Boeing Announces New $127 Million Air Force One Deal
Boeing, the multinational corporation giant has announced on July 15th that under a $127.3 million dollar contract, it will begin developing power, interior, and electronic specifications for the next generation of “Air Force One”. In a contract award bulletin, the Defense Department stated that the award was decided upon in order to reduce the risk of delays and cost overruns in anticipation of the USAF committing to a full-scale development and procurement of three 747-8s.
The USAF just announced last year of their decision to go with the 747-8 as a means to replace a fleet of two 747-200-derived VC-25s or more commonly known to everyone worldwide as “Air Force One” when the US president is aboard. By the time the 747-8 replacement is ready to be scheduled and declared operational in 2023, the 747-200s will be over 32 years old. The USAF is taking a more measured and cautious approach after becoming snake-bitten due to a series of costly acquisition setbacks due to past high-profile programmes such as the presidential aircraft recapitalization programme (PAR).
In fact just seven months ago the USAF handed the $25.8 million dollar contract to Boeing to start defining the “detailed requirements and design trade-offs” in regards to the new widebody presidential transport. The second contract which was just announced on July 15th will focus solely on developing specifications for the environmental control system, power system, interior cabin, electronics and sustainment and maintenance according to the contract bulletin.
Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign designating that the President of the United States is aboard an aircraft and is the foremost prominent symbol of the American presidency. The inception came back in 1943 when a C-87 Liberator Express was reconfigured and converted for use by President Franklin D. Roosevelt who christened it the Sacred Cow. It was subsequently used by former president Harry S. Truman. Prior to World War II, overseas and cross-country transport of a president was considered very rare and Franklin D. Roosevelt was actually the first present to fly in an aircraft while in office. In 1997 Harrison Ford starred in a blockbuster aptly titled “Air Force One”.
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