President-elect Donald Trump recently went on another of his tirades on Twitter, this time regarding the construction of two new airplanes that will serve as Air Force One. Boeing is responsible for the government contract to build the new planes, but Trump seems to be under the delusion that the planes cost prohibitively more than they actually do. Trump has been criticizing Boeing in the media over the deal, but it isn’t as if he can use his own plane with solid gold fixtures.
Trump tweeted recently that the new 747 planes being built by the Chicago-based Boeing are for ‘future presidents’, implying that they weren’t meant for him. His tweet also included a cost figure that would be insanely ridiculous were it a realistic figure, but it turns out that isn’t the case. Trump’s tweet stated the cost of the new planes would run over $4 billion, stating that such costs were out of control and that the order should be cancelled.
Reporters asked Trump about the tweet later, and he subtlety blamed Boeing for the high cost to the taxpayers. Of course, when pressed for evidence that the planes would cost such a high amount, Trump could not give a response. There are currently two Air Force One planes that were built 26 years ago for then-president George H. W. Bush, but these planes only have an estimated lifespan of about 30 years, mostly due to the advances in defense technology that must be incorporated to protect the president.
Air Force One is one of the most modern and state-of-the-art vehicles in existence, and it has an unlimited range thanks to the fact it can refuel in midair with the help of refueling jets. The plane is capable of handling electromagnetic pulses without damaging internal electronics, and it has some of the most advanced communications systems in the world. The plane is designed to serve as a command center that can be easily relocated in the event of a disaster or attack against the US.
Boeing released a statement about the contract they have with the government to build these planes in response to Trump’s tweet. They stated the contract gives them the freedom to offer input on the desired capabilities of the plane based on their technology and the ever-growing demands of the President of the United States. As one of the most trusted producers of manned aerial vehicles, Boeing is in a unique position to provide insight as to what is required.
The contract held between Boeing and the United States government is for two new planes to replace the aging planes built for Bush Sr. The initial budget for the two planes was valued at $2.9 billion until 2021, but it appears as if they planes won’t be completed until the year after that. It has been estimated that the Air Force has already spent nearly $100 million on the new planes, yet they have not yet entered the manufacturing phase.
In the statement released by Boeing, they expressed their desire to provide the president with the best planes possible at the best value possible. Air Force One is not only one of the most advanced planes in the sky, but it is also one of the largest. It has floor space totaling more than 4,000 square feet, and there are three levels that house a presidential suite, a conference room, office, and lavatory.
Air Force One also includes a medical suite that can be converted into an emergency operating room. A doctor is always on board the plane, and there are two kitchens on board that can serve meals for approximately 100 guests at once.