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Pentagon budget shows what new Air Force One paint job will look like

The Hill logo The Hill 2/10/2020 Ellen Mitchell
a large air plane on a cloudy day: Pentagon budget shows what new Air Force One paint job will look like © Pentagon Pentagon budget shows what new Air Force One paint job will look like

The Pentagon on Monday revealed the final paint job plans for the revamped Air Force One presidential aircraft, a red, white and blue style reminiscent of the planes in President Trump's former airline.

The Air Force is requesting $800.9 million in fiscal year 2021 for the "VC-25B Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program." It is meant to replace the current Air Force One aircraft with two new, modified Boeing 747-8s, according to the Trump administration's defense budget request.

The new aircraft - depicted in budget documents with a white top half, blue bottom third and red streak down the middle - "will provide the President, staff, and guests with safe and reliable air transportation at the same level of security and communications capability available in the White House," according to the budget documents.

Trump since 2018 has said he hopes to change the paint job on the new Air Force Ones, departing from the light blue-and-white scheme - designed by President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy - for a new red, white and dark blue color scheme.

Trump in June 2019 shared the first renderings of a redesigned aircraft. Observers have noted that the new pattern is similar to the former Trump Shuttle planes that the president managed decades ago as a private businessman.

The House Armed Services Committee, worried that Trump would seek unnecessary and costly changes to the aircraft upgrade, last year sought to require congressional approval for alterations to the aircraft's paint scheme and interior design. The amendment did not make it into the final FY-20 National Defense Authorization Act.

The Air Force in July 2018 signed a $3.9 billion contract with Boeing to design, modify, test, certify and deliver two 747 planes to replace the older aircraft by the end of 2024, which would be the end of a possible second term for Trump.

The $800.9 million requested for FY-21 would continue the engineering, manufacturing and development and modifications to the commercial aircraft.

A final decision on the planes' paint color and design isn't set until 2021, however, making it possible that it won't be changed if Trump fails to win reelection this year.

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