After 30 years of service and five presidents later, the two Boeing 747 Air Force Ones are in the process of being phased out. The 747, designated as the VC-25A by the Air Force, is going to be replaced by Boeing’s 747-8i, also known as the VC-25B. Business Insider published an in-depth article on the subject, providing supporting information for this article.
The typical lifespan for a commercial airplane is about 30 years, so the timing for the new Air Force One is logical. The replacement was put in to motion during the Obama presidency, but the major planning and details were left to President Trump. As you can imagine, replacing the two Air Force One’s is no cheap task.
President Obama had ordered two brand new 747-8is from Boeing. Once President Trump arrived, he was blown away by the $4.4 billion price tag. Trump canceled the order and worked with Boeing to achieve a cheaper solution. After going through a slew of options, two pre-owned 747-8is became available. A Russian airline, Transaero, had ordered the planes, but went belly-up and could not complete the purchase. Trump approved the purchase of the two planes. Apparently, the U.S. government got them at a good price.
Former Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said, “We got a really good deal.”