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Squawks & HeadlinesPentagon Eyes New Air Force One

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Pentagon Eyes New Air Force One

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The U.S. Air Force is looking at replacing the Boeing 747-200B "VC-25A" aircraft which serve as Air Force One when the President is on board. The acquisition program was authorized late last week by Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Frank Kendall. The authorization also reportedly includes new Marine One helicopters as well. (www.aero-news.net) More...

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toolguy105
toolguy105 8
Lets face facts here. The present pair of Aircraft while they may not travel everyday with the president the y do fly almost daily for pilot training. This means the airframes do have a large number of hours on them. It is also true that the two aircraft are the best maintained planes in the world and are kept in almost showroom condition. Still they are old and parts for this 747-200 are hard to come by. It is time to replace then just as was done with the 707 aircraft which were replaced more often.

Now there are only two manufactures who can supply the type of four engine aircraft that is required for Presidential Conveyance. They would be the Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A380.

I for one would not want the President of the United States being transported in an Aircraft built buy a totally foreign country. When the AF one aircraft lands it is a symbol of the United State regardless if the president is on board or not. It would not be much of a symbol if it was built by Airbus. That and the fact that the A380 is way to much aircraft for Presidential travel. The A380 cannot go into many of the airports the present 747-200 or the 747-8 can operate from.

To ask a manufacturer to design a new aircraft or to retrofit an existing aircraft with four engines is cost prohibitive. So contrary to the article stating the Joints Chiefs have sourcing choice they do not. The new twins for AF one have to a Boeing and they have to be the 747-8.
skyfly12
shawn white 2
Wouldn't the 777-300ER be a good choice? Home built,, cost-effecient, and modern?
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
I know this is nitpicking, but in your 3rd para you state "When the AF one aircraft lands it is a symbol of the United States regardless if the president is on board or not." Well, whatever plane the President is on is designated as "Air Force One" but not until he's actually on board. (yeah, yeah - picky, picky, picky, but fact.) But I get your point and agree, it would seem unpatriotic to transport the President of the United States in a plane built elsewhere...Boeing all the way - go America!
johnbarnes151
John Barnes 0
lets get rid of those gas hogs and downsize to lear jets. Those jets are to costly for him to fly in using taxpayer money.
soulmotor
Jim Chambers 1
The only problem is all the conveyances that travel along with the President. You have press, secret service, munitions (for SS), etc. That just simply wouldn't fit on a Lear.
skylloyd
skylloyd 8
If they stuck with the original configuration thats on the 200, there is no way they could stuff all of the equipment into a twin, hospital, dual APU's, etc.
There is no other 747's maintained like these two, re-engine is the answer.
preacher1
preacher1 2
That would be the common sense approach but you are talking about the government here. They are going to be looking at the cost, but I'll bet nobody will look at the cost of pulling all that equipment or buying new stuff. They projected 30 years on that Airframe but I'll bet it doesn't have near the cycles that were originall projected and there is no better maintained aircraft in the world. I'm like you, hang new engines, and maybe upgrade some avionics if need and fly it.
skylloyd
skylloyd 0
Preacher, you are so right on..Boeing basically bought and payed for the airplane, because of cost over-runs. When I was picked to go to Witchita, I seen so much waste, all the interior seats, wall panels sitting on the hangar floor waiting to be installed, and one of Reagan's staff members came down and said "we don't like the colors" it had to be changed to desert hues, Boeing ate that. I can't even imagine what a new airplane would cost...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Common people use common sense. They are not common anymore. Just ask them.
pdixonj
pdixonj 12
Don't overlook the fact the Air Force One serves as an aerial presidential command center. In the event of a national emergency, all functions of the President (and his/her cabinet and staff) must be able to be carried out on board that a/c. A 777 could work possibly, but a 747 is a much better option, given it's size, endurance, speed, and 4 engines. Plus, we're talking about AIR FORCE ONE...what other U.S. made a/c is befitting of the title? If you want the a/c size downgraded, you might as well have the President move out of the White House and into a townhouse. There are just some perks that come with being President of the United States, and lets face it, without those perks who the hell would even want the job??
jetdrvr1
Fred Moore 7
Agreed. The Whale turns heads and garners respect worldwide. The Arrival of AF One anywhere is an *event*. It should be. Stick with Boeing, four engines, and the magnificent 747.
cheefpilot
cheefpilot -3
I'd take the job and fly myself in a light jet. Who wouldn't want a job that puts you in a position to sell favors to your friends and lobbyists for millions of dollars. Hell I'd buy the jet myself with all of the under the table money the president/congress is making.
chendrikson
You sort of missed the first sentence to his post there. Can't really squeeze an entire aerial command post into a CRJ, now can we ?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
He could just let Biden handle that. Ooh , scary!!!!
preacher1
preacher1 0
A lot of times when Clinton was president, he would come in on AF1, into Little Rock AFB, at Jacksonville, about 20 miles out of LIT, but many other times, they got a grumman of some type up there(seems like it was a G5 but I can't remember, and it became AF1 when he was on board and he came into Central Flying Service at KLIT. I know they couldn't cram all that stuff into that plane
pdixonj
pdixonj 5
It's true that any a/c the President flies in is considered to be Air Force One (or Marine One if it's a copter)...but my point is that there still needs to be an aircraft that can serve as an airborne Executive command center (a flying White House) during normal times and times of a national emergency...a G5 is not that a/c.
mk882004
Matt Kladder 4
Almost true, AF1 is any air force a/c the president is on, not any generic fixed wing, and marine 1 for any us marines a/c not just choppers, he is executive 1 on civil airplanes, army 1 on us army, etc.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I am not in favor of it at all. I am just saying that he did, and on a fairly regular basis during his first time. Now what the did with all that other stuff and whether AF1 was sitting out at LRAFB, I don't know.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Cheefpilot wants to fly a light jet himself as pres. I think I would prefer an f15 and let the 747 catch up later with the onboard office. Lol
cheefpilot
cheefpilot -5
The Citation I fly has a phone in it, what else do you need? There's also an AC outlet to power the teleprompter so he'll know what to say.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I don't think any one of us knows precisely what is or is not required on board to bring the plane up to the standards required for it to become a flying White House, so that's pretty much a moot point.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -2
All that command center stuff is overrated anyhow. A citation should do nicely. Now if somebody could just load that teleprompter with something other than bs. Lol
dbaker
Daniel Baker 9
It seems unlikely that Airbus will get an opportunity to bid, so is there really any option besides the 747-8?
jim1105
Jimmy Reagan -6
Honestly, do you think they need all the space the 748 offers. I'd say a new T7-3, That plane makes an statement!
amahran
amahran -9
I think the appropriate presidential aircraft should be a simple private jet such as a Learjet or Citation. Anything large would just be a massive waste of money....
charlieo42000
carlos ospina 1
i wonder if you have any idea of what real life is all about..
preacher1
preacher1 0
He probably does, which is the reason for his statement. The more of these comments I read down thru here, I like the idea of the pogo stck.LOL
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
I'm picturing you on the pogo stick Preacherman...
preacher1
preacher1 2
You can picture all you want but you'll strictly be fantasizing.LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
I'm thinking it's the DC crowd that is having a hard time with real life. IMHO
jkarides96
Joseph Karides -3
Massive waste of money? Well good thing the US Government isn't known for doing that!
bizarrebananablast
Conor Ball -6
Lets hope for an A380! Don't get your hopes up on that, more likely to be a 747-8. I wish they would try for a A340 series.
suz
suz 8
Dear Pentagon: Make due with what you have - only the finest fleet on the planet which want for nothing! Are you needing the "new car smell"?

If B52s still fly ... just sayin' ...
daveemert
daveemert 2
The President flies in Marine One more than any other aircraft. Obviously this rotorcraft is not capable of long international flights but it serves as the shuttle of choice and does save money and public inconvenience vs. deploying a ground based motorcade. A motorcade requires a great deal of planning, halts traffic along the entire route, and requires the use of many special purpose vehicles and personnel. As far as a new AF 1 is concerned, we would make a stronger statement to the world by refitting the existing aircraft and demonstrating we can be 'green' by conserving. Or in American Style, build a few more Bad-Ass Pompous Bigger –is-better SUV planes and ask China to finance them like everything else we buy. Can AF1 serve as a flying command center, absolutely? But so can a 737-900. Eisenhower and JFK didn’t seem to have any problems with the earlier N25000. Nixon made it to China and back on the aircraft. A 747 doesn’t make any better of a flying White House than any other aircraft. Our massive fleet of “Executive” aircraft can serve just as well and there are many of them in stock to choose from.
ndmike2001
Michael Garber 1
ya sure that's not 'dew'?
jbhazlewood
James Hazlewood 3
The plane need to match the passenger, in this case it's the leader of the free world, so a 747-800 converted for Air Force 1 capabilities is appropriate.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
The president is not royalty. I know you have a hard time embracing that concept. And just how many of your tax dollars will be invested in this purchase?
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
LOL-not to bring up a sensitive subject, but I'd rather see our tax dollar spent on putting our President in a new plane and ensuring his safety than developing new technology to land on Mars. But that's just me - and I love spending money.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I was just pointing out that it's easy for James to say because he is from UK. I love to spend money. I just don't like how the government is spending my tax dollars. Besides, they will have to borrow the money. I'm paying cash for my plane after giving them and the state 41 percent. If they bought the planes and balanced the budget at the same time I would not bitch. Just me too.
rndsm1
Brent Vegors 2
I totally concur with toolguy105's assessment. The 47-8 is MUCH more fuel efficient, has a GREAT payload capability, and a greatly reduced sound wake. It can use a SHORTER runway (allowing easier access to smaller runway countries) and it still has the WORLD RECOGNIZED grandeur associated with the POTUS. I, for one, do NOT want AMERICA'S JET to be made MAINLY by a multi-country, EU, company. As it IS America's jet it should be American made.

The A380 would allow for a LOT more capacity. That is a given. It would not be able to land in Des Moines, Iowa or Houston, Hobby etc. It needs to be an aircraft which get's the JOB done. That includes visiting MANY smaller airports here at home and abroad.

Yes, these are the two absolutely best kept 47-2's in the WORLD, they need replaced. They do NOT operate under the "normal" tolerances of any other 47-2. These two beautiful aircraft have been, an continue to be, pushed to every possible scenario therefore putting EXTREME stress upon EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT of the aircraft.

When it comes down to it... whatever WE think just doesn't matter!
MattU470
Matthew Unger 2
They should just use a tricked-out C-17. Lots of space, already in the inventory (spares, parts, etc.), and already proven. I the C-17 is too small, use a C-5.
Yankee1
Robert West 2
This is crap ! If I may paraphrase an old movie line... "We don't NEED no stinkin new Air Force One"
rndsm1
Brent Vegors 2
There have been a lot of good comments and some fun, light-hearted ones. Bringing this ALL back in to perspective...

How many jets will have the capacity to have the following defense systems crammed in AND allow for the other things I will mention later?

Defenses: chaffing, laser, missiles,guns,EMP shielding,Nuclear shielding,radar "cloaking", not to mention what we don't know about.

Capacity: On board secure, and non secure, communications bay, kitchens, sleeping quarters, offices, meeting rooms, Secret Service, armory, surgical bay, spare parts for the aircraft, the "select" media pool (the others get to fly in another aircraft), Airborne Command Capabilities, and lest we forget, THE PRESIDENT and HIS FAMILY (at times). I am sure I left a few out.

Location accessibility: Personally, I would LOVE a C-5 fitted for the needs of the President, but not very realistic. Most airports in the world can easily handle a 747-200. A 47-8 is able to get in to even smaller airports, is more fuel efficient, much less of a sound wake, and as previously mentioned in the forum, AF-1 arriving, sitting there, and taking off are truly "EVENTS". I have had the honor of seeing AF-1 on several occasions. Beautiful! It makes me PROUD to be an American. THAT is OUR Aircraft!

Finally there is the SEVERE stress the "twins" are put under on a routine basis. They are out training for the most horrific events they can think of. Those aircraft are not just performing flights for the President. I once saw one, in the steepest climb, then roll to starboard, do an exceptionally tight turn, then OMG NOSE DIVE (okay my heart is back in my throat as I am writing this) and suddenly. after coming down to I would guess no more than 2,000, pull back up in another incredibly steep climb! I thought the President was going to dye right in front of me! (Obviously they were training.) That was scary and awesome to see. I hope I NEVER see it again! Once is enough for me. IF any of you have seen any of the footage of AF-1 on 9-11 you have a little insight as to what this aircraft may be called upon to provide at ANY point in time.

The air-frame, skin, engines, and body are put under MORE STRESS than the "normal" 47. It IS time to consider a NEW set. Yes there are a lot of different aircraft in the PAW. A 77-3, or above, still would not be able to provide what is needed in this case. I want OUR President to arrive safely, when traveling, period.

I have truly enjoyed all of the comments in here on this one.

Thank you for letting me lay out MY observations as to WHY it needs to be done. Take from this what you will. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We need to make sure we respect that when people post. I will say this forum tends to be pretty darn good about that!

The first things to be replaced will be the rotary aircraft. THAT is coming right around the corner! The fixed wing is still a way off.

Thanks again everyone!
mhardeyt
Matt Hardey 2
Just more bureaucratic BS. If you can fly B-52's that are 50 years old, the President can certainly fly in a -200. Just a waste of a pot full of our tax dollars. Now when he takes a vacation with his family - tell me why he doesn't just put the VP in charge and take a Gulfstream? Save us a few of our hard-earned bucks.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Have you ever listened to the VP? You might want to rethink part of that plan.LOL
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Because being "the world's most powerful person" comes with its perks.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Oh, it matters. But that attitude is why half the people don't vote and why we got what we got. You may be happy with these jackweeds being treated like royalty but I am not. My ancestors fought and died to get rid of bluebloods.
misterjerry
Jerry Cummings 1
You don't want to use a C-5. Even with the "M" model modifications, its overall mission reliability rating stinks
preacher1
preacher1 1
Give 'em hell , son. Mine did too.
vanstaalduinenj
Jon Van Staalduinen 3
Not really, the 800 is the logical choice, I doubt they would look at any twin engined machines. Although the 777 and maybe even 787 would be a pretty cool air force "1"
preacher1
preacher1 6
Although they should look at a twin, you are probably correct, which will only leave the 747. One must remember that the previous AF1 was a 707. That said, there are couple of things that may come out here. I noticed in that same requisition, there was also one for Marine 1. We all rember the flap a year or 2 back when the chopper replacement was proposed. From a 707 to a 747, regardless of the model, do they need that much extra room? As far as the twins, isn't the rest of the Andrews fleet all twins of various types. Personally, they are out there for the general public and the lesser importants in the administration. Pres out to fly them as well. I think as they delve into the cost, that is going to need to be a separate budget item as that is one USAF really has no power over as well as getting the scrutiny that Marine 1 got a while back.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -1
Looking at the shape our leadership has put us in, I think some SWA 737's hand me downs ought to be just right.lol Really, I see nothing wrong with what they have. They can't be houred up and they can do a lot of upgrading for a fraction of the cost of new. Whatever!
preacher1
preacher1 -2
Yeah James, but we talkin the fedrul gumit here!!!
preacher1
preacher1 -2
That being said, this just came out today. Let's give a day or 2 to see if there the the same outcry that there was on Marine 1.
mpradel
Marcus Pradel 2
How many cycles have these 2 airframes gone thru anyway?

Get'em new engines and keep trucking.
planeaholic
planeaholic 2
Much like the government (and many US citizens), it's time to downsize and improve efficiency. I would think the 787 would suffice for the space needed, even if they go with the -900, or whatever numeric assignment denotes the largest Dreamliner series. If that's too small, let the press outlets pay to fly their reporters around. Why should the citizens continue to foot the bill for them?
preacher1
preacher1 2
This is the 2nd or 3rd comment about the press corp and all, as I, seem to be of the same opinion. Why should we foot the bill?????????? Without them taking up space we probably wouldn't need all that extra room.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Absolutely. Just because we hauled them around in the past is no reason to say it has to always be that way. No matter who wins this election or the next they need to be riding in what we got. They are not exactly junk. I would be interested to know the real hours on these birds. I find it hard to beleive they have anything close to what airlines fly.
vanstaalduinenj
Jon Van Staalduinen 2
Canadian prime minister flies around in 30 year old airbus A300, painted in dark green, uses smaller crj's for smaller journeys.
mboette
mboette 3
It's not an A300, its an A310, and it is painted grey, not dark green. Also, the only CRJ's in use by the Canadian gov't are being used for airways calibration, and not used as a transport at all.
plhought
Patrick Houghton 3
Mboette's right, is is an A310, operated 437 Squadron. Jon was probably confusing 412 squadron's Challenger CL601's with CRJs. Small correction mboette though. The CRJ's you are talking about are operated/owned by NavCanada, which is quite separate from the government really. It's a private 'non-profit' corporation.
aircmdr
Get him a Pogo Stick. Time to stop spending money on traveling politicians
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
A government pogo stick is $50,000,000. Got to have one each for the press corp.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 6
Will cost $100,000,000 to teach the VP how to use it.
cemannsr
charlie Mann 1
Every time I see him hopping off AF 1 I think he looks like a pogo stick...LOL...just sayin..
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
And please, don't call me "Mommy"! You are off the radar as far as I'm concerned. You know....It's your world and I'm just passing thru it.
Mooney62L
Buz Allen 1
The Fact Is, We are Now a Bankrupt Nation and Yes the 747's need to be parked so that our Elected Officials, who were Supposed to be Guiding Our Nation to Prosperity and the Pursuit Of Happiness, can travel in the mode they DESERVE ! My Vote is Cast for the Next Air Force One, A Beech 18!! Appropriate because Beech has been driven into Bankruptcy by these SAME LAME Gov't Officials who keep giving our DOD Contracts to FOREIGN Mfg.s Wake Up Americans! Stop rewarding people who are Taking Your Hard Earned Dollars and giving them to Foreigners!!
ndmike2001
Michael Garber 1
Didn't we just recently get new Marine One helicopters?
preacher1
preacher1 1
Regardless of which side of this debate you are on, it is ironic that this comes out a few days after another FA squawk about USAF going out of business, especially with the possible funding sequestration looming on the horizon. Either they don't believe it will happen or they are just totally impervious to the the shape of everbody's pocketbook right now.
eddiejo37
Edward Maring 1
Can we aford it ?
vanstaalduinenj
Jon Van Staalduinen 1
I read on Wikipedia that Boeing will be offering the 787 Dreamliner for the project, did not say exclusively the 787 but it will be proposed. Boeing appears to agree with most of us, 787 is a good size, and the 787-800 is just too much
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Well, that didn't hurt me a bit! And I was never on "Your Back"! I'm pleased, and I hope you are as well, to have had the chance to met Neal Armstrom. He was truely a great man with integrity and he was humble at the same time. I admire people like that! And maybe the most imortant thing of all...is that he loved the space program and the possibilies that would create in "space". And what we on Earth would, can and will do in the future.
kloppt
Ted Klopp 1
Where in the H.... is the present administration getting the money??????????
DaleWoodruff
Dale Woodruff 1
At estimated cost of $47000.00 an hour to fly airforce one the plane should not be used for puddle jumping nor does another 747 need to follow the first " wasting money "
alaska1234
Dave Ness 1
I looked at the Air Force and Boeing web sites and they say that Airbus is not participating in the bid. They are now looking at the 747-8 or the 787. Personally I think the president traveling in a Dreamliner would show the world superior American ingenuity and engineering.
SteveDietrich
Steve Dietrich 1
Are we nuts.

Presidents are replaceable. But we have B-52s and 707 generation tankers defending our country that are three or more decades lokder and hawe far more hours.

Let's get those who go in harms way to defend our nation some up to date aircraft before we get the president a new toy.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
The current 747-200 "Air force One" is one pampered thoroughbred and should not be put out to pasture anytime soon. Although, I would like to correct the "Operating Cost" of the a/c, that was posted earlier. The Operating Cost for "Air Force 1 is $181,000.00 per hour. As far as "Cycles", she has been thru the ringer....no doubt...but that just shows you the "integrity" of a Boeing built aircraft...like the B-52. Just a little F.Y.I., The current AF-1 went thru 154 cycles alone...just flying George Sr. Home to Texas and back to D.C. 77 times within his term in office! You do the math at $181,000.00 per hour!
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
James, you can take what I said and blow it out your "APU"! I'm just giving you info on AirForce One. Don't understand why you think my post has "Zero Substance"! I'm just giving you my opinion, along with facts and research. The govenment is going to do what they are going to do, whether we like it or not.! We...the people, once again, don't have the control over the issue. I was giving my opinion. Isn't what this "Forum" is all about?
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
I'm LOLing! It' just the facts and opinions. What did I say that offended you?
KauaiGolfer
KauaiGolfer 1
I don't see the Air Force and the Secret Service going for a twin engined replacement, as much as I like the 777 and the 787. And there is no way in hell they're buying Airbuses for this, so it's got to be the 747-8.
cemannsr
charlie Mann 1
FYI...
In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed August 19 to be National Aviation Day. The day coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright, who piloted the Wright Flyer. He and his brother Wilbur are given credit for building the world’s first successful airplane with aircraft controls that enabled them to steer the plane. Orville Wright made the first flight for 12 seconds and 120 feet around the site of Wright Brothers National Memorial on December 17, 1903. They were not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft but they are the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed wing flight possible. The Wright brothers' status as inventors of the airplane has been an issue of debate, particularly as there were competing claims regarding other early aviators. Another national observation in the United States is Wright Brothers Day on December 17 each year.

Each year the president may issue a proclamation to: designate August 19 as National Aviation Day; call on government officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on the day; and invite people living in the United States to observe the day with appropriate exercises to further stimulate interest in aviation in the United States.
JETnyc
JETnyc 1
I would like to see a 748 - SP smaller EZ to move arnd and faster ←→
ikele76
Richard Shirley 1
Its all obsolete no need to travel by airplane On my planet we chat by telecom. Just another way to piss taxpayer money away. Another 25 years this county will be a dictatorship They just keep chipping away at our rights in the name of national security Tap our phones strip us half naked to travel and build billion dollar bombers to bomb a hut up in the hills of who knows where Its out of control people We are lemmings going over a cliff They need a new airplane like I need a hemorrhoid
rndsm1
Brent Vegors 1
Being a part of the Boeing Dreamliner Design Team I will say this about the 87... there is SOME potential there. While we ALL agree money is an issue this has been put in to budgets for quite some time now. Another member, I apologize for NOT having the exact name, made the Achilles heel point of the 87... TWO ENGINES. Pretty darn good safety records from the advent of the LR, 2 engine, Wide body aircraft. I HIGHLY doubt they would EVER trust the life of the POTUS to a mere 2 engines. They are GREAT engines just not enough of them!

At this point in time it is just a RFP to be issued, and even at that, in a few years from now. Who knows what will be the final DELIVERY date! Heck, the POTUS could be flying from DC to London in under an hour by then! ROTFL. :-)

(If the Pres. decides to fly in a CESSNA 152 it IS AF-1!) Wouldn't THAT be a sight!

I am still for the 47-8. THEY will do whatever THEY want. This HAS been a fun forum, there have been some GREAT ideas, and some VERY funny one's too. Thanks for launching this forum!

Happy flying everyone!

BTW... United is announcing a where they are planning on flying their initial 87's. I can't wait to give her the good ole' try!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
At the risk of revealing my naivete, I ask the question: Does it actually matter that we know there is a plan for a new Air Force One either before the fact or even after the fact? Do "we" have the power or the privilege of waggling our finger and saying no, no, no, you can't buy that just yet?
Doobs
Dee Lowry 1
Donna, you are always saying, change makes the world go 'round. I agree, too a certain point. There is nobody in office that I would consider a "Hero"!
Neal Armstrong was a "Hero" in my eyes. And thankyou God for giving him life to experience and witness "Curiosity" and the amazing and unbelievable sights that he and the rest of the world saw on Mars. It's not a "dead planet"...it's just taking a time out. Neal Armsrong is a true hero to me. Maybe, it might behoove you to go to the conventions...not as a delgate but a USA commoner and voice your opinion. Can't hurt! This is not a polital forum. Let's stick with the subject on hand.
kloppt
Ted Klopp 1
Where in the H..... is the money come from?????????
vanstaalduinenj
Jon Van Staalduinen 1
707's and B52's rock! I bet you ask the brave airmen and women who fly them and they tell you they not part with the beloved birds for all the tea in China...
Mauilaw
Mauilaw 1
Actually I just checked, the plane would come online in 2020!
Mauilaw
Mauilaw 1
The reporters, aids and equipment ake a great deal of room. Besides even if Obama wins in November he would likely even fly on the new plane, if so it would toward the end of his terms. Thus, making quips about Obama is ridiculous.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Okay mommy.

(But fyi, I said change makes the world go 'round ONCE.) Nor did I say anyone in office was a hero, but rather tongue in cheek, I alluded to how after they've left office and someone else has taken over, we then consider them the heroes. Now, I'm sure your advice is well intended (well, not really sure, but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt) but it might behoove you to just GET OFF MY BACK.

PS-I personally knew Neil (not Neal) Armstrong ... he worked at Orbital Sciences and I had the pleasure of working with him many years ago.

WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Dee, I'm not sure which James you are responding to. You certainly are entitled to your opinion. I think the no substance remark was directed at me by a UK er who doesn't have a dog in the hunt. Those of us that pay US taxes certainly have a vested interest no matter which way you lean on the subject.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
That is kind of the crux of this whole string. We can afford anything we want as long as we can borrow the money.
rjb4000
rjb4000 1
Only $47k / hour? Not bad it seems… According to this report, an F-22 costs $44k / hr…

http://hatch.senate.gov/public/_files/F22AssertionsAndFacts.pdf
preacher1
preacher1 1
They cancelled the order due to public outcry right after OBAMA took over.
rjb4000
rjb4000 1
Lemmings don't actually intentionally jump off cliffs…

http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp

#facts
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
We do! Outrage stopped the foreign helos. Maybe by the time they actually sign an order the country will be rolling in dough. Hahaha.
rndsm1
Brent Vegors 1
YES! It DOES matter! Most people have NO IDEA the government is even paying attention to THIS! The outcry, over the new helicopters, caused THAT issue to be placed on the back burner. Look at it this way, if you will please, for every person whom states they are against something the candidate's staff members, and the government, see VOTES! Yes, YOUR opinion does matter! (It just doesn't matter all that much. :-p LOL!)

As a side bar, there is this little issue about TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. I have LITERALLY cut & pasted comments, on various issues, and sen them to MY Representatives. I have ALWAYS received a response. (Surprised the HE...double hockey sticks out of me!)
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
preacher1
preacher1 2
Gawd!!!!! This is getting deep now that even snopes is called into the argument.LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
So, Disney is a fraud like the politicians?
preacher1
preacher1 1
We are getting off topic too.LOL There are some curmudgeons on here.LOL
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Good to know. I asked because the following quote from the article raised the question for me: "The acquisition program was authorized late last week by Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Frank Kendall" Many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, huh? (PS-re your "rolling in dough" jibe it's comforting to know that optimism still exists...funny man! lol)
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
drill baby drill
rjb4000
rjb4000 1
I guess I could have actually read the report… TWO F-22's cost that… So whatever - your argument of flight cost per hour is still kind of thin in my opinion!
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
APU = ASS. Man, it was a noisy day at the airport yeaterday, all the airplanes had their asses running...
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I get all that you guys - actually, I really do. It's the abysmal voter turnout that tells me it won't make any difference. That's it for me. I'm out!
rndsm1
Brent Vegors 1
Good point Donna. (I did catch that in the earlier post but forgot to mention it in my reply.)
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Outrage=votes. Get it?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
You ain't gonna sell that to this administration. They want 4 bucks a gallon and more. And they used to bitch about Bush and Cheny being oil men. I don't exactly see the oil profits dwindling. Duh
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
The current administration's always to blame. Eight years later, they're heroes. It's just what we do.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Precisely, and although it looks like 2010 is the most current data, it's not too encouraging:

Year Voting-age Population Voter Registration Voter Turnout Turnout of Voting Age Population (%)
2010 235,809,266 NA 90,682,968 37.8%


Get it?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
That means 62.2% are lazy sheep being lead by the 37.8%. The elections are binding even if 1% turn out. That is why they want the goverent to take care of them. Sheep always need a keeper.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Heroes aren't elected. Of course the current administration is to blame because they always promised to fix them if they got elected.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I didn't mean the get it as a smart Alec comment. I'll bet either presidential candidate would use a Cessna if it meant they could get 51% of those that do vote. Lol
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I know your just busy having a cocktail and watching the RNC. LOL
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I clearly misunderstood it. Thanks for explaining. 51% of the votes could sway a lot of choices I imagine...but I'll bet that Cessna would go the way of all campaign promises faster than a speeding bullet. Up up and away.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Tread lightly. Someone may chastise you for talking politics.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Yep, you definitely get it.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
That ain't gonna make my top ten list of things to worry about.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I know, and rightly so. That was a knee-jerk reaction to a prior post to me from someone else. I lean toward sarcasm which I need to keep on a shorter leash. mea culpa
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I knew that-read the post. On so many of these posts it's hard not to get political because the politics are intertwined with the subject. Just proves to me the government is in too many things.lol
preacher1
preacher1 0
They'll print it.LOl
pilot0987
pilot0987 1
I am pretty sure this is what George wanted and was cancelled when Obama first took office.
jhakunti
Jayden Hakunti 1
it is about time. I hope it's the 747-8. it needs to be big and represent our wealth and power.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I believe you are correct. I seem to remember seeing an RFI anyway, rather than a full quote request
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
When you can't pay your bills is that the new measure of wealth? Where I went to school it meant something else. But hey, I didn't go to Harvard. Lol
slgordon3
slgordon3 2
Good point. Both Obama and Romney went to Harvard, so it looks like we'll have a Harvard man in the White House no matter which one wins. I mean, assuming that some Lyndon LaRouche type doesn't win it lol.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
It's funny to me that so many of the FAB 535 have made hundreds of millions of dollars for their personal wealth but they can't make the federal government break even. Go figure!
slgordon3
slgordon3 3
Yeah, it is crazy that with all the brilliant minds we have in this country that we can't come up with something better. Right now it seems that the only thing our elected officials (from both the major parties) can come up with are attack ads. I don't know whether to laugh or cry sometimes.
hotelgulf718
Herb Greenwood 1
In the view of the financial health of the US and Europe, now is not the time for a new Presidential conveyance. There is no good reason to replace the current (2) Air Force One.
Since they don't rotate the same as a commercial 747, they're must be plenty of airframe time left on them.

Mr. Kendall needs to be replaced with a newer version.
vanstaalduinenj
Jon Van Staalduinen 1
Don't forget there are (and likely will be) 2 of these bad boys built, likely at a cost of 450-500 million each, that if it is fully kitted like the existing planes are, half the cost of a B2 bomber. I think the plane that carries the leader of the most powerful country on earth deserves some latitude on getting a total kick butt 747-800, not too mention its only in proposal phase and likely 4 years away at best, and once in service will likely be around for 25-30 years. Let the Man have his plane....
elnass
elnass 1
Give me a break! Do NOT waste our money. Try setting a good example and make due with what you have.
ndmike2001
Michael Garber 2
you sure that shouldn't be 'dew' or 'do'?
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
It's never a good idea to correct someone when you yourself don't' know the correct answer.
ScottGreen2007
Scott Green 1
While you are at it, just build another house to live in too. The White House is too old..
hotelgulf718
Herb Greenwood 1
Who is John Galt?
RX300
Jerry Sinard 1
I agree, Obama should kick in half as they never shut the engines down he travels so much. I really wish they actually had to pay to use it on campaigns. I guess they really could not afford to. The costs for him to run around to campaign is astronomical. All the planes, cars, hotels, staff etc. I bet if we really knew, the tax payers would demand he limit his activities. Much cheaper to put up jumbotrons in several locations while he stays in Washington and maybe work!! He needs to go anyway.
chicoaggie
Tim Smith 1
Yes, please send out the RFP to Airbus, Sukoi, Embraer, Bombardier, and especially Comac!
distar97
Dennis Harper 1
Remember they always fly with AF cargo planes as well, often a C5-A or a few C-17's to carry the vehicles. They bring two of the full size Prez limos we've all seen, a WH mobile comm van, a bunch of Suburbans and there's more. If they need a helicopter, they bring at least two of them. They don't use local rides, everything is hauled in from DC. Don't forget the advance teams of Secret Service agents in and out, on the smaller AF planes. And the protection teams on travel day.

I know on some overseas trips, they bring both 747's and a cargo plane of spare parts. They even bring equipment to test local Jet-A although the AF 747's can do mid air refueling which means more those aircraft need to be deployed.

Don't worry, for political campaign trips, his party reimburses the cost to the gov't. But only equal to the cost of a commercial ticket for each political person on board.
Oh I almost forgot they separately fly a medical team around too. Some of this might be dated but you get the idea.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
refurbish the current fleet for international travel and by a GV or a plane of similar size for domestic flights
jbhazlewood
James Hazlewood 1
@james wallace, what's the point of your posts? zero substance. "LOL", we hope that keeps you entertained.
acarson117
Art Carson 1
GV or BBJ would do just fine. Let the press corps pay their own way.
hotelgulf718
Herb Greenwood 1
Everyone has raised some good points here. This issue kind of hits a raw nerve due to the many bail outs and wholesale rape of public money that have come squarely off the backs of mostly middle class Americans.

There is no good reason why this or any future administration deserve to have the hundreds of millions of dollars made available for luxury travel...with their friends on ANY aircraft whilst there is so much poverty and loss of jobs right here in our own backyard.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pro technology and love aviation technology, but now is just not the time for such a huge expenditure.
Put the money where it's needed, into the hands of the jobless Americans HERE so we can start to rebuild all the industry and technology, (built off the backs of hard working Americans), that the government has so freely given away.
flightech
cranston harris 3
you make a good point however rather than just charge the pres. you need to see how much the senators and cabinet members spend a year for travel and expences, and mostly on wemen and eats. it is a lot of money at least this spends the money every four years these people spends every day and weekend
markler
mark ler 1
It would be a national embarassment if they aquired the Presidential Aircraft from anyone other than Boeing.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Not everyone, it's pretty stupid to think that a Lear or Slowtation could do the job. The 74 is the only choice, it's proven, 4 engines, etc...
preacher1
preacher1 1
preacher1
preacher1 1
If the jumbotrons didn't have any different BS on them than his teleprompters we would get into an argument about them too.LOL

But now, this is an aviation forum so let's dont let it degenerate into a political on.LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Now there is some royal substance.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
slowtation...lol
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
That is funny. However, Travel by slowtation would be ok with me. :-)
preacher1
preacher1 1
Tim: if this happened, and it could, it would totally reinforce the belief that common sense was Dead & Buried.LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 -1
They are not interested in saving your tax dollars.
rjb4000
rjb4000 0
Your comment has so much to do with the acquisition program initiated to replace an airplane.
jimquinndallas
Jim Quinn 0
It's a shame the 747 cannot follow in the footsteps of the B-52. Upgrade, strengthen, upgrade and get every penny out of the 747 that may be squeezed out of it. I'm not saying keep the 747's for fifty-plus years, but why not use it as long as it may be used?
preacher1
preacher1 1
As I said below, if it comes into the public eye as Marine 1 did, this requisition will die. I was just sitting here thinking upgrade myself.
dgbard
Don Bard 0
Save us all a buck. First make it illegal for him to us AF1 for re-election and fund raising trips. Second, keep current AF 1 but cut way back on its usage. Only for approved for trips over 1,000 miles, international travel, and strategic command situations. Third, for shorter trips, use a smaller business class jet. Heck, if they cut out the fund raising, reelection trips might get another 10 years out of AF1.

Lastly, let the guy fly commercial coach once in awhile like the rest of us normal folks. Be good for his attitude, and humility.
toolguy105
toolguy105 3
Planes are not like cars. Pilots have to actually fly them to stay current. There is only so much you can do in the simulator. Also planes that sit on the ground actually cost more money to maintain as they tend to develop certain problems that do not develop if flown regularly. I saw this with B52s that sat on alert for 45 days. It was lucky we got them off the ground after being on alert.

As for the President flying on a different aircraft. Sorry only the AF1 planes have the communications suite and equipment the President has to have when he travels. President Nixon during the oil embargo of the 70's flew commercial to California one time. What no one told anyone is that both AF1 and the spare were right behind the United flight the President was on. In case of an Emergency all three planes were to land at the nearest airport so the President could transfer to AF1.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Let's have a look at the hours and cycles.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 0
Are you expecting the pres. (who ever it is) to lead by example?
toolguy105
toolguy105 0
James, I wish he could. I would love to ground AF1 and the entire 95th Squadron as a Perk the President and Congressional members, as well as certain Cabinet Secretaries and Military flag Officers do not warrant. Unfortunately In today's fast paced world commercial flights do not go where these people need to be when they need to be there or offer the security the need to have. Until we can find away around those problems the 95th Squadron will be alive an well living at Joint Base Andrews.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
I do not expect the pres to fly commercially, ever.
hrsemn
hrsemn 0
I strongly believe that if the Air Force looks into the 748, the gov't should be able to save in fuel costs in the long run. Besides, the 748 is almost comparable to the 742 with better engines, and can fly faster.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Take a long time to save a $billion with fuel savings.
tbpera
Tom Pera -3
why not a 747-8 for international trips and a smaller, say 767/787 for western hemispheres trips.... frankly, I'd like to see "the chief" use a much smaller, more economical plane... makes me sick to see Bush/Obama fly all over the U.S. in the big, expensive 747... costs us, that's us taxpayers millions to operate the 747.. and it's unnecessary for trips in the U.S.
Darrens
Darren Shields 7
As was previously stated, it isn't about the luxury. It's about the capability. AF1 is a flying White House with all of the communications ability to let the president and other leadership run the government from aloft. When the president travels one never knows what crisis may come up. Lesser officials can and do use smaller aircraft but for the president there is no other option but Air Force One.
pnschi
pnschi 1
How do you know the communication ability can't fit in a 787?
markler
mark ler 1
Just look at the capability of the iPhone. If they can put that level of technology into an iPhone, the they can fit whatever they need into a 787. Electronics have gotton so much smaller since the current 747-200's were built, that I am sure that the 787 will work just fine.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I get your point, but isn't that a bit like saying...hey, I have this new modern stove and we're moving into a smaller house, but surely it will fit because of its level of technology. Not much of an argument.
westfly
kyle estep 0
Maybe the idiots in DC should just rent a Ford or Chevy and drive. After all that's what they made the "big 3" executives do.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
Yeah, okay, leaving for Afghanistan in 3 days - YEEHAAA- ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!! Those idiots in DC really ARE idiots.
dbaker
Daniel Baker 5
There's no way that the incremental operating cost of a 747 (vs a 767/787) for the extremely limited usage of the planes is more expensive than maintaining a completely separate, smaller fleet.
tbpera
Tom Pera -4
don't agree.... hourly cost of operation???
andriy17
Andriy Tsyupka -8
makes me sick as well.....a true leader should not travel in this type of luxury when times are so hard!
pnschi
pnschi 1
Just a note to all those whose comments make it clear they're fuming at the thought of the current president flying around in a newer, shinier, more expensive plane:

The article (read it!) says that the plan is to get an RFP out to the industry in 2015, with a contract possibly as early as 2016. This thing ain't gonna see Obama, even with his win this coming November.
kb9uwu
Matt Comerford 1
too bad they don't have a choice...
Ron271
Ron271 -2
Hello A380!
mpradel
Marcus Pradel 2
That would be a great idea, there are only a few airports around the country set-up for that Beast of an Airplane.. this could mean fewer VIP TFRs!
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 0
I never thought that many of the airports that the current fleet goes into could accomodate them (Asheville Regional for example). They would find a way to make them work considering I doubt that the planes are ever at full gross.
skuttlerats
Jeffrey Babey -2
Only if it's built on American soil!
vanstaalduinenj
Jon Van Staalduinen 0
Wow, comac.....great reference....
Flyboy187
Nathan Quast 0
747-8 All the way!
SullySullinburg
Timothy Sullivan 0
On 28 January 2009, EADS announced they would not bid on the program
i found this so unless some one comes out of the woods them its boeings to take
Airway61
Jose Lauzardo 0
I guess they will stay with the Boeing line.Possibly the 747-8
DaleWoodruff
Dale Woodruff 0
The Obama gang does not care, look what Pelosi, when she was speaker of the House of Rep's raped the American taxpayers with her use of govt. airplane use
preacher1
preacher1 1
Was this not on the helicopter flap over Marine 1, or was it the original looking around USAF did a few years ago when they first took a look at an AF1 replacement? Reason for asking is that one of their divisions has a big helicopter plant in Columbus MS
RobSJC
RobSJC -2
On the heals of the NASA $$$$ waste .. our tax money to be wasted again ? What the heck is wrong with the numerous helo's and two AF-1 aircraft they have now ? I suppose, it will be be a new limo next, too .. With the current Presidential contest, some one at teh Pentagon, must of tought we'd miss this one as they attempt to sneak it in "under the radar" ...
rndsm1
Brent Vegors 1
They ALREADY have purchased a couple of new "Beast's"! So, the limo comes before the hilo's, which comes before the plane. Kind of reminds me of which came first...? :-)
vanstaalduinenj
Jon Van Staalduinen -2
I stand corrected on the A310 and color, my apologies. I do know the P.M will use a smaller aircraft for the ottawa-Toronto trip, not sure what it is though, either way, certainly no hospital or electronic nuclear command controls on board, maybe Obama and future American Presidents won't need that making the 747-800 a more economical of the rack "VIP" jet which boeing already manufactures.

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