of commercial planes who can easily customise their to meet whatever requirements the Presidential plane has.....

If the US believed that they had one of the worlds finest manufacturers of commercial a/c they would not be trying (RFP) to spend billions attempting to buy a EU commercial a/c for its tankers.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 4):
Well I would have to assume a US aircraft for reasons of national pride

Did not seem to have an effect when they chose a non-US helicopter for the presidential fleet.

Quoting tarheelwings (Reply 5):
As much as Air Force One's primary purpose is to transport the President, it also is a symbol of the US (power, technology, etc) when it travels abroad. With that in mind, and will ALL DUE RESPECT to the other fine aircraft that could potentially serve in this capacity (A380, A340)..........would it make any sense for Air Force One to be anything other than an American made airplane?

Some of the finest automobiles presently in the US are foreign designs assembled in the US by American workers, is that not also a symbol of US power? If you follow the concept, why does the a/c flying under the call sign of Air Force one have to be a US a/c, it could also be an A330 assembled by US workers off the Airbus assembly line in Alabama.

If they give the tanker contract to Airbus, A330's will be assembled in Alabama, having a couple additional frames thrown in for the presidential fleet would be a no brainer, not all frames will be built as tankers, expect some to replace those other 707 flying around in capacities other than tankers. If they want a 4 engine a/c, I'm certain EADS N/A will give them a great deal on a couple A380's, Boeing has already stated that they do not think the industry will support two OEM making a/c in that class, so since the US Air Force likes larger a/c..................
 
bcoz
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:00 pm

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:09 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 37):
Some of the finest automobiles presently in the US are foreign designs assembled in the US by American workers, is that not also a symbol of US power? If you follow the concept, why does the a/c flying under the call sign of Air Force one have to be a US a/c, it could also be an A330 assembled by US workers off the Airbus assembly line in Alabama.

For the same reason the President doesn't ride in a BMW produced at the plant in Greer, South Carolina. Regardless of where the aircraft is assembled, it is bad symbolism and bad politics for POTUS to be riding around in something that is not American designed and American built by an American company.

bcoz
 
sasd209
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:32 pm

As an earlier poster said, I believe Airbus said they will be sitting this one out and by default letting Boeing fill the bill with: a 747-8 (in my opinion). Shame, I'd love to see an A340-500 as AF1 !!!! Dreaming, I know  
 
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par13del
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RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:35 pm

Quoting bcoz (Reply 38):
For the same reason the President doesn't ride in a BMW produced at the plant in Greer, South Carolina.

I may agree with your sentiment, however, they did choose a non-US helicopter, was a precident or principle set? The fact that the contract was cancelled had nothing to do with where the a/c was designed, so I ask again, what's the difference?

I have another question though, the "Beast" was recently put into service, I beleive it's built by GM - correct me if I'm wrong - but was there a bid process for the vehicle or did someone just up and decide to give the contract to a vendor? I hope symbolism does not have a financial price tag attached to it, cars cheap, helicopters and a/c expensive.
 
GDB
Posts: 14072
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:43 pm

If various agencies, interests manage to bling up beyond all sanity a future AF1, as they did with the proposed Marine One, it'll struggle to get off the ground whether it's a 747, A380 or anything else!

Best wait for a BWB?
 
dl767captain
Posts: 1206
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:51 am

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:30 pm

I think it's going to be a 747-8. Size is a big part, larger than the 777. 4 engines will make everyone happy not having to worry about an engine failure. and it's going to be American.

I could see the 787 replacing the 757s in the fleet or something, but the 748 is what the president will fly in all over the world.
 
Mortyman
Posts: 5927
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:26 pm

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:07 pm

I don't think our American friends will go for anything but American here...


But if Airbus offered a couple of A380's for free... who knows...  
 
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kc135topboom
Posts: 11205
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:25 pm

Quoting gr8circle (Reply 6):
Was the 747 originally chosen because it was the only available plane with range...? Does the US President really need such a big plane...? I mean, I know there is a lot of electronic equipment, etc. on board, but can't a 787 be sufficient? It has the range required....

No, several models were looked at

Quoting CAETravlr (Reply 7):
Also, if the plane was not itself built in America, would all of the customization work have to be done in the U.S.? I'm guessing there are some highly secretive technologies aboard these birds.

yes, when the current VC-25s were built, they each spent about two years at Boeing-Kansas, and other facilities being upgraded. They were still green airplanes then.

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 20):
Boeing had a couple of new 747-200 sitting around(They were not built for the USAF) and gave the AF estimates on converting them to their specs.

Not true. Both VC-25As were built by Boeing for the USAF, they were never "white tails". They were the last two B-747-200s ever built, and had some B-747-300 and B-747-400 features built into them. For example, they have the landing gear from the heavier B-747-300, and the engines and flight instruments from the B-747-400. They also have unique features, like duel APUs, a Navigator position, and lower cargo doors on the left side of the airplane, with airstars.

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 8):
The way Washington has thrown $$$ around the last two years, I agree. It will be the most expensive airplane
congress will buy regardless of what the Air Force wants.

Perhaps, perhaps not. The current VC-25As costs a total of $500M in 1990 dollars, about $250M each. The B-2As, then going into production, costs about $1B each. The question now becomes will Speaker Pelosi add an airplane for herself? Remember Congress tried to order their own fleet of B-737-BBJs and G-550s last year?

Quoting PlaneAdmirer (Reply 22):
The deficit was only $220 billion in February

That was the one month deficit. The projections for FY-2010 is for a deficit of $1.59T, in FY-2009 the deficit was $1.42T.

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 16):
Can the POTUS refuse to have a new AF1 ordered by the air force? (I mean, technically he can of course, being the prez). Didn't he cancel the helicopter procurement, stating that the knackered helicopter fleet has quite a few years left in it and new ones would be a waste of money?

Yes, he can, it was SoD Bob Gates that canceled the VH-71A/B/C program for cost overruns. The costs for a new B-747-8I is $293M-$308M, list. The costs for the Presidential fleet modifications could be as much as another $300M-$500M, and the USAF has expressed a desire for at least 3 new AF-1s. That is as much as $2.4B for 3 new airplanes, MilCon costs will also be a factor. The current VC-25 hanger can only hold two VC-25s, and these airplanes do not stand on the ramp much, they spend most of their time in the hanger. So, an extension to the current hanger is needed, with the additional ramps and ramp space.

So, we are probibly talking about an initial estimate of $3B-$5B

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/prices/index.html

Quoting mayor (Reply 23):
BTW, does the VC-25 have inflight refueling capabiliity?

Yes

Quoting boacvc10 (Reply 25):
Does AF1 have extended fuel tanks for ultra long range flights? Does the aircraft have any range advantages over its civilian counterparts?

Yes
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2176
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:34 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 40):
I may agree with your sentiment, however, they did choose a non-US helicopter, was a precident or principle set? The fact that the contract was cancelled had nothing to do with where the a/c was designed, so I ask again, what's the difference?

The difference is that Marine One has no where close to the symbolism and stature of Air Force One. There is no comparison. What he flies around 'locally' is not nearly as important as what carts him around the world. It is like the flagship of the Presidency imo. I like Airbus but there is no way the President is going to be flying around the world in one as AF1.

From Wiki: "Air Force One is a prominent symbol of the American presidency and its power.[3] The aircraft are among the most famous and most photographed in the world.[4]"

When you look up Marine One you will find no such phrase.
 
maxter
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun May 24, 2009 2:23 am

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:47 pm

Quoting keesje (Reply 11):
There is always the future risk of a Chinese or EC AF1 showing up behind the AF1.

Yes, I wonder about the jockying for parking positions if the Chinese did by a "Premiers" A380 and both that and AF1 were to arrive at say a world leaders conference at Brussels... What a photo op for the Chinese press.

Do you think the US Administration would permit it?
maxter
 
HaveBlue
Posts: 2176
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:01 pm

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:02 pm

Quoting maxter (Reply 46):
Do you think the US Administration would permit it?

lol that is interesting! My guess is no they wouldn't park on the same ramp, preventing direct size comparison pictures. Image is everything.  
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4522
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:32 pm

You can rule out any 777, because a one-engine failure would force the AF1 to divert. I do not think having POTUS diverting to the Azores or Midway Island without preparation is acceptable.

So, everything except a 747-800 would surprise me.
 
Eagleboy
Posts: 1846
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:29 am

RE: New Airforce One... Finally!

Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:56 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 43):
But if Airbus offered a couple of A380's for free... who knows...

Now there an idea!

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