Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

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ian16th
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Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#1 Post by ian16th » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:15 am

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The final price tag for two new almost-new VC-25B executive transport aircraft for the Air Force is now pegged at $5.3 billion. Defence One is reporting the Pentagon has asked for $4.68 billion for the conversion of two mothballed Boeing 747-8i airliners in its 2020 budget request and full implementation of the programme will add the other $600 million or so to create the aircraft, which are used to fly the president and are designated Air Force One when he is onboard. The final programme cost is about $1.4 billion higher than the $3.9 billion that had been touted by the administration. After intervention from President Donald Trump over the cost of the programme, the Air Force bought two white-tailed airframes from Boeing that had been orphaned in desert storage by the bankruptcy of Russian airline TransAero. It’s believed stripping the seats and some of the civilian systems from the planes, which have been stored in the open for more than two years, will add to the cost. The sticker price for the two Russian airframes is $390 million each but the Air Force has never released what it actually paid for them. The first of the stored aircraft took off from Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville last week heading to the Kelly Field Annex in Texas where modification work will begin in 2020.

Included in the $600 million of programme implementation costs is a new hangar for the aircraft at Joint Base Andrews near Washington. There is nothing wrong with the existing hangar except it is a few feet too small to hold the longer and wider 747-8i. The new hangar is expected to cost $86 million. Despite the ballooning cost, the new airplanes will lack the endurance of the existing VC-25Bs because they will not be able to refuel in flight. By using inflight refuelling, along with large refrigerators for food and provisions for other necessities, the existing aircraft were designed to stay in the air for days at a time in times of crisis.
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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#2 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:23 pm

Scrap the whole thing.
The Pres can hide out on any military base in rotation.

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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#3 Post by llondel » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:54 pm

Ironically, it's one thing that Trump may never benefit from personally, if they're not even going to start work on them until next year then he'll probably be out of office before they're in service. This assumes that it's not one of his companies involved in doing the conversion.

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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#4 Post by ian16th » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:10 pm

I'm wondering if they'll have MCAS?
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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#5 Post by llondel » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:36 pm

ian16th wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:10 pm
I'm wondering if they'll have MCAS?
Might have to fit a set of 777 engines to it for that, stick them out in front of the wing, although a 747 might have enough clearance not to need such a mod even for such large engines.

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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#6 Post by ian16th » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:53 pm

Talking of the engines, I assume the original Russian order included US built engines.

We can't have POTUS driving around in a Rolls Royce, can we?
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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#7 Post by k3k3 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:14 pm

I think it would be quite easy to scab on an AAR receptacle, the installation on the current VC-25 isn't exactly elegant.

The secondhand 707s NATO AWACS had for transport were fitted with dry AAR receptacles for pilot training. I never understood why they weren't plumbed in to the refuel manifold.

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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#8 Post by ian16th » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:20 pm

By using inflight refuelling, along with large refrigerators for food and provisions for other necessities, the existing aircraft were designed to stay in the air for days at a time in times of crisis.
When people make this sort of statement, it shows ignorance.

Besides Avtur, engines need lubricating oil, anyone know how many hours a 747 donk can keep going with the normal on board capacity?
2nd question, are the current VC-25B's fitted with oversize oil tanks of some sort?
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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#9 Post by Undried Plum » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:28 pm

Yes. They have enough engine oil for a minimum of 150 hours of unreplenished flight.

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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#10 Post by ian16th » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:39 pm

Undried Plum wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:28 pm
Yes. They have enough engine oil for a minimum of 150 hours of unreplenished flight.
A lot more than I expected.
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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#11 Post by barkingmad » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:33 pm

Refrigerators big enough for US gallons of carrot juice?

I wonder what the Toulouse quote would have been for a brace of 380s, keep the assy line open for a bit longer?

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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#12 Post by llondel » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:55 pm

barkingmad wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:33 pm
I wonder what the Toulouse quote would have been for a brace of 380s, keep the assy line open for a bit longer?
I believe they were asked to quote and said "get lost". After the tanker fiasco where they won the bid and Boeing did a dirty on them, I think they'd decided that it wasn't worth them spending the time and money on preparing a bid because even if they won, the US would probably find a reason to award the contract to Boeing.

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Re: Air Force One replacement at US$5.3 billion

#13 Post by Rwy in Sight » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:39 pm

I think they went as far as sending a brochure as quoted by a member of their team. Obviously the get lost did follow shortly after.

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