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Thread: US Air Force One Replacement?

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    Default US Air Force One Replacement?

    From todays AIAA Newsletter:
    Air Force Asks Customers About Air Force One Replacement.

    The Military Times (9/10, Everstine) reports the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center has issued a survey asking “potential contractors” about whether they can replace Air Force One. According to the article, the Air Force wants a “commercial derivative aircraft” to replace the current VC-25 “no earlier than 2021.”

    My guess is that the next AF-1 will be based on the 787 (or long shot 747-.

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    Senior Member brianw999's Avatar
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    A shame that Airbus find it a non financially viable option to bid with the A380. That would be some AF One.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Senior Member B757300's Avatar
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    I would imagine it will be based on the 747-8 if for no other reason than safety. The 747 is a proven design and has four engines where the 787 has had some issues, and is a twin jet. I'm sure the Air Force would prefer the added redundancy of a four engine aircraft.

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    Picture the A380 and Gerald Ford .. perfect together?

    I know it was mostly media play and not deserved.

    Seems like the A380 would have too many service limits to even remotely be a contender. That and I would never trust something that the "other guys" (pick from the usual list of suspects), had a chance to get to. Remember the Moscow embassy had so many bugs it had to be demolished not to mention that the Xerox that was parked in Finland overnight was more a transceiver than a copy machine.
    Live, from a grassy knoll somewhere near you.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B757300 View Post
    I would imagine it will be based on the 747-8 if for no other reason than safety. The 747 is a proven design and has four engines where the 787 has had some issues, and is a twin jet. I'm sure the Air Force would prefer the added redundancy of a four engine aircraft.
    I would choose the 777. Almost as big as a 747, more range, more reliable.
    I don't think that 4 engines is any advantage in these days. I find very significant that, AFAIK, there has NEVER been a dual engine failure for unrelated reasons in turbofans, and having more than 2 engines will not be an advantage if running out of fuel or flying through a cloud of volcanic ashes.

    Ok, there are very few specific scenarios where more than 2 would be good. A multiple birds strike can disable 2 engines but leave others unharmed, and "securing the wrong engine" would disable one engine beyond the failed one, leaving the rest unharmed too. But again 4 engines means more opportunities for an uncontrollable engine fire, an uncontained engine failure, or a high speed take-off reject due to an engine failing close to V1.

    I think that the reliability and safety record of the 777 is quite better than that of the 747 (which is already amazingly good to begin with), and the engines are part of that but also the rest of the systems.

    Not to mention that a 777 must be quite less expensive to operate than a 747.

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    Senior Member brianw999's Avatar
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    The way the US government is behaving right now it'll wind up being a Piper Cherokee !!
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Quote Originally Posted by B757300 View Post
    I would imagine it will be based on the 747-8 if for no other reason than safety. The 747 is a proven design and has four engines where the 787 has had some issues, and is a twin jet. I'm sure the Air Force would prefer the added redundancy of a four engine aircraft.
    And support of local economy, very important nowadays.
    Also backlog not too long as with the tripple-7.
    "The real CEO of the 787 project is named Potemkin"

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessandro View Post
    Also backlog not too long as with the tripple-7.
    First of all, I don't think that Boeing would deny "inserting" the order of an AF-1 in the middle of the 777 backlog (instead of at the end).

    Second, and most importantly, the AF-1 will need a number of non-minor modifications and additions, like military radar, advanced defensive countermeasures (electronic countermeasures, chaffs, flares...), in-flight refuel capability, escape capsule, ultra-advanced communication systems, and what not. The engineering part of all this will take a couple of years anyway, so no need to build it now to have it stopped until all these systems are developed only to then learn that we would have needed a hole here and a reinforcement there. I'd say that put the PO today with all the specifications, and you'll get the new AF-1 in 5 years if you are lucky.

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    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highkeas View Post
    From todays AIAA Newsletter:
    Air Force Asks Customers About Air Force One Replacement.

    The Military Times (9/10, Everstine) reports the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center has issued a survey asking “potential contractors” about whether they can replace Air Force One. According to the article, the Air Force wants a “commercial derivative aircraft” to replace the current VC-25 “no earlier than 2021.”

    My guess is that the next AF-1 will be based on the 787 (or long shot 747-.
    You can replace "-" by "-8_)".


    Somehow it's funny that nobody removed this bug since I am here in this forum. Back on topic.

    Somewhere here in this forum, there was a discussion about "I want to buy a B748i. What do I have to pay?"

    My opinion is, in agreement with my avatar, and in contrast to Brian, the president's ship should be a 747.

    The German Government does not fly an A380. Yes, an Airbus with 4 engines, but not that size.

    The USA don't necessarily have to compare with smaller countries like Germany.

    And it is a well known picture: the US President arrives, naturally, in a 747.
    B748i. Two reasons:
    a) It is well tested by my favourite airline.
    b) 747 is US government tradition.
    Last edited by LH-B744; 07-11-2015 at 07:23 AM. Reason: + 4 engines.
    LH also has a intercontinental history, the Hamburg - Düsseldorf - Shannon - NYC route, open since June 1st, 1955.
    A/C type: Lockheed Super Constellation.
    The operator on the DUS - NYC route, on the DUS - BKK route, and on the shiny new DUS - LAS nonstop route? EW, one of the dearest LH daughters .

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. A whole decade here on this platform.

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    Senior Member LH-B744's Avatar
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    Highkeas seems to be interested in military aviation. Well, he's not the only one .

    Now we count 1 and 1 and the result is... Air Force.

    I have seen one or two men who fly the Air Force One on TV, but I can't remember their Air Force Rank.

    But anything below a Colonel would not be adequate, in my eyes.

    Not only because of payment, the US president sincerely should not be flown by a cheap tourist airline (4U or something like that)!

    But a Colonel also knows more than only the civilian airports.

    To make it short, even in my favourite airline, there are flights which are operated by two Flight Captains.

    I think Obama deserves two Colonels, at least.
    LH also has a intercontinental history, the Hamburg - Düsseldorf - Shannon - NYC route, open since June 1st, 1955.
    A/C type: Lockheed Super Constellation.
    The operator on the DUS - NYC route, on the DUS - BKK route, and on the shiny new DUS - LAS nonstop route? EW, one of the dearest LH daughters .

    Aviation enthusiast since more than 30 years. A whole decade here on this platform.

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    Senior Member brianw999's Avatar
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    Why don't we stop kidding ourselves. With a 2021 procurement date it's going to be a 747 in some guise or other unless Boeing have something special up their sleeves that nobody knows about.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Boeing lost a heap of money on the production of the two VC-25 aircraft.

  13. #13
    Senior Member brianw999's Avatar
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    National pride alone will keep it with Boeing. The unions won't let it go to someone like Airbus, much the same as the farcical tanker contract. Airbus might cry foul...but secretly will be very happy not to have anything to do with just two Air Force Ones that will wind up costing them money.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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