New Air Force One to Be Painted Red, White and Blue, Trump Confirms
The iconic baby blue and white of arguably the most famous aircraft in the world will be going away and will be replaced with a coat of red, white and blue, President Donald Trump said in an interview aired Tuesday.
Reports had been circulating for a while that Trump was considering the "more American" color scheme, but his comments to CBS confirmed it. The new version of the presidential vessel will debut in 2021 when the new Air Force Ones, two Boeing 747-8i four-engine jets, debut.
"It’s going to be the top of the line, the top in the world," Trump said. "And it's going be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate."
The current design dates back to President John F. Kennedy, who supposedly rejected the original proposed colors of red and gold as looking too imperial and asked for blue instead, though Trump has called Air Force One's light blue "the Jackie Kennedy blue." Jacqueline Kennedy's contribution was to replace the words "Military Air Transport Service" on the fuselage with "United States of America." Trump has no known plans to substitute those words with a phrase of his own, but is said to want to remake the interior of the presidential Boeing 747 to more resemble his personal Boeing 757, which has gold-plated faucets and a bigger bed.
Technically, any aircraft the president is on is referred to as "Air Force One" and reverts to its regular code designation when he's not aboard. For example, the two Boeing 747-200B aircraft with the Air Force designation VC-25A that he uses today go by the call signs SAM 28000 and 29000 when not in presidential use.
The US Air Force is reportedly displeased with the idea of doing away with Air Force One's current iconic look, but Trump would only get to ride in the rebranded version of the plane if he wins reelection — the two new 747s he bought from Boeing in February wouldn't be ready until the start of a second term. Curiously, those two 747s were originally destined for a Russian airline, Transaero — but had been sitting in storage, virtually new and never used in service, after the airline folded.