Two official aircraft used by the President of the United States, who is also the country’s highest military commander, worth $ 3.9 billion, are likely to make it the most expensive aircraft in the world.
It is expected that in 2024, US President Jo Biden will receive two new “Air Force One” aircraft worth the US $ 3.9 billion, which you can refer to as the “Mobile White House” or “The Flying White House ”.
The two Air Force One aircraft are Boeing 747-200B aircraft with tail numbers 28000 and 29000, with the U.S. Air Force officially calling it the VC-25A (Air Force One aircraft currently).
When the President of the United States boarded one of the Air Force One aircraft or any aircraft for official duties, technically the radio call sign for that aircraft is Air Force One.
Yes, Air Force One is the call sign for the aircraft, and if the President of the United States boarded another aircraft, the call sign of the aircraft among the security forces of the world’s superpower remains Air Force One.
According to the U.S. Air Force, the primary mission of Air Force One or VC-25 is to provide air transportation facilities to the country’s president in times of peace and conflict.
Both Air Force Ones are operated by the 89 th Airlift Wing unit operating from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
BTW, both planes never fly at the same time; if one of the Air Force One planes takes to the air, the other stays on the ground.
Ok, what is so special about the two Boeing 747s named Air Force One that the US government had to spend $3.9 billion (maybe more) to own them.
While all the “privileges” of Air Force One remain a secret by the military and the United States government, but some of its key features have been revealed either by the aircraft maker, Boeing, or the country’s government itself.
-Both Air Force One aircraft are equipped with a Command and Control Center, with electronic components protected from any electromagnetic pulse attack.
– The communication system is protected (secure) from any attack or hacking by the enemy.
– What will happen in the event of an emergency involving medical emegency while the aircraft is in the air. Don’t worry because apart from bringing doctors and health officers, Air Force One is also equipped with a fully equipped operating room.
– Air Force One can accommodate up to 70 people because, in addition to the President of the United States, passengers can also bring their advisers, cabinet members, the media, the Secret Service, and other invited guests.
-Air Force One aircraft can be refueled as it flies (air-to-air refueling) to allow it to remain in the air for a very long period of time, to prevent it from landing in conflict areas to refuel. The aircraft is equipped with special equipment (probe) to allow it to refuel while in the air.
– The space inside the Air Force One is very spacious which is 4,000 square feet and as high as three places, the aircraft is also equipped with a gymnasium, conference room, and various other facilities.
— In addition, it also has the convenience of 85 calls and the convenience of modern world telecommunications including WIFI.
-The fuselage is made of armor-plating while the windows on the aircraft are also bulletproof to allow those in the Air Force One to actually be in the fort (bunker).
– The maximum speed of Air Force One is 600 miles per hour which is almost equal to the speed of sound, besides being able to fly to an altitude of 45,100 feet which is even higher than other commercial aircraft flying.
– Flying Air Force One is very expensive based on a statement by a non -governmental organization in the country stating that a close domestic flight by former President Trump has cost the USD $ 1.5 million.
-In 2013, Time had reported that the cost per flight hour to operate a VC-25A was $161,591. That figure is much closer to the $177,843 per-flight-hour average cost during the 2021 Fiscal Year
– For the new Air Force One aircraft being built by Boeing at the moment, among the new equipment allegedly to be installed on the new aircraft of the President of the United States includes a laser system to shoot down enemy missiles launched against it.
On April, 2022 Boeing disclosed a net loss of $1.2 billion for the first quarter, with a charge of $660 million associated with delays and higher costs for the Air Force One program.
The company said the first-quarter charge on the Air Force One program brings the total loss tied to it to more than $1.1 billion.
“Risk remains that we may be required to record additional losses in future periods,” Boeing said in a securities filing.
Boeing’s deal for the Air Force One jets was cut by then-CEO Dennis Muilenburg and then-President Donald Trump in February 2018.
It requires Boeing, not the federal government, to eat any overruns in the cost of modifying the two Boeing 747 jets.
Under that fixed-price contract, Boeing is being paid about $4 billion for the work. The first of the two planes was set to be delivered in 2024, but an Air Force budget proposal from earlier this month doesn’t expect that until 2026.
Trump in 2018 bragged that “Boeing gave us a good deal. And we were able to take that.”
Four years ago, Boeing spoke favorably about the move.
“Boeing is proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American Presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers,” it tweeted in February 2018. “President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people.”