US President Joe Biden approved the livery for the new Boeing VC-25Bs, which will be delivered to the US Air Force in 2027 and 2028.
While there are some color differences, such as a slight blue on the lower part of the aircraft, the paint job will closely resemble the livery of the current Air Force One, VC-25A. The tricolor decoration scheme proposed by former President Donald Trump was not retained, as President Biden preferred a more sober and continuous design.
A new livery for the next US presidential plane was approved in February 2020 during Trump’s term. It had been expected that the two VC-25B aircraft would trade the sky blue and white color scheme in favor of a red, white, and dark blue paint job. But the design was scrapped by his successor in July 2022.
While the design changes are minor, the VC-25B represents a significant update to the presidential aircraft.
“Modifications to the aircraft will include electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, a medical facility, an executive interior, a self-defense system, and autonomous ground operations capabilities,” the USAF said in a press release.
The two aircraft will not be operational until a potential second term of President Biden or the first of his successor.
In July 2018, Boeing received a $3.9 billion contract to convert two 747-8s, initially intended for the defunct Russian airline Transaero, to Air Force One standards with a delivery set for December 2024. However, in June 2021, Boeing warned the VC-25Bs are likely to be delivered a year behind schedule.
The USAF now expects the delivery of the first VC-25B in 2027 and the second aircraft in 2028.
The United States also expects a new Marine One presidential helicopter, the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin VH-92 Patriot.