Former President and apparent aeronautics graphic designer Donald Trump may have inadvertently tried to turn Air Force One into a flying oven. New reports claim Trump’s preferred red, white and blue, Air Force One paint job could lead to sweltering temperatures on board and added costs for Boeing.
In a recent Politico report, The U.S. Air Force said Trump’s call for dark blue paint covering the underside of the in development Boeing VC-25B jets could have led to “excessive temperatures” onboard which Boeing would have to pay to fix. Though Trump’s better known for his preferred piss-stained gold patina, he wanted Air Force One to adopt a slightly more restrained red, white, and dark blue palette. The current jet’s colour scheme, which reportedly traces its origins to John F. Kennedy’s administration, features a mix of white, and sky blue shades.
Sources speaking with Politico claim Trump’s darker blue colouring could force Boeing to make expensive modifications to cool key components, potentially inflating the plane’s already engorged price tag. Trump first revealed his proposed paint job in a 2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos where he claimed to have designed the new layout himself.
“I think it’s going to look much better, actually,” Trump said during a 2019 Fox & Friends interview. “I like the concept of red, white, and blue.”
The White House did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but a source speaking with Politco said they expect President Joe Biden will make a decision soon on whether or not to adopt Trump’s paint job for the newest Air Force One models currently in production.
Paint-induced delays and expensive modifications are the last things Boeing or the White House needs. The mammoth new jets, which were expected to take off sometime in 2024, have faced numerous hiccups and are currently at least two years behind schedule. In a statement provided to Gizmodo back in April, a Defence Department official said the most recent delays were caused by a number of factors, including supply issues, manpower limitations, wiring design timelines, testing, and pandemic related delays.
Ironically, Trump actually tried to cancel the order over price disagreements, and actually managed to get Boeing to lower the project’s price tag down a smidge form $US4 ($6) billion to an estimated $US3.9 ($5) billion. Boeing reportedly consented to a fixed-price contact with the Air Force, which means any additional costs incurred by dealing with the Trump paint job would have to be handed out of pocket by Boeing.