Biden picks traditional Air Force One design after Trump colors scuttled

March 12, 2023

In yet another attempt to distance himself from decisions made by his predecessor, President Joe Biden has determined that new versions of Air Force One will sport a blue and white look similar to that of decades past, rather than the bolder, red, white, and navy blue design championed by former President Donald Trump, as Business Insider reports.

The color scheme will feature on two new aircraft that will be built as part of the Presidential Aircraft Replacement program, with one plane anticipated to be rolled out in 2027 and the other in 2028.

Battle of liveries

Though the design chosen by Biden for the pair of modified Boeing 747s will feature a “slightly deeper” shade of blue than was used on prior iterations of the aircraft, it tracks much more closely with existing design than with a somewhat more radical set of alterations proposed by Trump.

In 2019, Trump suggested an all-new color scheme using red, white and dark blue, something he contended was more suitable for the presidential plane, as USA Today noted at the time.

“I think it's going to look much better, actually,” Trump said during an appearance on Fox & Friends, adding, “I like the concept of red, white and blue.”

However, Trump's preferred design was ultimately rejected due to concerns that it would require a host of additional quality testing because of the darker blue on the aircraft's underside which raised the possibility that sensitive electronic components could overheat, according to Business Insider.

New design announced

The new planes feature a somewhat darker tone of blue than has been seen in previous administrations, but they will also lack the large, polished metal segments used in the past for the simple reason that “modern commercial aircraft skin alloys don't allow for it,” according to the Air Force.

Though Trump seemed to put significant consideration into what he felt was the best look for Air Force One, Biden was said to have had less to say on the topic.

According to Business Insider, soon after Biden's inauguration, then-White House press secretary indicated that her boss had not “spent a moment” contemplating the matter.

Even so, the new planes represent a sizable expenditure for the federal government, bringing with them a price tag of $3.9 billion, owing in large part to the state-of-the-art technology required to create what is essentially a White House in the sky, as the Daily Mail noted.

Plans move forward

Now that Biden has selected the livery for the new planes, Boeing will be able to move forward with additional engineering work, certification preparation, and a host of other tasks that must be completed prior to placing the aircraft in service.

Though Trump's take on the Biden-selected color scheme has not been made known as of yet, it stands to reason that he would be disappointed by its divergent from his expressed preferences, which he said would render the plane “incredible,” as the Daily Mail further noted.

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung, however, did weigh in on the news, saying, “Sounds like Joe Biden isn't a fan of Red, White, and Blue – the colors of the American flag.”

Regardless of the true reasoning behind Biden's more traditional selections, given the derisive tone he has historically taken toward Trump and those who support him, one might be forgiven for wondering whether the president's design picks were made more out of spite than anything else.

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