Donald Trump doesn’t want a new Air Force One, not at an outlandish price in any case. On 6th December he let loose on his Twitter account: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”
Boeing didn’t waste any time in giving a cool response. In a statement, a spokesman said, it was under contract for $170m to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft.
Last January, the Pentagon decided to replace the two Boeing 747 presidential jets in service since 1990 with two Boeing 747-8s, the latest version of the super-jumbo. For the moment, costs of the programme have been estimated at around 3 billion dollars, but figures are likely to increase for the so-called ‘flying oval office’.
If the order stands, the new Air Force One should be delivered in 2023. But that’s a big “IF”.