A new look for Air Force One would replace the presidential jet’s current light blue and white color scheme with something more explicitly patriotic, according to plans revealed by President Donald Trump.
“There’s your new Air Force One,” Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired Thursday, holding up four mock-ups of a red, white and blue presidential plane with an American flag on the tail that he said were “all slightly different.”
Trump’s proposed makeover would be the first since President John F. Kennedy was in office. The light blue colors were introduced in a redesign by industrial designer Raymond Loewy for Kennedy in 1962.
According to USA TODAY, Kennedy’s First Lady Jackie Kennedy had a hand in designing the current look of Air Force One.
The president said in a Fox interview, “The baby blue doesn’t fit with us. … That was Jackie O, and that’s good, but we have our own Jackie O today. It’s called Melania. Melania T.”
Trump touted the redesign as an overall upgrade, saying that although the frame is still a Boeing 747 aircraft, “it’s a much bigger plane” with “a much bigger wingspan.”
“We added things, and I got $1.6 billion off the price,” he added.
When Stephanopoulos asked whether the new plane would have an escape pod like in the movie “Air Force One,” Trump said it did not, joking that “there are a couple of secrets I don’t think we’re supposed to be talking about.”
Whether the new redesign will actually happen is uncertain. Although Trump announced his desires for a redesign last July, the plan needs congressional approval that Democratic lawmakers do not appear eager to give. The House Armed Services Committee voted 31-26 Wednesday to approve an amendment limiting the paint and interior decorating options for new presidential aircraft plans.
In February 2018, the White House announced that it struck a deal with Boeing over the development of two new Air Force One planes. The President requested the planes be ready 2021, at the beginning of his second term — three years sooner than the original plan of 2024.
Trump, however, told Stephanopoulos that he’s updating the plane’s appearance “for other presidents, not for me.”