In an interview with ABC News, President Donald Trump unveiled the proposed livery for the next generation of Air Force One. The iconic blue is out and a new red, white, and blue livery is in. And not just any red, white, and blue design…but one that looks ominously like the final livery for US Airways.
In 2024, two 747-8s will replace the current 747-200s that are now 30 years old. The cost will be $3.9 billion and President Trump has hinted of a new, more “patriotic” livery for months.
Now that new livery has been revealed.
You can see the upper half of the fuselage is white while the lower half is navy blue, a darker color than the current hue. A red cheat line runs across the middle. The tail is white and features an American flag. One concept has the four engine casings painted navy blue while another has them painted white.
My first thought when I saw the aircraft was that this looks exactly like the final US Airways livery prior to the merger with American Airlines.
David Mueller / Wikimedia Commons
In fact, American Airlines even has a “heritage” livery operating in the same paint scheme:
Adam Moreira / Wikimedia Commons
That’s not very original!
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 13, 2019
A Fascinating History
One Mile at a Time points to the story behind the current livery, which was influenced more by Jacqueline Kennedy’s color and design preference than anything else. And while that alone isn’t reason enough to keep or discard a livery, I cannot think of an aircraft with livery more distinct and frankly more elegant than Air Force One.
I have no problem with the new livery at all. But it just looks like US Airways or British Airways. The beautiful and unique lines were so iconic that the aircraft was always recognizable. The new livery is good, but the old livery is better. I hope it stays…
Meanwhile, Rep. Joe Courtney (D – CT) introduced an amendment to the 2020 defense appropriation bill to restrict any “major” interior or exterior changes (including livery) to approval from Congress. Courtney is worried:
[A]dditional paint can add weight to the plane, additional fixtures inside the plane can also add cost and delays to the delivery of the plane…
That’s a bunch of bull. Why not just say you don’t like the new paint job or the POTUS who proposed it? Congress is within its right to regulate the livery of Air Force One, but don’t play games like this…
There are many liveries that I love, but none I love as much as Air Force One. While the days of Jackie O’s iconic blue, gold, and white may be limited, at least we can look forward to them living on at a Presidential library.
What are your thoughts on the new Air Force One livery?