Politics

Trump Going Ahead With Plans to Change Air Force Colors to Red, White and Blue

Donald Trump is still dead set on doing away with Air Force One’s iconic pale blue-and-white color and painting new jets red, white, and blue, Bloomberg News reports.

While Trump has yet to formally request the new look—and ditching a pattern that originated with President John F. Kennedy—the Air Force said the White House is “evaluating specific red, white, and blue livery options.”

The president first mentioned the color switch about a year ago, and it’s one of several examples of Trump intervening in Defense Department affairs.

The final paint scheme doesn’t need to be decided until 2021, so the plan may change if Trump loses in the 2020 presidential election. Even if he does win re-election, the first jet won’t be ready until September 2024 at the earliest, just four months before a second Trump term would be over.

The new Air Force One is now projected to carry a maximum of 71 passengers instead of a planned 87 and provide 70 simultaneous voice and data connections for mission operations instead of the planned 80. It’s projected to fly 5,900 nautical miles without refueling — which can be done in midair from a tanker plane — instead of the planned 7,100 miles.

The planes are also used occasionally by the vice president and are designated Air Force One only when the president is on board. They will replace the aging sky blue-and-white Boeing aircraft that have become internationally recognized symbols when a president arrives in a U.S. city or a foreign destination, as with the president’s European travels this week.

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