President Trump revealed a small scale model of the new Air Force One design during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office on Thursday.
The model featured a red, white, and blue color scheme previously mentioned by Trump, and shown in mockups earlier this month.
Wonder what it cost @BoeingAirplanes to make the model of the next generation Air Force One, and whether it was in their $3,9-billion Government contract for two new presidential planes? Make a nice item at the Boeing gift shop – or the WH gift shop for that matter. pic.twitter.com/0AsARnQ8kf
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 20, 2019
For some 30 seconds in between topics of illegal immigration and Iran, Trump showcased the model, calling it “terrific” and an “upgrade.” Watch it at 3:00 in the video below:
“This is the new Air Force One, which we ordered,” he said. “They’ve been trying to order [it] for a lot of years. We were able to shave $1.5 billion off the price. When I got here, they were going to spend a lot more money than we spent.”
“The plane is basically an upgrade over that model,” he added. “It’s going to be terrific.”
A closer look at the new Air Force One model pic.twitter.com/iu8QNsx9Lr
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 20, 2019
The two Air Force One jets are used by the President and the Vice President exclusively. The Boeing jets represent the United States and have become universally known symbols for the arrival of the two top leaders of the country.
I snapped this photo of the model airplane on the table with the different Air Force One colors. pic.twitter.com/u9Xg0fc49R
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) June 20, 2019
The two current Air Force One jets were first put in service in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, although the color scheme was developed by French designer Raymond Loewy, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy in 1962.
Trump said the color of Air Force One is out-of-date, too subdued and does not sufficiently symbolize patriotism.
“The baby blue doesn’t fit with us,” Trump said last week, as the Associated Press reported.
“I like the concept of red, white and blue and the classic, and I think it’s going to look much better actually,” he added.
The rollout of the first new jet won’t happen until September 2024, if it stays on track.
The two 747-8 model jets will be remodeled at Boeing’s San Antonio facility. In addition to the color changes, modifications will include “an electrical power upgrade, dual auxiliary power units, communications, executive interior, military avionics and a self-defense system.”
The deal was announced in July 2018 when the White House and Boeing released statements to confirm the deal.
“I hate to say this, it’s gonna be a long time,” Trump said at the time. “It’s a very complex project. But by the time it gets built, you’re gonna have many presidents, hopefully, use it and enjoy it.”
The House is trying to block Trump’s redesign with a measure that would mandate congressional approval for any Air Force One remodeling ordered by the Trump Administration.