First flight of US President’s new Air Force One aircraft delayed, USAF says

Air Force One
US Air Force

The first flight of the US President’s new Air Force One aircraft has been delayed, according to the United States Air Force (USAF).  

Two Boeing 747-8 planes, VC-25B, selected to fly the US President around the world are currently being modified but the seminal first flight has now been postponed to March 2026.

Reports by Bloomberg in November 2023 had said the initial “power on” of the first 747-8, which involves testing electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic system, would be rescheduled for May 2024, and the first flight would be delayed until November 2024.  

However, Breaking Defense has now learned that the first power on will not take place until July 2025, and that the first flight not until March 2026. 

It had been expected that the first new aircraft would be delivered in September 2026, with the second arriving in 2027 or early 2028, according to a timeline set out by Boeing Defense CEO Ted Colbert in July 2022.  

A United States Air Force (USAF) spokesperson told Breaking Defense Boeing is “in the process of updating” the schedule which may result in changes to any dates provided”. 

Further clarity on the Air Force One schedule is expected to be made later this summer.  

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