After nearly 30 years of service, the two famous “Air Force One” aircraft (Boeing 747-200) will be retired in the coming years, as that of the United States Air Force (USAF) in conjunction with the manufacturer Boeing.
According to the USAF, work has begun at Boeing’s facilities in San Antonio, Texas, on the first Boeing 747-8, which were initially contracted for the defunct TransAer and which could never receive them due to the cessation of its operations in the year 2015.
Now, during these first phases they will begin with the elimination of the interiors, modification of the engines, auxiliary power unit (APU), secondary components of the systems, updating of the electrical energy, installation of advanced communication systems, military GPS in the flight management system, among others.
While some critical systems will not be disclosed.
These two new aircraft – which currently have license plates N894BA and N895BA, respectively – are expected to replace the current fleet of two Boeing 747-200s, in the winter of next year 2024.
Computers that are valued at the manufacturer’s list price at about $386.8 million each and were built for the defunct TransAer, but after the airline filed for bankruptcy in 2015, both planes were left owner-less.
In the last moments of the administration of former President Barack Obama, talks were held with the manufacturer Boeing to carry out a replacement of the two planes (28000 and 29000), and the construction of two Boeing 747-8Is was initially agreed.
But it was in December 2016 that Donald Trump published via Twitter that once he took office as president of the United States, he would cancel the construction order with the manufacturer, arguing that the investment was an excessive cost that his administration would not pay.
It was then that the United States Air Force asked Boeing to offer more affordable solutions – at cost – and to keep the replacement project on track.