President Trump Reveals Potential Liveries For New Air Force One Aircraft

The US is looking forward to getting some new aircraft for presidential transport. The deal, worth $3.9bn, will see Boeing delivering new 747s which will be used as Air Force One. However, the new planes might not look quite how we’ve come to know them, as President Trump is planning a full makeover of the livery.

Air Force One
Air Force One may look quite different in the future. Photo: Wikimedia

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Trump revealed the design to ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. Trump held up an image of the plane, which he said he designed himself.

“There’s your new Air Force One…  I’m doing that for other presidents, not for me.”

That is indeed true, as the new planes are not due to be delivered until 2024. Even if Trump wins the 2020 election campaign, he’ll be nearing the end of his maximum term by the time the revamped Air Force One arrives. And that’s if he’s allowed to change it at all.

The Air Force One redesign

Air Force One was last redesigned in 1962, by industrial designer Raymond Loewy for President John F. Kennedy. Since then, it’s worn a distinctive blue and cyan coat, despite being applied to several different models of plane.

However, the baby blue and white is reportedly on the way out, to be replaced with what Trump deems a more ‘patriotic’ red, white and blue scheme. Speaking in the interview, he said,

“Red, white and blue. Air Force One is going to be incredible. It’s gonna be the top of the line, the top in the world. And it’s gonna be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”

Here’s a clip from ABC News with the big reveal of the new Air Force One.

But hang on a minute… doesn’t that livery look familiar to you?

British Airways Landor
British Airways 747 in Landor livery. Photo: Pedro Aragão / Wikimedia

There is more than a passing resemblance to a historic British Airways livery, known as the Landor Livery. They’ve recently repainted one of their 747s in just this design to celebrate their centenary year.

There’s something else it looks a bit similar to as well… could Trump have been inspired by his very own aircraft?

Others have noted the similarity with the livery of Russian airline Aeroflot.

What else is changing with Air Force One?

According to Trump’s interview with ABC, the frame for the aircraft is still a Boeing 747. However, he claims that it’s a ‘much bigger plane’. He says it has a ‘much bigger wingspan’ too.

He also alluded to ‘secrets’ that he’s not allowed to reveal at this stage, secrets he’s not allowed to talk about…

The new Air Force One is not scheduled to arrive until 2024. Shortly after Trump was elected, he decried the spending on the replacement planes, tweeting that costs were ‘out of control’, and threatening to cancel production.

Now, however, he seems happy with the deal from Boeing, claiming to ABC that he got a ‘discount’ of $1.6bn. But the White House has said that the deal is worth $3.9bn, and that Trump’s discount was only $1.4bn.

Lawmakers not happy

Congressional lawmakers are not entirely on board with the new color scheme for the aircraft. They voted in support of an amendment which will block President Trump from unilaterally altering the current design. The bill, introduced by Democrat Joe Courtney, requires congressional approval for any “work relating to aircraft paint scheme, interiors and livery” of Air Force One.

According to the Washington Times, the reason given by Courtney for this is that,

“Additional paint can add weight to the plane, additional fixtures inside the plane can also add cost and delays to the delivery of the plane,”

He has a point. Trump has something of a track record when it comes to disregarding lightweight aircraft design. Trump Air featured thick burgundy carpets, gold plated everything, and he even wanted to stick real marble sinks in the bathrooms… that was until plane makers reminded him the thing had to fly too.

So, although Donald feels he has carte blanche to create a lasting legacy in the world of presidential transport, everything will now have to be okayed by congress before it becomes reality.