• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Boeing might quit producing the 747

_Del_

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
379
Reaction score
13
I'm not at all surprised that they're expensive. And of course the -800 is rather different than the -200. Marauder made a good point about MILCON for a type not in service previously, for example. I'm not suggesting the price should be approaching an -800 in a cargo or passenger configuration or even the nearly as capable and less posh E-4 fleet. I just don't understand where the extra billions are coming from.

I would be extremely surprised to learn that current systems are not mission capable and that completely new generationally advanced systems are mission critical for transporting the President about if that is the primary driver of the price tag.
 

marauder2048

"I should really just relax"
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
2,332
Reaction score
79
_Del_ said:
I'm not at all surprised that they're expensive. And of course the -800 is rather different than the -200. Marauder made a good point about MILCON for a type not in service previously, for example. I'm not suggesting the price should be approaching an -800 in a cargo or passenger configuration or even the nearly as capable and less posh E-4 fleet. I just don't understand where the extra billions are coming from.

I would be extremely surprised to learn that current systems are not mission capable and that completely new generationally advanced systems are mission critical for transporting the President about if that is the primary driver of the price tag.
And the 747-8 has the added wrinkle of, unlike the E-4 or the 747-200, being partially FBW which
means a fair amount flight requalification when the FBW gets rehosted on rad hardened components.

Also, the FAA Type Certification Procedures For Military Commercial Derivative Aircraft (and ICAO)
are very different compared to those earlier efforts and something that bit the KC-46a relative to the KC-767.
 

Boxman

CLEARANCE: Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
290
Reaction score
37
Here's SAM 29000 (USAF Ser. 82-9000) just arrived in Rome ahead of Air Force One, SAM 28000 (USAF Ser. 82-8000) in this instance. Looks like SAM 29000 has sprouted a couple of satcom domes on top of the fuselage towards the tail. Interestingly, SAM 28000 hasn't these "bumps" just yet.

EDIT: Looks like I am a bit behind the curve:

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/10470/air-force-one-jet-reemerges-with-upgraded-communications-for-world-trip
The War Zone - "Air Force One" Jet Reemerges With Upgraded Communications For World Trip
by Tyler Rogoway
22-May-2017

On Friday both of the 89th Airlift Wing's VC-25As, the 747-200s that often fly the President around under the callsign Air Force One, sat side-by-side at Andrews AFB, ready to carry the Trump White House on its first big trip overseas. If you looked especially close, you may have noticed that one of the iconic jets had a slightly different silhouette than the other—a somewhat unusual instance for the pair of aircraft that often appear identical.

The change is because VC-25 tail number 29000—it's sister ship is tail number 28000—just came back from a deep overhaul and depot maintenance period. It is during those intensive servicing stretches that new capabilities and upgrades are often added to the ultra high profile 747s. In 29000's case, it looks as if these upgrades included a major communications enhancement—one suspiciously similar to an upgrade we have recently seen on another of America's sensitive flying command posts. . . .
***FULL STORY LINKED ABOVE TITLE***
 

Boxman

CLEARANCE: Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
290
Reaction score
37
This doesn't help the 747-8 order book as much as it helps the American taxpayer with respect to the Air Force One (AF1) replacement. The pragmatism of this decision may come as shock to many. There is also the added giggle imagining the reaction by some to the aircraft's Russian "origins". . . ;D

http://www.defenseone.com/business/2017/08/russian-air-force-one-boeing-trump-747/139872/
Trump Wanted a Cheaper Air Force One. So the USAF Is Buying a Bankrupt Russian Firm’s Undelivered 747s
by Marcus Weisgerber - Defense One - 1-Aug-2017

President Donald Trump said the projected cost of new Air Force One aircraft was too high, so the U.S. Air Force found a way to lower it: by buying a pair of Boeing 747 jetliners abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline.

Air Force officials are now finalizing a contract with Boeing for the two planes, according to three defense officials with knowledge of the deal. The Pentagon could publicly announce the deal as soon as this week.

“We’re working through the final stages of coordination to purchase two commercial 747-8 aircraft and expect to award a contract soon,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement.

The Air Force is not expected to disclose the specific value of the contract, but officials said that the military is getting a good deal on the planes. Boeing lists the average sticker price of a 747-8 as $386.8 million; the actual amount paid by airlines and other customers varies with quantities, configurations, and so forth.

“We’re still working toward a deal to provide two 747-8s to the Air Force — this deal is focused on providing a great value for the Air Force and the best price for the taxpayer,” Boeing spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson said in a statement.

The 747s that will be transformed for Presidential transport were originally ordered in 2013 by Transaero, which was Russia’s second-largest airline until it went bankrupt in 2015. Boeing built two of the four jets in the order, but the airline never took ownership of them. . . .
*** COMPLETE STORY LINKED ABOVE TITLE ***
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,723
Reaction score
264
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
Boxman said:
This doesn't help the 747-8 order book as much as it helps the American taxpayer with respect to the Air Force One (AF1) replacement. The pragmatism of this decision may come as shock to many. There is also the added giggle imagining the reaction by some to the aircraft's Russian "origins". . . ;D

http://www.defenseone.com/business/2017/08/russian-air-force-one-boeing-trump-747/139872/
Trump Wanted a Cheaper Air Force One. So the USAF Is Buying a Bankrupt Russian Firm’s Undelivered 747s
by Marcus Weisgerber - Defense One - 1-Aug-2017

President Donald Trump said the projected cost of new Air Force One aircraft was too high, so the U.S. Air Force found a way to lower it: by buying a pair of Boeing 747 jetliners abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline.

Air Force officials are now finalizing a contract with Boeing for the two planes, according to three defense officials with knowledge of the deal. The Pentagon could publicly announce the deal as soon as this week.

“We’re working through the final stages of coordination to purchase two commercial 747-8 aircraft and expect to award a contract soon,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement.

The Air Force is not expected to disclose the specific value of the contract, but officials said that the military is getting a good deal on the planes. Boeing lists the average sticker price of a 747-8 as $386.8 million; the actual amount paid by airlines and other customers varies with quantities, configurations, and so forth.

“We’re still working toward a deal to provide two 747-8s to the Air Force — this deal is focused on providing a great value for the Air Force and the best price for the taxpayer,” Boeing spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson said in a statement.

The 747s that will be transformed for Presidential transport were originally ordered in 2013 by Transaero, which was Russia’s second-largest airline until it went bankrupt in 2015. Boeing built two of the four jets in the order, but the airline never took ownership of them. . . .
*** COMPLETE STORY LINKED ABOVE TITLE ***

The United States Air Force wouldn't have previously considered the two undelivered aircraft without President Trump's prior threat to cancel the project as too costly?
 

Moose

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2010
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
99
Triton said:
Boxman said:
This doesn't help the 747-8 order book as much as it helps the American taxpayer with respect to the Air Force One (AF1) replacement. The pragmatism of this decision may come as shock to many. There is also the added giggle imagining the reaction by some to the aircraft's Russian "origins". . . ;D

http://www.defenseone.com/business/2017/08/russian-air-force-one-boeing-trump-747/139872/
Trump Wanted a Cheaper Air Force One. So the USAF Is Buying a Bankrupt Russian Firm’s Undelivered 747s
by Marcus Weisgerber - Defense One - 1-Aug-2017

President Donald Trump said the projected cost of new Air Force One aircraft was too high, so the U.S. Air Force found a way to lower it: by buying a pair of Boeing 747 jetliners abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline.

Air Force officials are now finalizing a contract with Boeing for the two planes, according to three defense officials with knowledge of the deal. The Pentagon could publicly announce the deal as soon as this week.

“We’re working through the final stages of coordination to purchase two commercial 747-8 aircraft and expect to award a contract soon,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement.

The Air Force is not expected to disclose the specific value of the contract, but officials said that the military is getting a good deal on the planes. Boeing lists the average sticker price of a 747-8 as $386.8 million; the actual amount paid by airlines and other customers varies with quantities, configurations, and so forth.

“We’re still working toward a deal to provide two 747-8s to the Air Force — this deal is focused on providing a great value for the Air Force and the best price for the taxpayer,” Boeing spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson said in a statement.

The 747s that will be transformed for Presidential transport were originally ordered in 2013 by Transaero, which was Russia’s second-largest airline until it went bankrupt in 2015. Boeing built two of the four jets in the order, but the airline never took ownership of them. . . .
*** COMPLETE STORY LINKED ABOVE TITLE ***

The United States Air Force wouldn't have previously considered the two undelivered aircraft without President Trump's prior threat to cancel the project as too costly?
They absolutely were considering them after they became available.
 

DWG

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
535
Reaction score
213
I get the feeling that Boeing are probably smiling around gritted teeth, because that's the 747 programme suddenly two units closer to shutdown.
 

Moose

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2010
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
99
DWG said:
I get the feeling that Boeing are probably smiling around gritted teeth, because that's the 747 programme suddenly two units closer to shutdown.
Interesting that some of the savings aren't being proposed for buying a third aircraft, which is a big wishlist item from the people working that program.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,723
Reaction score
264
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
"Searching for $1 Billion: Inside the Pentagon’s Struggle to Match Trump’s Air Force One Boast"
By Marcus Weisgerber

September 8, 2017

Source:
http://www.defenseone.com/business/2017/09/searching-1-billion-inside-pentagons-struggle-match-trumps-air-force-one-boast/140852/
 

Attachments

Moose

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2010
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
99
No more aerial refueling is a questionable savings.
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,349
Reaction score
213
Moose said:
No more aerial refueling is a questionable savings.
OTOH, it's not clear whether the VC-25s have ever used IFR while carrying VIPs.
 

Airplane

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Messages
432
Reaction score
2
They have. That's how "W" flew to Iraq without landing to refuel.
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,349
Reaction score
213
Airplane said:
They have. That's how "W" flew to Iraq without landing to refuel.
I can't find any confirmation of that. Andrews-Baghdad is about 5400 nm, well within a VC-25's likely non-refuelled range (a 747-200 could do it easily with an official range of 6900 nm with a full passenger load, and a VC-25 has more gas and less weight). They normally like to refuel to keep more gas in the plane, but it wouldn't be necessary.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,723
Reaction score
264
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
TomS said:
Airplane said:
They have. That's how "W" flew to Iraq without landing to refuel.
I can't find any confirmation of that. Andrews-Baghdad is about 5400 nm, well within a VC-25's likely non-refuelled range (a 747-200 could do it easily with an official range of 6900 nm with a full passenger load, and a VC-25 has more gas and less weight). They normally like to refuel to keep more gas in the plane, but it wouldn't be necessary.
I thought that aerial refueling was a feature of the VC-25 in case of nuclear war or other emergency.
 

TomS

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
3,349
Reaction score
213
Certainly that's why the E-4Bs have IFR but the VC-25s never seem to use it (not even on 9/11 when they were afraid of a planned attack against AF1). A scenario where the President needs to stay airborne for more than 12 hours seems pretty unlikely. Secret Service really doesn't seem to like the risks involved.
 

Moose

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2010
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
99
Well there's always give and take between the Service and other requirements, but last I heard the DoD preferred to retain the capability as insurance against really bad days. Going away from that puts more pressure on the E-4 fleet, which itself is running up against recap concerns.
 

Triton

Donald McKelvy
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
9,723
Reaction score
264
Website
deeptowild.blogspot.com
"Congress Questions Air Force One’s Lack of Refueling Capability"
Posted By: Oriana Pawlyk September 26, 2017

Source:
https://www.dodbuzz.com/2017/09/26/congress-questions-air-force-ones-lack-of-refueling-capability/

Design engineers of the next Air Force One may have to go back to the drawing board after lawmakers on Tuesday expressed concern over the plane’s lack of mid-flight refueling capability.

Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, questioned Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford why the Air Force, which is leading the effort, would choose not to have mid-air refueling on the future president’s plane, given the capability would be needed for a long flight in an event of a nuclear attack.

“Strangely to me, the Air Force has just announced that the next version of Air Force One will not have in-flight refueling capability. What do you make of that?” Cotton asked the general, who was testifying during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his reappointment to the chairmanship and to uphold his rank.

“I think that was a decision that was not made by the — by the Air Force, but made by the White House, and I think it had to do with the fiscal constraints on the program,” Dunford said.

He added, “That will certainly be a limiting factor, and we’ll have to plan accordingly.”

The next Air Force One — or the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program, known as PAR — is not scheduled to have mid-air refueling, DefenseOne first reported earlier this month. Officials have argued that the capability, though useful, adds undue cost. Furthermore, presidents have never used the capability in flight; not even former President George W. Bush, whose aircraft loitered in the air for eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The latest comments on PAR come weeks after the Air Force awarded Boeing Co. the next contract — just shy of $600 million — for the program.

In August, the Air Force cemented a deal to buy two commercial 747-8 aircraft for the program from Boeing. The two planes were originally purchased by a now-defunct Russian airline company, Transaero, DefenseOne reported.

The service did not disclose the value of the planes at Boeing’s request because it could hurt potential 747 commercial sales in the future, the company said.

Boeing in January 2016 first began work on the new Air Force One for risk-reduction activities, signaling major progress on the program since the company won the contract in January 2015.

The next Air Force One entered the hot seat in December when then-president elect Donald Trump lambasted the program for being overpriced.

Trump on Dec. 6 tweeted “cancel order!” in reference to the Air Force One program. He brought up the issue again during a Dec. 16 speech in Pennsylvania.

“I don’t want a plane to fly around in that costs $4.2 billion, believe me … not going to happen … and I didn’t order it, please, remember this,” he said. “But we’re going to work with Boeing, we’re going to cut the price way down — way, way down.”

Boeing has so far received $170 million in development funding to study the technical requirements of the future Air Force One aircraft, the company has said.

Cotton on Tuesday reiterated that lawmakers and military leaders will have to revisit the refueling decision in the future.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
9,708
Reaction score
503
On a somewhat more serious note:
 
Top