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BFR
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The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:20 am

As most of you know... the two current presidential aircraft used by the USAF are both Boeing 747-200's... When the time calls for a new presidential aircraft... What should it (they) be and why?
 
petertenthije
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:21 am

That discussions is not valid for at least 10 years to come. What wrong with the toys on AF1?
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UAL747
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:26 am

Oh Lord. Some will suggest the A380, others the A346, and others the Boeing 777. You have to remember, even though these are -200's, they are VERY young, and what makes them even younger, is they have, and will continue to have VERY LOW cycles. They aren't used nearly as much as an airliner, thus they will be around for years to come. By then, there will most likely be something very new, and very big, that the US Government will purchase, and I don't think it will be a 7E7, they need more space.

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
n757kw
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:33 am

I would think the B747-400 would be a logical next step. At the moment I can not remember why the USAF did not want to use the B747-400 to begin with.
"What we've got here, is failure to communicate." from Cool Hand Luke
 
Customs172
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:35 am

The USAF decided it didn't want the 747 because they wanted the Lockheed C-5.....
or thats what I have been told by some C-5 pilots.
 
n844aa
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:36 am

If I recall correctly, the two VC-25A's that carry the President and the Air Force One designation were the last two 747-200's to roll off the assembly line. I believe both were introduced in the early 90's and like Ual747 said, chronological years are not a terribly applicable metric in this case; I would guess that the total number of cycles for these two aircraft is somewhere in the very low thousands. That's nothing more than a wild-ass guess, though.

When the current Air Force Ones are replaced several decades from now, my guess is that their replacement will be American-made (for political reasons) and four-engined (for redundancy). It will be interesting to see which planes meet those criteria in 2030 or thereabouts.

[Edited 2003-09-29 22:37:59]
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
A340600
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:36 am

This topic was up two days ago
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JohnJ
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:39 am

I don't think that, other than the 747, Boeing has a plane now or has plans to in the future, make a plane that would fit the bill for AF1. The reason I say that is that I'd be really surprised if ETOPS would be considered acceptable for this plane. In other words, I would think any aircraft that would be considered for this role would need at least 3 engines, and preferably four.
 
UAL747
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:44 am

Trust me, the US government ISN'T going to go Airbus. You'd piss off a lot of Americans if that happened. They'd order a 777 and screw redundancy before Airbus got a US military order.

Plus, who's to say Airbus won't pull a Boeing and bug our new aircraft? Lord knows the Chinese know about this.

UAL747

[Edited 2003-09-29 22:45:33]
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
QANTAS747-438
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:51 am

The AF1 747-200 was chosen and not the 747-400 because President Bush had planned for the 747 when the 744 hadn't been out yet. While they were building the 742, the 744 came out.

Ual747 was very correct in discussing the low cycles and such. That plane doesn't fly very often, by plane standards. Also, you have to remember that this is THE plane. This thing is #1 and it's what the President flies. That aircraft gets soooooo much attention! Just check out the engines... still shiny in silver polish! It's tempting to think of a 742 as being "outdated," but it's actually in incredible shape.

Who would say that the next AF1 would be an A380 or A340?!?! This is the plane for the USA... they're not going to use FRENCH aircraft! Or any other nation's planes for that matter as their leading aircraft! The president uses Boeing and Cadillac's... all made in the USA. Why would you ever showcase your country off by using non-American stuff? Doesn't make sense.

But the next logical step as of 2003 would be a 747-400ER. The Air Force would modify it, but you'd have the added weight and size over a 742.

I also think that the AF2 should be a 772 instead of the 752.

My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
UAL747
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:59 am

Does the 752 have inflight refueling capabilites? Basically, that 742 can hang out in the air for two days, if not more depending on supplies.

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
levg79
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:08 am

The United States government buying an Airbus? That would be the day Boeing goes out of business. On the other hand, extra room would always be helpful for the presidential airplane. Just some thoughts....
A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
 
airways6max
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:25 am

The current Air Force One aircraft are only thirteen years old and will probably keep flying for another twenty years at least. Remember, the 707 was operated as a government aircraft for more than four decades. I would imagine that the Government will make plenty of upgrades on the 747s as needed and fly them for as long as possible.

The Air Force will want a big, four-engined aircraft to fly the President of the United States. They will want the redundancy that only a four-engined aircraft can provide and the enormous size. The 777 will probably not be considered because it has only two engines and it is not big enough for the President's needs. Neither the Airbus A340-600 nor the A380 will be considered, because the government by law must purchase U.S. made products wherever possible.

I would imagine that the Air Force will be ready to retire the 747s by the year 2020 and would want a large, four-engined version of the 7E7.


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mikeyCpvd
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:28 am

I don't know if a 772 would be a good choice for AF2. Part of what makes the 752 (and the military desig escapes me right now) is it's ability to jump in and out of smaller airports. A heavy triple-7 wouldn't have as much flexibililty. In addition, the two have similar technology, indicating the 757 isn't exactly outdated.
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HlywdCatft
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:36 am

Wasn't the 707 Air Force One up until the end of Reagan's term?
 
UAL747
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:38 am

And the begining of Bush Sr.'s term....

UAL747
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PHXinterrupted
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:15 am

"Plus, who's to say Airbus won't pull a Boeing and bug our new aircraft? Lord knows the Chinese know about this."

UAL747,

You are completely out of line with your comment. All credible reports indicated that a faction within the Chinese Government was responsible for the bugging. Not only that, but the Chinese Government was so embarrassed by this that they essentially tried covering it up.

Keepin' it real.
 
elwood64151
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:41 am

N757KW:

The USAF wanted the 742 because they were already operating it as the E-4B Command and Control aircraft (where the generals hang out in case of nuclear war). Converting two 742s into VC-25s was no problem as USAF already had pilots for them.

Phxinterrupted:

The mere possibility makes it a completely valid point. US National Security matters are discussed aboard AF1. If anyone were ever to get a bug on board the plane in such a way that it would be difficult to detect, it could seriously hamper US foreign relations. Want more info? Read Tom Clancy's Sum of All Fears. It's a million times better than the movie. Pay particular attention to the part about the JAL aircraft...

I imagine, in 2020 or 2030, when the VC-25s are simply too old even to re-build from scratch, Boeing will have another large, 4-engine aircaft ready for the Pres. If they don't, Lockheed will. Maybe a new entrant we're not even aware of yet (Hey, Cessna? How'd you like to build AF1?!?!). We won't have to buy an A340/A380, and we won't have to buy anything any time soon.

I wonder if Boeing will ever consider putting the 747-500/600X on the table again...?
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
FLAIRPORT
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:50 am

The United States government buying an Airbus? That would be the day Boeing goes out of business. On the other hand, extra room would always be helpful for the presidential airplane. Just some thoughts....

They'd probably get Lockheed Martin to design a new L1011 or something for them.
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FrequentFlyKid
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 1:08 pm

Hypothetically the VC-25's could stay in the air forever because of the in-flight refueling. However, how long could they realistically stay in the air as far as the aircraft is concerend. Not taking into account on-board services. Always wondered how long the engines could run without being shut off.
 
JMChladek
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 4:39 pm

More then likely, the people onboard would run out of food and drinking water before the engines quit if the fuel tanks kept getting topped off in flight. At normal cruise performance, the engines don't get stressed and the maintenance crew at Andrews AFB keeps their birds in tip top condition.
 
N6376M
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:39 pm

FrequentFlyKid -

You are wrong that AF1 could stay up indefinitely because of in-flight refueling.

The limiting factor - more so than crew time, food, water, other consumables which can be used by the personnel on board - is oil for the engines which cannot be replaced in-flight. Saw this in a book about AF1 a couple of years ago.

-76M
 
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solnabo
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:35 pm

Airbus is a "french" airplane??????
Airbus is a EUROPEAN airplane!!!!! Even lilleputcountry Sweden are making
parts to Airbus.
U haven´t done you´re homework, cowboy.
Jeeezuz......
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n844aa
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:35 am

N6376m, I recally reading that same fact about the limiting factor of continuous operations though, as I recall, it was in reference to an E-4B NECAP command post. (Not that that's terribly different from AF1.) It said that the engines could run without replenishment of oil for 3-5 days. Now, I read this probably ten years ago in a book that was probably ten years old then; for all I know, engine technology has advanced considerably since then.

Solnabo, Airbus subcontractors are spread out all over the world -- including in the United States. The location of the subcontractors doesn't affect (in my mind) the "nationality" of the plane. And besides, Airbus the company (the joint venture between EADS and BAE Systems) is based in France after all. Now, I agree that it's a pan-European effort, but as I recall, the principle partners are France, Germany, the U.K. and Spain. I don't think any of this is grounds for calling someone a "cowboy" and saying he hasn't done his homework.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
Guest

RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 4:55 am

I was under the impression Boeing made it very clear from the start they were going to do whatever it took to make sure the President flew on a Boeing product rather than some Toulouse toilet. Even to the point of not really making as much money on the deal as they should have. What better advertisement for your company than saying its good enough for the leader of the free world. And the 777 is out since they wanted the in flight reliability of 4 engines. I think the -400 was not really in production yet at the time the current AF1 was ordered so the -200 was the best option. There was also quite a bit of a delay in the delivery since Both planes needed to be shielded from an electro magnetic pulse. They will probably be in service until most of us are quite old since they really do not get that much flight time and they are probably the best taken care of 747s in the air.

any idea if there has been a discussion regarding winglets for the existing AF1? I mean winglets are the in thing for corporate jets and the fuel savings could save us some tax dollars..
 
UAL747
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:05 am

"I don't know if a 772 would be a good choice for AF2. Part of what makes the 752 (and the military desig escapes me right now) is it's ability to jump in and out of smaller airports. A heavy triple-7 wouldn't have as much flexibililty."

Mikeycpvd:

So, by your logic, they REALLY shouldn't have the 742 they have at the moment. I can pretty much guarantee you that the 777 would out-perform the 742 on short runways.

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
airjampanam
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:10 am

I was under the impression Boeing made it very clear from the start they were going to do whatever it took to make sure the President flew on a Boeing product rather than some Toulouse toilet.


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prebennorholm
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:11 am

Nobody can predict what plane will replace AF1 in 2020, 2030 or 2040. It would be the same as predicting a 742 when Eisenhover was flying in his brand new DC-6 (or was it VC-118?)

Maybe the world has changed into an entirely different thing, and a Gulfstream like plane would be the obvious choise?

But what if it had to be replaced today? Me thinks that the C-17 (obviously extensively modified) would have a good chance. It has a lot of the needed modifications off the shelf:
- air refueling
- armor of critical areas
- self defence systems
- plenty of potential crews
- can get into many airports where the 742 can't go
and probably many more things.

The 742 was probably chosen over for instance the MD-11 because many much needed mods had already been developed and implemented on the E-4.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Guest

RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:21 am

A gulfstream is not big enough.. A lot of people travel with the commander in chief not to mention the apocalyptic buttload of comm gear and other stuff the plane has to lug... The president can run the nation from that thing so it has to be big.. I think using a strictly military airplane might also send the wrong message when he travels. That airplane is as much as ambassador to whatever country it is in as the person on it. Some big ugly C-17 that is only seen otherwise in its wartime function would really send out the wrong message... In the past the president has traveled on other aircraft when the 742 was too big or too obvious for the location but if the president is flying on it, its called Air Force 1 until he gets off
 
prebennorholm
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:21 am

I read somewhere many years ago that calling the AF1 a 747-200 is not very appropriate. It should in fact be more like an E-4 fuselage mated to 747-300 wing and engines.

Can somebody confirm that?
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
BeltwayBandit
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:23 am

Keep in mind that the 747 was a vastly superior airframe for the mission when compared to the 707; so in addition to age, the 747 was an opportunity to improve. Right now, I do not see any airframe that is even somewhat superior to the 747 for this mission. If they had to make a new AF1 today, I think they would STILL use the 747.
 
UAL747
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:24 am

mmm.....I know the thing has been beefed up quite a bit. But, I think it does have the same wing (aerodynamically) as the 742, but does have the 744/767 engines.

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
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Heavierthanair
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:56 am

G'day

Just the perception of being French, entirely or partially, and having to enter what is called a "fuselage" that is banked in flight with what is called "ailerons" - how do you pronounce that anyway? - may simply turn off any USAF officer that may or may not be asked for an opinion on the subject.

With the French not caring what they do for as long as they pronounce it properly - an attitude the USAF formally distances itself from - does not facilitate developing an educated opinion.

Thus, despite the A 380 coming with a presidential deck and another for what are the inevitable guests, it is unlikely to be selected next for AF1.

Leaves us with the 747 - 4whatever as the aircraft of choice. But then, what is the difference to the one they are using now? The French software used to design the thing? Just a thought.


Cheers

Peter
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." (Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955)
 
prebennorholm
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:40 am

Startvalve, you are of course right that the Gulfstream would have no business as AF1 today. It would take an entirely different world (where the president doesn't need to "run" the country every minute), the world which we are all hoping for in the future, but which is so different that we have severe difficulties even to imagine it today.

And I also agree that a new AF1 today might very likely be a 747, but I wouldn't rule out the C-17 completely. In the right color scheme it could be a quite pretty plane.

But many people think that when the president travels, then he picks a VC-25 and his people and goes off. That may be the way when doing domestic journies, but when going abroad...

Some five years ago Bill Clinton paid a 22 hours long visit to the Danish Queen and the city Copenhagen. He arrived on TWO VC-25 and THREE Lockheed C-5B Galaxy. The Galaxies of course in full war paint scheme. Nobody knew which VC-25 was AF1 until it parked at the red carpet. It was like an invation of Copenhagen Airport.

The Galaxies carried a large fleet of heavy vehicles and three helicopters. The president went straight on a helicopter to the lawn at the Queen's summer residence. All three helicopters arrived at the same time, but from three different angles, and landed simultaneously. Again nobody knew which one carried the president until we saw which one landed at the red carpet.

This was just a friendly visit to one of the most peaceful countries and one of USA's closest allies - the only country, except Britain, which from the beginning to this very day has been standing tough side by side both with mouth and troops in the present Iraq conflict.

A few hundred thousand people were waving Stars and Stripes and Danebrog while Bill C was making his speech at the royal palace balcony. It was one big, happy party from arrival to departure.

I can tell you, the US president travels with overweight baggage!!!

PS: The Danish Queen does travel on a Gulfstream (when she doesn't go on a scheduled airliner - on first class). She doesn't run the country when abroad, the Crown Prince does. Or his younger brother takes his motorbike from his farmhouse to the royal palace. Or the Queen's younger sister takes her BMW 700 from her home in Germany.

It doesn't need to be more complicated than that. Or at least we thought so until the murder of the Swedish foreign minister a couple of weeks ago.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
cancidas
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:50 am

if, and i mean if the us government were to buy airbus a/c, think about the message they would be sending to boeing. it would be terribly embarasing. i think that when it does finally come time to replace the a/c it will be another 747.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:54 am

And the 777 is out since they wanted the in flight reliability of 4 engines

Hate to break this to ya Startvalve, but the 777 has inflight engine reliability that no 747 could ever dream of!  Laugh out loud
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
prebennorholm
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 7:00 am

By far the most severe threat to AF1 engines will be gunfire from the ground. The 747 has far more spare engines than the 777.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
QANTASforever
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:00 am

What better advertisement for your company than saying its good enough for the leader of the free world.

You mean the US Head of state  Smile

Boeing is good enough for our Head of state and Head of government too. No complaints here.

This was just a friendly visit to one of the most peaceful countries and one of USA's closest allies - the only country, except Britain, which from the beginning to this very day has been standing tough side by side both with mouth and troops in the present Iraq conflict.

Ffs. Hello???? Do we not exist or something?? geez. Dont forget there are Japanese, Germans, Australians and many others there too.

As for the actual topic - It will probably the latest derivative of the 747 when time comes to replace the old girls.

qff
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Guest

RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:28 am

The two C-5s that travel with the president go without saying, that is how the limos, security vehicles, and if necessary helicopters travel long distances with him. You also have to remember in the world of the USAF facts do not always overrule feelings.. Some general in the pentagon feels better with 4 engines than with 2 so therefore the 4 engine thing is a requirement, PBS did something on AF 1 a few years ago and the 4 engine thing was set out as a requirement according to them citing higher in flight reliability.... In other words lets see a 777 shut down 2 engines and still fly across the Atlantic
 
Mizzou65201
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 9:36 am

I don't know that shorter-field capabilities would be that much of a concern, after all the Prez uses both the 757-200 and the DC-9 (don't know the actual military model numbers) as AF1 for runs into shorter fields, such as COU the last two times Clinton rolled through town.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 9:41 am

In other words lets see a 777 shut down 2 engines and still fly across the Atlantic

I understand that perception may as well be reality when it comes to aircraft choice/configuration... but again, your statement lacks merit as statistically any occurrence that can shut down both engines on an aircraft with the reliability of a 777 (e.g., fuel starvation, massive FOD-ingestion, etc) would likely do the same to any turbofan aircraft regardless of engine count.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
Guest

RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:02 am

You are thinking too logically for the Air Force Concorde boy.. Some General with 25 years in the Air Force and a career flying 8 engined B-52s over Vietnam feels better with 4 engines so he made the spec say 4 engine.. Its the Air Force.. Not the real world.. You have to think in an ass backwards way ignoring facts because it is how they buy things. The Pentagon exists in a whole other dimension from the real world
 
JumboBumbo
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:53 am

Prebennerholm...

I would be very surprised to see a military airframe, such as a modified C5 or C17, replace AF1. It's not really a performance or logistics issue, either aircraft could certainly perform this role if need be. However, since the President of the United States is a civilian, elected by popular vote of the people (as you saw in 2000 there are nuances to this too), there is a general desire to keep the President flying in an aircraft that at least looks civilian from the exterior. Bill Clinton noted in his second term that many people didn't really come to see him, but rather AF1... it's the people's aircraft!

If there is no 4 engine American made a/c that fits the bill at the time that the current AF1's retire, I would imagine that Boeing might even take the drastic steps of introducing a new aircraft to keep the President onboard a Boeing.

Cheers
 
Guest

RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:16 pm

You also have to quit thinking in a dollars and sense fashion in regards to military logistics. They do not care what it costs to move anyone or anything they just think it has to get there. Also its not like airframe age concerns (look at the age of some of the KC-135s flying) and commonality means almost nothing. The USAF is not an airline. They have no shareholders to please and if they want something all they have to do is convince a few senators who know nothing about airplanes that they did their homework and made the right choice. Why do you think we are getting the F-22 AND the F-35/Joint Strike Fighter when all we really need is the JSF. In regards to my winglets comment earlier we know it will probably never happen but it is what all the cool executives are doing with their biz jets.. The BBJ was not even originally intended to have them but Boeing marketing decided they needed them to compete on the style side with Canadair/Bombardier and Gulfstream
 
pilotpip
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:28 pm

According to a secret service agent that was posted at my FBO the last time the president was in town Bush doesn't like using the 757. Apparently it's too small! Personally, I think he should use it more often domestically. It's much less pricey to operate.

Most cabinet members have access to G-Vs. When they come in it's usually a couple for security and maybe their assistant. When Bush comes to STL there is AF-1, a plane that carries the cars(C-5 or C-17) and at least one press plane(last time an AA F100). Let's not forget the two helicopters. Clinton actually used the 757 for the majority of his trips to STL.
DMI
 
ha763
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RE: The Next Air Force One?

Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:13 pm

By the time the VC-25's need to be replaced, chosing between a 4-engine and twin-engine aircraft may be a non-factor. The VC-25's actually were ordered by the Regan Administration and during a time when ETOPS was still relatively new.

ETOPS is nothing new to the Air Force. They have the C-32A (757), C-40A/B (BBJ), and several other twin-engine business jets that fly ETOPS routes with the Vice President, cabinet members, congressional members, military commanders, etc. In addition, the new air refueling tankers and E-10A will be twin-engine aircraft.

Who knows what will be the new AF1 will be. It could be an updated 747, since the 747 could actually still be in service then, a twin-engine Boeing, or maybe a new Boeing design like a BWB.

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