Boeing Co had filed a suit against and canceled contracts with a Texas-based supplier GDC Technics for U.S. Air Force One, the aircraft that carriers the U.S. president, over delays in completing interior work on the two heavily modified 747-8 planes. The delays have resulted in millions of dollars in damages to Boeing and threaten to jeopardize work that is of critical importance to the U.S. Air Force and the president of the United States. GDC Technics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In July 2018, Boeing received a $3.9 billion contract to build two 747-8 aircraft for use as Air Force One (VC-25B), due to be delivered by December 2024. GDC, which “agreed to design and build the interior” of the two Air Force One planes, is “roughly one year behind schedule in meeting its contractual obligations.In 2018, then President Donald Trump said the new model Air Force One would have upgraded interiors and a different color scheme that has been used since President John F. Kennedy’s administration.
The Boeing 747-8s are designed to be a Flying White House, able to fly in worst-case security scenarios such as nuclear war, and are modified with military avionics, communications and a self-defense system. Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign for a United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. The “Air Force One” call sign was created in 1953, after a Lockheed Constellation named Columbine II carrying President Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the same airspace as a commercial airline flight using the same flight number.
From Presidents Roosevelt to Biden, Boeing airplanes have transported U.S. presidents around the world. The U.S. Air Force announced that it will continue the Boeing tradition with the 747-8, which will replace the two 747-200s that serve as the presidential Air Force One fleet. When the 747-8 takes flight as the next Air Force One, Boeing airplanes will mark more than half a century of presidential service through the Jet Age.