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One of the most iconic aircraft in the world may be getting a makeover. US President Donald Trump wants to repaint Air Force One to look “more American,” Axios reports.
In negotiations with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg last February, when the President and CEO were discussing the terms for a $4 billion order for two new Boeing 747s to replace the current fleet — Trump told Muilenburg that he wants to get rid of the classic blue and white scheme for a “more American” look.
The current color scheme, which Trump referred to as a “Jackie Kennedy color,” was created in the 1960s by then-president John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy. It first appeared on a presidential aircraft, then a Boeing VC-137C, in 1962 and has been used ever since it was introduced.
Axios reports the “president’s preferred design is believed to include red, white and blue.” And he doesn’t think the current “luminous ultramarine” represents the USA even though it’s served as a backdrop for some of the biggest moments in US history over the last half-century. In the past, Trump has called Air Force One a “great plane” and “very beautiful.”
On top of making changes to the exterior, the president wants to upgrade the 747’s cabin to resemble his personal Boeing 757. This includes installing a larger, more comfortable bed similar to the one on the smaller plane. Trump’s 757 includes gold-plated faucets and seat belts.
The change could cause tension with the Air Force, sources told Axios. Air Force brass “like the current design” which is “known around the world.”
“Anyone who doubts how strongly Americans feel about the way Air Force One looks should go to the Reagan Library in California and see how many people go there to look at the plane that Ronald Reagan flew on while he was President,” presidential historian Michael Beschloss told Axios.
Unfortunately for the president, he may never ride on the redesigned aircraft. Trump will have to be re-elected in 2020 since it’s highly unlikely that the new aircraft will be ready before his first term ends on January 20, 2021.
Featured image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
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