President Donald Trump has confirmed he will ditch the traditional colors of Air Force One in exchange for the red, white, and blue color scheme he wants. After criticizing the previous administration for spending $4 billion in taxpayer funds to build two new planes, Trump decided to spend $3.9 billion just to change the paint color.
The Department of Defense has also announced that Boeing had secured a $3.9 billion contract to build two new Air Force One planes. “Boeing gave us a good deal,” Trump told CBS, adding that he saved $1.5 billion on the project. Trump “has emphasized the need to minimize the cost of replacing the two existing Air Force One aircraft,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday. The statement said the contract saved taxpayers about $1.4 billion over the initial contract.
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
Since the days of former President John F. Kennedy, those planes have been painted an iconic mix of white and blue, Reuters reported. “Air Force One is going to be incredible. It’s gonna be the top of the line, the top in the world. And it’s gonna be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate,” Trump told CBS.
The planes aren’t going to be ready for use until 2024, and Trump acknowledged that they will be for use by future presidents.
Air Force One has the ability to fly at a speed of more than 600 miles per hour (or around 75 percent of Mach 1 which is the speed of sound at sea level). According to reports, F-16 fighter planes escorting the president’s plane on September 11, 2001, had to ask Air Force One’s pilot Colonel Mark Tillman to slow down. While the details of the plane’s defense capabilities are kept top secret, the plane has the ability to function as a de facto bunker in the event of a nuclear attack. It’s also reported to be capable of repelling airborne missiles and has a special electronic defense system that can jam enemy radars.
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