The new aircraft that will serve as Air Force One won’t be finished for another four to five years but they’re already on their second paint scheme. During his term, former President Donald Trump ordered the livery of the updated aircraft be changed to a red, white and blue scheme. President Joe Biden has decided against that palette, opting for an updated take on the light blue and white scheme picked by President John F. Kennedy for the Boeing 707s that filled the role in the 1960s.
In a news release, the Air Force says the Trump design’s use of dark blue complicated the certification of the two planes, which are designated VC-25B and based on the 747-8. The current 747-200s are A models. “A thermal study later concluded the dark blue in the design would require further Federal Aviation Administration qualification testing for several commercial components due to the added heat in certain environments.”
The new paint scheme is slightly different from the original. “The light blue on VC-25B is a slightly deeper, more modern tone than VC-25A’s robin’s egg blue,” the news release says. “Additionally, the VC-25B engines will use the darker blue from the cockpit area vice the VC-25A’s robin’s egg blue. Finally, there is no polished metal section on the VC-25B because modern commercial aircraft skin alloys don’t allow for it.”