Next Air Force One Planes Could Come from Bankrupt Russian Airline

Air Force One

Trump will not fly on the new Air Force One unless he is elected to a second term.

Nearly eight months after President Donald Trump first criticized the multibillion dollar plan to buy two new 747's to be Air Force One and its backup, the Commander in Chief is close to getting a new deal.

Instead they are considering reconfiguring a pair of jumbo Boeing 747-8 planes originally built for a defunct Russian airline that went bankrupt in 2015, according to a U.S. official and another source close to the discussions.

Key to the value proposition here is that the Air Force would still have to outfit the new 747-8's with all of the unusual and expensive riggings that Air Force One requires. The company was the largest Russian airline until two years later, when it went bankrupt.

Boeing issued the following statement: "We're still working toward a deal to provide two 747-8s to the Air Force".

Although Boeing did not confirm the specifics of the sale, it has reportedly said that the negotiations were centred on delivering a "great value" for the Air Force and American people, indicating that the negotiations were at an advanced, perhaps ultimate, stage.

A final deal could be announced in the coming weeks.

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Boeing recently tested the planes and they are now being housed in Southern California, where climate conditions prevent corrosion to the plane.

The Independent report however also added that "the planes are going to cost quite a bit more than your average Boeing 747-8 - which has a sticker price of $386.8 million - since the USA military will need to outfit it with specific protections and capabilities for the President's use and protection".

Boeing sells 747-8s at about $390 million apiece, but defensive technologies, fancy interiors and other enhancements would massively add to the overall cost.

The two aircraft that now serve as the primary presidential transports are highly modified 747-200Bs that have been in service since 1990. Also, buyers including airlines often get discounts for commercial planes.

First lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump wave from the top of the stairway leading to Air Force One during a trip to Brussels in May. It's so far unclear how much the Air Force would pay Boeing for the two planes recovered from Transaero, and it's possible we might never know the price of the deal.

Sirimanne said he thinks it's unlikely the Air Force would have paid more than $200 million for each plane.

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