President Joe Biden’s administration has decided to cancel the red, white, and blue paint scheme of new Air Force One jets ordered by former President Donald Trump in 2018, new reports revealed Friday.
POLITCO and Reuters both citing administration officials first reported the White House’s decision to cancel the paint scheme took place after an Air Force study revealed the paint scheme would increase the project’s cost and could lead to excessive temperatures due to the dark blue section covering the plane’s engines and underbody.
“The Trump paint scheme is not being considered because it could drive additional engineering, time and cost,” one official said.
An Air Force spokesperson told Reuters the darker color of the paint scheme “might contribute to temperatures exceeding the current qualification limits of a small number of components.”
Boeing has reportedly lost more than $1.1 billion on the project contract so far.
Trump had spurred the $3.9 billion deal with Boeing in 2018 to convert two 747-8 planes into Air Force One presidential planes to be delivered by end of 2024. However, after experiencing a series of delays, the planes are not expected until 2026.
A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published on Wednesday detailed the four major risks affecting the project’s timeline, one of which is problems getting enough employees with the necessary security clearances to work on the highly sensitive aircraft.
Other factors include a change in supplier for the interior accommodations, sorting out the complex wiring for the two aircraft and completing necessary ground and in-flight systems tests on time.
Last year, production delays came after multiple empty mini-bottles of tequila were discovered on one of two aircraft in production at Boeing’s San Antonio, Texas, facility.
Sources said delays also occurred after an incident where crewmembers were attempting to place one of the aircraft onto jacks, but the plane’s weight exceeded what the jacks could hold, prompting concerns that the aircraft was damaged.
The U.S. Air Force said the jet was not damaged in the jacking incident. It was later revealed that a Boeing employee working on the aircraft did not have the proper credentials, crews failed to follow established procedures and one staff member failed a post-incident drug test, people familiar with the situation said.