The delivery date for two new presidential jets is 2024. However, like most of us with supply chain glitches, the President will have to wait because his order is delayed. One reason seems to be a “jacking mishap.” Too heavy for its jack, one of the two planes might have been damaged while being moved in a Boeing factory.
It was a problem also when they discovered several empty mini tequila bottles on one of the planes. Since the aircraft are top secret, Boeing investigates any anomaly.
Do take this very enjoyable 6 1/2 minute tour of Air Force One’s history and design. (It is Air Force One only when the President is on board.):
New Presidential Jets
Although the two planes have an estimated $5.3 billion price tag, we do appear to be getting a bargain. Because a now defunct Russian airline had originally ordered the planes, as a canceled order, the aircraft were technically secondhand. As you might expect, Boeing wanted to unload those two $390 million jets quickly instead of storing them.
Overseeing the purchase, President Trump tweaked the plane’s colors. We don’t know if President Biden will keep the changes:
The $5.9 billion total includes the aircraft, the work on the interiors, and a new hangar at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. As a mobile command center, the planes combine luxury and military capability. Able to feed 100 people with $24 million refrigeration, the food staff reputedly grocery shops in disguise.The planes also have a fold-out operating table and a stocked pharmacy. Avoiding the risk of using local facilities, security required a built-in baggage loader. Also, it has inflight fueling capability and state-of-the art electronics. Predictably, it can deflect enemy missiles.
Our Bottom Line: Discretionary Spending
So yes, at more than $5 billion, Air Force Ones are pricey. But let’s put the total in perspective. The cost of Air Force One is a part of our military spending. Because it is not mandated by law, military spending is a hefty chunk of the discretionary slice of the federal budget spending pie.
As $5 billion or so out of a $7 trillion budget and $752 billion in military spending, the new Air Force Ones are relative cheap:
My sources and more: WSJ and Insider, here and here, had the presidential jets update. Meanwhile, the NY Times had the refrigerator details and this Wired article was excellent. As for the budget, I like to go to National Priorities, the Concord Coalition, and the CBO.