Work Begins on the Next Air Force One

The Air Force awarded the first contract to Boeing to begin work on the new Air Force One, according to a Jan. 29 Pentagon announcement. Under the $25.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, Boeing will work to detail requirements and design trade-offs “to lead to a lower-risk engineering and manufacturing development program and lower life-cycle costs,” according to the announcement. Col. Amy McCain, the Air Force’s presidential aircraft recapitalization program manager, said the award “is the start of our contractual relationship with Boeing,” in a release. The Air Force last year selected Boeing’s new 747-8 to replace the current VC-25 fleet, but the new contract is the first time the Air Force is contracting money to begin work on the program. The service expects the first airplane to be delivered in late 2018 and to be operational in 2023, with a total life cycle of about 30 years.