Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

A red, white and blue paint scheme for the new Air Force One fleet that was approved by former President Trump has been scrapped over cost and other concerns, an administration official confirmed to CBS News. 

Politico first reported the scrapped paint scheme for the new Air Force One fleet. The decision was made after a paint study was returned, showing how problematic the color scheme was. As CBS News has previously reported, Boeing estimates the project to be far behind schedule

“The Trump paint scheme is not being considered because it could drive additional engineering, time and cost,” the administration official said. 

An Air Force spokesperson suggested cost wasn’t the only factor in the decision. 

“The red, white and blue paint scheme was one of many possible livery colors proposed for the VC-25B,” the Air Force spokesperson said. “Further analysis concluded darker colors, among other factors, on the underside of the VC-25B aircraft might contribute to temperatures exceeding the current qualification limits of a small number of components on the aircraft.”

The VC-25B is Boeing’s military version of the 747.  

FILE: A model of Air Force One with a new color scheme is seen during a bilateral meeting between US President Trump (R) and Canada’s Prime Minister  Trudeau in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on June 20, 2019.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Boeing said the company is making progress on the new Air Force One project. 

“We continue to make steady progress on the VC-25B program, while navigating through some challenges,” Boeing said in a statement. “It’s an honor to be entrusted with this responsibility and we take particular pride in this work. Our focus is on delivering two exceptional Air Force One airplanes for the country.”

Biden Asia
Air Force One with U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Friday, May 20, 2022.

Lee Jin-man / AP

The Kennedy administration chose the current color scheme of robin’s egg blue and white, with United States of America written along the plane’s body in lettering that’s said to mirror that of the Declaration of Independence.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told investors last month that the company probably shouldn’t have agreed to a fixed-price contract with former president — and “Art of the Deal” author — Trump to develop the new Air Force One fleet. 

The company has already lost $660 million developing the two 747 jets for the fleet following a 2018 deal Trump made with the company that makes Boeing foot the bill for all cost changes in the development process. The new fleet was originally supposed to debut in 2024, but Boeing has projected the planes could be 17 months behind schedule. The deal was made under a different CEO, although Calhoun was on the board when it was negotiated. 

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