Trump & Boeing Reach Deal For Two New Air Force Ones

Boeing planes have been transporting US presidents since President Roosevelt, and at the moment a 747-200 serves as “Air Force One.” There are two 747-200s in the Air Force fleet that can potentially operate as Air Force One, the first of which was delivered in 1990. Obviously this is an aging plane, so it was announced a while back that the government and Boeing had entered into a deal to acquire new 747-8s to act as Air Force One.

However, President Trump wasn’t happy with this excessive spending, as he called for the government to cancel the order due to the price tag, which he claimed was over $4 billion.

Last August it looked like the government and Boeing had neared a creative solution, with the possibility of the US government acquiring two 747-8s at a much lower cost. These were planes that were stored by Boeing, as they were supposed to go to a Russian airline that went out of business (Transaero). The planes were flight tested and then put in storage, and haven’t found a buyer since.

They never ended up reaching a deal, though now it looks like the White House and Boeing have come to an agreement for acquiring two new 747-8s.

The White House has confirmed that a deal has been reached with Boeing to acquire two new 747-8s, which will be used as Air Force One. Per CNBC:

“President Trump has reached an informal deal with Boeing on a fixed price contract for the new Air Force One Program,” a White House spokesman said. “Thanks to the President’s negotiations, the contract will save the taxpayers more than $1.4 Billion.”

The deal is expected to be worth $3.9 billion, which is under the magic $4 billion price that Trump was hoping for.

While a 747-8 “only” costs about $350 million at list prices, the reason the US is paying almost two billion USD per plane is because of the R&D required, as well as how many modifications have to be made, which is where a majority of the cost comes from.

A White House spokesperson claims that Trump saved taxpayers about $1.4 billion USD thanks to his negotiations, though Politifact has a different take on this, based on a story they did last December following Trump’s Tweet:

The Air Force has published a budgetary document that says research, development, testing and evaluation of the new Air Force Ones — officially known as the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization — will cost $2.87 billion between fiscal years 2015 and 2021. However, the project is expected to extend beyond 2021, and experts told PolitiFact it would likely require another $1 billion in subsequent years to finish the job. The Teal Group has estimated that the project will require an additional $858 million between fiscal years 2022 and 2026.

That adds up to a grand total of $3.73 billion over 12 years. That’s not “more than $4 billion,” as Trump said, but it’s reasonably close — and it’s no secret that defense contracts have a history of escalating in cost over time. Already, in response to inquiries from the media after Trump’s tweet, an Air Force spokesman told reporters to expect the interim $2.7 billion figure “to change as the program matures.”

So Air Force budgetary documents suggest that this should have cost no more than about $3.73 billion “all-in,” which is slightly less than than $3.9 billion that the US is now paying. Unless prices have gone way up in the past couple of months, I’m not sure where the $1.4 billion in savings come from.

Comments

  1. LOL five seconds reading the details about the proposal, even a six year old would realize the $4 billion was not for ONE plane, for TWO planes, two planes that must be extensively modified that the President of the United States can fully carry out his office on board, which includes directing the military and even a nuclear war, and the life cycle maintenance for those planes, which will be higher than a 747 used in commercial service.

  2. @Emirates4Ever:

    Wouldn’t the life cycle maintenance be lower not higher, since they would be used at much less frequency than a commercial equivalent?

  3. Eff trump.

    I hope the fucker gets a heart attack and spends the rest of his life paralyzed. He brings out the hate in people.

  4. @ Debit You seem like a kind hearted chap who is filled with love and joy. Have a blessed day! oh yeah….#MAGA!!!

  5. Really wish he’d just settle for a nice 787 or a new 777X and be done with it. By the time those planes come into service there will be barely any 747s left flying and they will look out of place in a more cost- and environmentally-sensitive world.

  6. When I run for pres, I’m going to promise to use a Cessna 172 as Airforce 1, and to fly around the country distributing the $4 billion in savings to everyone I meet.

  7. @David 4x engines are preferred for an air force 1 plane. These things are modified to be flying fortresses capable of withstanding a nuclear explosion while being a mobile command center. They’d never be able to fit all the necessary equipment on a 787, and doubtful they could get it on a 777.

  8. @David
    The 747 is required due to the USAF requirement of redundant engines. So AF1 has to have 4 engines. Not Trump’s requirement.

  9. @Lucky Truman and Eisenhower used a Lockheed Constellation as Air Force One. Boeing has NOT been the only supplier of Air Force One.

    Trump had no issue flying on a two engine aircraft before he became POTUS, so I tend to believe that the four engine requirement has nothing to do with him.

  10. Love it, cant imagine AF1 being anything other than a 747. But Im sure all the anti-Trump people will criticize this and wish he bought 777S.

  11. The fact that Trump lies (in this case about the total cost of the planes) is not news. He has lied so often that he has made it normal. Apparently christian evangelists love his lying, his infidelities, his abusive behavior, all of it.

    But if he didn’t have a bone spur in his foot he would have flown Air Force One to Florida and personally attacked the shooter with his bare (but small) hands. It’s just the kind of person he is, a hero.

  12. @snic Cessna 172!!!!, Mr.prez would get stuck from bad weather, freeze in winter and might not survive an engine failure. Good luck living the term.
    Redundant engines??
    Convert an AN-225.

    The issue is that USAF is not happy with EADS being foreign. Otherwise it would have been an A380.

  13. Ehh, this doesn’t have diddle crap to do with Trump, or any other President. If anyone thinks that Presidents negotiate contracts, especially for military hardware, they’re wrong. Regardless of what Donnie says.

    That said, a 777 or A380 would have lower operating costs and they’re just as safe as a 747. Wish they’d gone that route.

  14. LOL. Truly Trumpian: “So Air Force budgetary documents suggest that this should have cost no more than about $3.73 billion “all-in,” which is slightly less than than $3.9 billion that the US is now paying.”

    The “Art of the Deal” by the greatest deal maker ever: Spend $3.9B on a project that is estimated would cost $3.7B, claim that you saved taxpayer’s $1.4B in the process, and make sure to attribute this deal for the ages to the great deal maker’s negotiations 🙂

  15. The current VC-25A fleet are old 747-200 models. The last passenger 747-200 was retired in 2016 by Iran Air. The new 747-800 or VC-25B models will be significantly better in terms of range, payload, fuel efficiency etc..This will provide a benefit for the next 30 plus years of presidents. In addition of the 747s, The 89th airlift wing maintains a fleet of 737s,757s,G-IVs, & G-Vs planes to transport VIPs around the world.

    Politics aside it has been in the works to replace the old fleet of VC-25s for some time.

  16. “So Air Force budgetary documents suggest that this should have cost no more than about $3.73 billion “all-in,” which is slightly less than than $3.9 billion that the US is now paying.” – I understand I suck at math but doesn’t this basically mean that Trump negotiated for a deal in which we are going to pay more than before? I don’t think that is how negotiations are supposed to work.

  17. Bottom Line: We Dodged the Bullet of a Clinton Presidency

    Anything Mr. Trump does is better than the alternative catastrophe that would have been.

    Enjoy MAGA

  18. @CB said: “…That said, a 777 or A380 would have lower operating costs and they’re just as safe as a 747. Wish they’d gone that route.”

    Sorry, @CG, 2 engines are not allowed and the jets have to be “Made in America”

  19. The Boeing 737-700 has already been militarized in terms of communications and electromagnetic pulse. There was at least a very brief consideration but it should have gone forward. An idea was to fly two C-40 aircraft at a time. That would be enough to carry all the stuff that the Prez needed. As an added bonus, terrorists wouldn’t know which C-40 had the President, making it twice as hard to shoot down.

    Trump should have ordered 3 Boeing 737-700’s at a much lower cost. Since much of the R and D has already been done, he could have bought them at $1.5B instead of $3.9B. Furthermore, with a presidential 737, he could land at airports with short runways, such as LGA or OTZ (Nome, Alaska).

    When Bill Clinton was President, he flew to Pakistan. It was so dangerous that 3 Air Force Ones were used. A 747 as a decoy, a Gulfstream with USAF livery as a decoy, and another Gulfstream painted in white as the real Air Force One. He also visited Pakistan for a short time, maybe 2-3 hours, then fled.

  20. @Derek Fascinating story about Clinton. Any more details on it, or a news article about it? Would love to see the decoy planes!

  21. I like Trump. It’s easy to identify who is uneducated when you see a Trump supporter. Must be why most Southerners support Trump.

  22. @EthFlyer oh boy… any person who supports a president unquestionably is uneducated. Those are the people who think that the president has some kind of unlimited power.

    I don’t care which president it was, but the same trend could be seen for Obama, where his most vocal supporters were often (gasp) Southerners, living in Louisiana, Alabama, South Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California. Those people are equally (if not more) uneducated than the Trump supporter you envision.

    Don’t forget about the tens of millions of supporters he had to have, based on, ya know, math, who are highly educated. There are many within the ranks of elite institutions. I’d argue that highly educated does not by any means equal highly intelligent, but I digress. It’s just cool right now to sound academic and hate on the current president for doing what each before him did.

  23. @Matt — You are wrong about the level of education of Obama’s supporters. He did not lose the popular vote by some 3M , and was reelected by a ‘yuge’ margin, meaning that he attracted a large cross-section of highly educated voters, especially the academic and ‘gen X’ types.

    @EthFlyer sounded like s/he was being sarcastic by saying that s/he likes Trump, and then that “It’s easy to identify who is uneducated when you see a Trump supporter”…unless s/he is also uneducated. 😉

  24. Let’s leave education out of this. The bigger issue is the system sucks.
    Tuesday election sucks.
    Daylight savings sucks.
    No gun control sucks.

    Anyone who will change all 3 will get my vote forever!!!!!! (And forever because it’s never going to change in my lifetime)

  25. @David
    ‘… and they will look out of place in a more cost- and environmentally-sensitive world.’

    Yeah but Trump isn’t exactly the most cost- and environmentally-sesntive person, to say the least.

  26. New planes? Or new to the Air Force? I thought the plan was the acquire the two transero ntu frames sitting in the desert for all eternity?

    Also they could easily have used a twin engined frame, the 4 engines thing is antiquated.

  27. Forget Boeing. Get the aircraft built in Nambia for 1/8 of the original cost. Just HOPE that does not have to fly through STORMY weather.

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