President-elect Donald Trump wants to cancel Boeing’s contract to replace the aging presidential transport aircraft, known as Air Force One when the President is on board, saying the program is too expensive. “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!” tweeted Trump. The tweet quickly went viral. As of early afternoon, it had been retweeted 23,000 times and was liked 70,000 times. Boeing responded saying, “We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States. We look forward to working with the US Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the President at the best value for the American taxpayer.” The Air Force announced in January 2015 that the next presidential transport will be based on the Boeing 747-8, which “is the only aircraft manufactured in the United States” that when “fully missionized” can meet the project’s requirements, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said at the time. In September, USAF released a request for proposal from Boeing for the engineering and manufacturing development phase. The service plans to field at least two modified 747-8 aircraft to replace the current Air Force One fleet in 2024.
See also: The Next Air Force One from the June issue of Air Force Magazine.