Air Force One is the call sign for any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the president, though that is usually a Boeing VC-25 that has been painted blue and white, a livery that has been tradition since the 1960s. The Trump administration wanted a far uglier one, though it sounds like cooler heads will prevail.
To recap, here is the color scheme preferred by Trump:
And here is how the VC-25 looks now:
One of those is much better than the other!
(In addition to being ugly, Trump’s paint scheme echoed his own Trump Force 1 plane, another step towards his usual corruption/cult-of-personality combo.)
The background here is that U.S. Air Force has been in the process of ordering new planes for presidential transport for years now — the first of two new planes was supposed to get here in 2024 but has been delayed — which is why any of this is an issue to begin with. The Trump livery is what the Air Force has submitted in budget requests, but an Air Force general said Tuesday that that is just a mock-up and that nothing is final.
From Defense One:
A final decision about the color will be made closer to when the planes enter service, which is now even later than planned due to supply chain issues, according to Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, the Air Force military deputy for acquisition.
“At some point, when the build proceeds to where it needs to be, Boeing will come to the government and ask for a final decision on the paint,” [Richardson] said during a press conference at the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space, and Cyber conference. “Then when that happens, we’ll work that.”
For several years, the Air Force has used a concept image of the plane with the red, white, and blue livery chosen by Trump in the service’s official budget request. The Biden administration’s fiscal 2022 budget request also used the picture. But Richardson said “don’t read anything into” that.
“It’s a cartoon—it’s not a real airplane,” he said. “It’s just something that’s on a paper.”
This is all apparently unrelated to two empty Tequila bottles being found on one of the new planes this month. At any rate, since the new planes likely won’t get here until after Biden’s term expires, this means that the 2024 presidential election carries even more significance. Vote wisely, or else we might be stuck with a presidential plane as imagined by a child.