The VC-25 is a specially configured Boeing 747-200B equipped for airlifting the President and his entourage. VC-25s operate under the call sign “Air Force One” when the President is aboard, and SAM (Special Air Mission) during non-presidential flights.
Aircraft are equipped with staff work areas, a conference room, a general seating area, and an executive office. Communications capability includes worldwide secure and clear communications and a full suite of strategic C2 comm/data links.
The aircraft also has a full self-defensive suite. The fleet is operated by the Presidential Airlift Group of the 89th Airlift Wing at JB Andrews. The VC-25A fleet has two years’ estimated service life remaining and required recent life-extension/block upgrades to remain viable until replaced by the VC-25B (based on Boeing’s modernized 747-8 Intercontinental).
FY21 launches wideband SATCOM upgrades as part of AMC’s Senior Leader Communication Modernization effort across the executive fleets. USAF issued Boeing a $3.9 billion presidential aircraft replacement contract to modify two undelivered commercial 747-8s to VC-25B standards on Feb. 20, 2018.
Work is underway modifying the airframes and delivery is slated for 2024, though specifications exclude an aerial refueling capability to reduce program cost. The current VC-25A fleet is planned for retirement by the end of 2025.
First Flight: Sept. 6, 1990 (VC-25A).
Delivered: August-December 1990.
IOC: Dec. 8, 1990; planned 2024 (VC-25B).
Production: Two VC-25A; two VC-25B (undergoing modification).
Inventory: Two (VC-25A); two (VC-25B).
Aircraft Location: JB Andrews, Md.
Active Variants: •VC-25A. Specially configured presidential support version of the Boeing 747-200B. •VC-25B. Next-generation presidential aircraft based on the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental.
Dimensions: Span 195.8 ft, length 231.8 ft, height 63.4 ft (A); span 224.5 ft, length 250.2 ft, height 63.4 ft (B).
Weight: Max T-O 833,000 lb (A); max T-O 987,000 lb (B).
Power Plant: Four GE Aviation CF6-80C2B1 turbofans, each 56,700 lb thrust (A); four GE Aviation GEnx-2B turbofans, each 66,500 lb thrust (B).
Performance: Speed 630 mph, range 7,800 miles (farther with air refueling) (A); speed 660 mph, range 8,900 miles (B).
Ceiling: 45,100 ft.
Accommodation: Two pilots, navigator, flight engineer, up to 22 cabin and maintenance crew.
Load: Up to 102 passengers (A); TBD (B).