Photo Credit: Wikimedia
U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has chosen the Boeing 747-8 to replace the current Air Force One fleet as the presidential aircraft.
“The Boeing 747-8 is the only aircraft manufactured in the United States (that), when fully missionized, meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission, while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest,” Secretary James explained in a written statement.
Boeing has reportedly gone through a rough patch with the Boeing 747-8. “Air Force One is it unless a miracle happens in the airfreight business,” Glen Langdon, president of Langdon Asset Management, told Bloomberg back in June. And even with the deal, the presidential fleet is thought by some to be a “swan song” for the aircraft.
Realistically though, the only other competitor with the necessary capabilities for Air Force One would be France’s Airbus. Yet, it still seemed to be a gimme for Boeing considering the current aircraft is from the Boeing 747-200B series.
As listed on the Boeing website, 747-8s come in (not customized of course) with a thrust speed of 66,500 lbs. with a maximum takeoff load of 987,000 lbs. and a speed of Mach 0.85 (or Mach 0.845 if you go freighter). It is “the only jetliner in the 400- to 500-seat market, stretched 5.6 m (18.3 ft) from the 747-400 to provide 467 seats in a three-class configuration,” they explain.
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