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Singapore Airlines Airbus A380  (Source: Associated Press)

Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy  (Source: Air Mobility Command)

Air Force One
Boeing may have some competition when it comes to the replacement for Air Force One

Things are finally starting to look up for Airbus' troubled A380 superjumbo program. The first production A380 was delivered to Singapore Airlines on Monday in Toulouse, France. The plane was then flown from France to Changi Airport in Singapore where it will await final preparations for its first scheduled flight on October 25.

The A380, however, is making an even bigger splash in the news world for a completely different reason. Flight Global reports that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) is looking at the A380 as a replacement for two aircraft programs: a replacement for the Lockheed Martin C-5 Galaxy and as a replacement for the Boeing 747-200B (VC-25A) used as Air Force One.

The C-5 Galaxy made its maiden flight on June 30, 1968 and first entered service in June of 1970. The USAF Air Mobility Command (AMC) requested information on the A380F freighter last year as a possible replacement for use as a heavy military airlifter.

Plans to upgrade the existing C-5 Galaxy fleet are estimated to run 50 to 100 percent over budget according to the USAF and Airbus' new A380F would make an ideal, modern and cost-efficient platform.

In addition, the USAF is looking at the A380 as a replacement for the current Air Force One which was introduced in 1990. Boeing isn't giving up the fight, however. The company is well aware of the competitive efforts involved in finding a replacement for the VC-25A and is offering up a 747-8 which uses new wings and engines for increased fuel efficiency.

Boeing has provided jet-powered transportation for the President dating back to the Boeing 707 first used by John F. Kennedy.

Airbus' A380 superjumbo has been the subject of more than a few articles on DailyTech. The A380 was delayed in September of last year due to wiring problems -- a month later; Airbus announced that deliveries of the aircraft would be delayed by an entire year.

In November 2006, FedEx dumped the A380 and instead decided to go with Boeing's 777. A few months later in March 2007, UPS announced that it too would cancel its orders for the A380F. The UPS cancellation meant that Airbus had lost its last A380F customer.

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I really doubt this will happen
By ninjit on 10/19/2007 1:25:43 PM , Rating: 5
Senators from Seattle will throw a fit before the USAF can replace any boeings with Airbus models (a European company).

And especially for something as public as Airforce One. You really think the president (present or future, democrat or republican) could keep face flying around the country in a European made plane while "supporting" domestic industry?

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Brandon Hill on 10/19/2007 1:31:08 PM , Rating: 5
The next gen Marine One helicopter is an Italian-British design.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By RamarC on 10/19/2007 1:48:21 PM , Rating: 5
The next gen Marine One helicopter is an Italian-British design.

ital-brit design but built and manufactured by lockeed-martin and bell (both US corporations).

with globalization, the definition of an 'american' product is getting fuzzy. (gm owns opel whose cars are basis of most of the saturn line, so is a saturn an american car or a european car?)

still, airbus is wholly foreign so i think any airbus air force 1 will have a negative stigma.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Eris23007 on 10/19/2007 3:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
...unless Northrop Grumman or Lockheed Martin decides to partner with Airbus to compete with Boeing on a program like this (as NG is doing on the KC-X tanker replacement program with the Airbus A330, and as LM is doing on the VH-71 helo as previously mentioned).

I wouldn't rule this out...

By Chillin1248 on 10/19/2007 6:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
The U.S Army requistioned a brand new rifle [M4 - i.e. Colt Model 720] since the exclusive Colt licensing ran out on the M16s (to the likes of FN, etc); trust me that there is no reason a M16 can't be modified to have the same outfit as a M4.

I have seen here in the IDF M16A1 lower recievers with M16A2 uppers and either Colt Commando type barrels or the M4 "Heavy" barrels with an older folding stock.

Here is to give an idea to the different combinations:

So I highly doubt that they will be shelling out for something as symbolic as the Presidents plane to a foreign company.


RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Souka on 10/19/2007 1:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Why would Seattle senators throw a fit?

Two problems with that statement...

1. Senators represent states, not cities...
2. Boeing is headquartered outside Washinton state...they moved...

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By ninjit on 10/19/2007 1:46:59 PM , Rating: 5
2 problems with those problems:

1. I said Seattle, to emphasize Boeing manufacturing.
And you don't think Senators would be concerned about industry jobs in and around the largest city in their state? Besides which, Senator Maria Cantwell does really live in Seattle.

2. Boeing's headquarters may have moved, but 50% of their employee's are still in Washington, where they do most of their manufacturing.

By retrospooty on 10/19/2007 2:23:36 PM , Rating: 1
"And you don't think Senators would be concerned about industry jobs in and around the largest city in their state? Besides which, Senator Maria Cantwell does really live in Seattle."

They might be, they might not be it depends on how much money Airbus gives them.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Brandon Hill on 10/19/2007 2:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
We're talking two planes AT THE MOST for Air Force One. It's not like Boeing is gonna cut jobs over two planes.

Any opposition to Airbus being used as Air Force One wouldn't be on the basis of job losses or manufacturing capacity... it would be a purely symbolic blow IMHO.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By soydios on 10/19/2007 4:11:30 PM , Rating: 3
It's a prestige thing. Symbolic differences often translate into sales figure changes.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By masher2 on 10/19/2007 1:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
Boeing is headquartered outside Washinton state
Manufacturing is still based in the Seattle area, however. Boeing is still one of the area's largest employers. If they lose business, Seattle will feel it hardest.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Souka on 10/19/2007 3:50:43 PM , Rating: 3
Actually "manufacturing" is mostly out of state.

Washington state Boeing plane facilities are mostly "assembly".

Manfuacturing is done in Cali, Alabama, and other countries.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Ringold on 10/19/2007 2:37:31 PM , Rating: 1
1. Senators represent states, not cities...

Correct, if this were 1912. Since 1913 Senators represent their constituents and therefore are pandering hoes which only get held to account once every six years rather than every two. The Civil War put states interests in the coffin, the 17th Amendment buried the coffin in an umarked grave. Senators would therefore be, and are, very keen on protecting their local labor interests. Losing a Boeing facility would be something of a political liability for both parties I'd reckon.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By UNCjigga on 10/19/2007 1:35:46 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed--I don't think Airbus could win a contract for Air Force One. USAF is just including them in the bid process to keep Boeing on their toes.

However, it'd be interesting to see if Airbus chases the C-5 replacement contract. I would imagine the A380F was all but cancelled (as DT notes there are currently no customers.) But if American taxpayers can foot the bill for development, Airbus can build the A380F and woo international shippers back to the showroom. I'm sure there's enough pork in a defense contract for Airbus to design two planes (one mil-spec, one commercial) for the price of one! :)

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By ikkeman on 10/19/2007 1:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
no footing of bills nescecary. The A380F was almost done when the plug was pulled because airbus needed all availiable engineers for the rewiring isseus, and because the 747-8F promised to be good enough for the freight carriers (before these isseus, both UPs and Fedex (and a 3rd?) had 380F's on order)

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Treckin on 10/25/2007 7:59:05 PM , Rating: 1
Im sure you could look at a basic PPC and see that at some point, pulling off certain types of engineers does little to expedite a mechanical problem...

The law a diminishing returns, as well as common sense; not ALL of the engineers working on the 380f would have any clue how to deal with a fucking wiring issue.

The project was nixed because it was no longer profitable. Period. Don’t over-analyze simple problems.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By weskurtz0081 on 10/19/2007 3:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
NO way will they replace the C-5 with the A380 unless they do a MAJOR redesign of the gears, and loading areas. The aircraft would need at least one ramp in the rear, and probably one in the front like the C-5. It needs to be able to kneel for loading and unloading. I would need to be MUCH lower to the ground in order to accommodate drive on and off capabilities. The C-5 eat the 747 out of the race for this very reason, and it's ability to carry over sized cargo.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By timmiser on 10/19/2007 7:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Whoever suggested the A380 would/could replace a C5A doesn't know much about airplanes.

On the other hand, I believe the Air Force one/A380 is merely a benchmarking exercise to keep a level of competition present for their bid with Boeing.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By weskurtz0081 on 10/19/2007 10:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, they probably just want Boeing to think that they have competition for better bang for the buck.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Gul Westfale on 10/20/2007 12:19:28 AM , Rating: 1
the US president always drives a lincoln or a cadillac, not an arguably better mercedes or BMW (although presidential limos are always custom built, so they are obviously better equipped and built than standard models for mere mortals).
it's simply a matter of showing some national pride, something required in politics.

of course, if the the A380 allows the government to use the extra space and/or range for some equipment they think is really vital then they might go with airbus... after playing up the fact that the plane uses some US-made components... :)

also, there are several air force ones, not just one. whatever plane the president currently flies with at that moment is referred to as air force one; in addition, several planes are outfitted to act as airborne command posts in a crisis. so the A380 should be used for very specific purposes only, but not for every day operations.

By weskurtz0081 on 10/20/2007 3:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
We were mainly talking about replacing the C-5. But for arguments sake, I think they are just exploring options and trying to put pressure on Boeing and Lockheed. In the end, any heavy the AF buys will probably be a Boeing.

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/24/2007 8:42:29 AM , Rating: 2
Consider the Buy American Act which precludes the US government from purchasing foreign end products when there are domestic equivalents available, with some minor exceptions.

I think perhaps the USAF was doing a little reconaissance for Boeing.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By jdun on 10/24/2007 9:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
The replacement for the C-5 is the C-17 which is made by Boeing.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By ChipDude on 10/20/07, Rating: -1
RE: I really doubt this will happen
By DestruyaUR on 10/20/2007 2:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
It'll never happen for four reasons:

1) The 747-200 was chosen over the 747-400 because the 200 is more structurally sound. The A380 was built for profit on long-haul long-distance routes, not necessarily safety. The -200 airframe was also chosen for the E-4B. The reason for this was the dramatic altering of the airframe to incorporate extra weight (the 'tumor' on the E-4B) and also the addition of in-flight refueling architecture. They wanted the most "solid" plane they could get their hands on before modifying it.

2) Paranoia. China accused us of bugging a few 777s they bought from Boeing for diplomatic use. Secondly the prospect of having to use European sub-contractors to assist the Air Force in complex maintenance will be a nonstarter.

3) The plane's size will actually further limit the amount of airfields serviceable by Air Force One, which is already a problem with the 747 airframe. Some airfields flat out won't permit A380s because they fear they'll damage or crack the runways.

4) The airframe and avionics have been dogged by delay and skepticism.

Look for the venerable VC-25A 747 Air Force One to be "augmented" in the near future by a 787 Dreamliner fleet to enable senior staff, dignitaries, and the President to visit places that normally couldn't be accessed by a 747 due to airfield limitations.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Plasmoid on 10/20/2007 10:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on some sub points. im not so sure about the others.

Firstly, at the end of the day a 747 is a 747, its not very structurally sound by any standard, its a damn passenger airliner. Its not going to take a lot to blow the it up. Its best defences are the rest of the Air Force and its contermeasures. As regards landing and that, a 70's design with some retrofitted 80's improvements really cant stand up to a 00's design with 00's materials, as seen by the 787's wings being ridiculously strong.

2) Maybe, maybe... but at the end of the day if your paranoid enough to not trust your European allies your paranoid enough not to trust one of your bigger defence contractors. And the air force will just train up a crew of mechanics to do the maintenance... you dont see the navy calling in british engineers to patch up harriers now do you?

3) Not being able to use certain air fields for fear of cracking the runways is a bit of FUD. The A380 is designed as a drop in replacement for the 747, if it was breaking runways it would not have been ordered. The wheels distribute the weight out so its not a whole lot worse then a 747. Its dimensions are marginally wider then a 747, one of the big design challenges. And at the end of the day, cracking a runway in an emergency (which is when you would use some crappy runway that cant handle a 747 and taking Marine one isnt an option) isnt the end of the world.

4) The Skepticism mostly from Boeing, and the delays due to wiring. The Airframe is sound... but the passengers want entertainment systems. The Freight model is ready to go. I do accept that the Air Force is not going to a take a plane that hasent proven itself with a few years of air service under its belt... but then thats the kind of thing they did with the orignal 747.

By weskurtz0081 on 10/20/2007 3:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
Just wanted to make a point. You made the comment that the 747 is not very structurally sound because it was a passenger airliner. Well, they also use a good number of them for freight, they turned one into the Super Tanker, the 747 was also competing for the spot that the C-5 won. The 747 is probably overall a better jet than the C-5, just couldn't get on its knees and take it from both ends. A 747 could take a hit from a SAM, they will generally take out an engine, and a good pilot could still land it. They are tough planes and I disagree that they are not structurally sound.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By Samus on 10/20/2007 5:40:09 PM , Rating: 1
It's that attitude that prevents our Government from running Linux and trading with Cuba.

That's the problem with patriotism.

RE: I really doubt this will happen
By mdogs444 on 10/21/2007 8:05:08 AM , Rating: 1
That is not a problem with patriotism, in fact it has nothing to do with being a patriot.

The fact is our government does not support communism, and part of not supporting communism is not doing anything to better the communist government.

Why do you think all these cuban's on a daily basis attempt to flea cuba to the US?

On another note, what the hell do you care if the government does not want to use a Linux OS? Why dont you stop complaining about it, go into IT, and get a job with the government if you want to persuade them to change. I personally see absolutely no reason that they should use Linux.

Its stupid to bash the government for not supporting communism, and not wanting to use your choice of OS.

By hlper on 10/19/2007 1:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
A) as the previous poster mentions Boeing is an U.S. company.


B) does Airforce One need to be any bigger when we are experiencing unending high fuel prices

RE: Dumb
By DesertCat on 10/19/2007 1:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
I agree on the size issue. For the longest time Air Force 1 didn't have to be a huge plane, but only became that during the most recent iteration. It was never really clear to me as to why they needed such a big plane. Now they need a bigger one? Somehow it smacks of needing to have the biggest SUV on the block just for show.

Leave pointless pagentry to countries that have a monarch.

RE: Dumb
By Proteusza on 10/19/2007 1:59:55 PM , Rating: 5
There's a joke I heard about the size of modern aircraft, which I think can be reworked here.

The pilot an Airbus A380 tells his copilot that he is hearing a strange noise coming from the rear of the aircraft, and sends him to investigate.

The copilot hops on his motorbike, and two hours later returns to tell the captain that he found that someone had left a window open, and there was a Boeing 747 circling a light bulb.

RE: Dumb
By TomZ on 10/19/2007 1:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
does Airforce One need to be any bigger when we are experiencing unending high fuel prices

Do you seriously think fuel prices are a real consideration for Air Force One? It's probably #37 in the list of priorities I would guess.

RE: Dumb
By Ecmaster76 on 10/19/2007 3:45:02 PM , Rating: 1
Actually fuel efficiency can equate to increased range. That is definitely a top 10 priority.

RE: Dumb
By ikkeman on 10/19/2007 1:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
the 380 will be more feul efficient than the 747-200.

About the size issue:
Airforce one has always been the biggest availiable airplane (from boeing).

RE: Dumb
By AraH on 10/19/2007 2:54:56 PM , Rating: 3
i'm getting sick of this bull about fuel efficiency... the aircraft isn't more fuel efficient in and of itself (my understanding anyway) it's more efficient per passenger, or per kilogram/pound/whatever... a simple fact of the economies of scale.

oh yeah, and the 747-200 is a 30+ year old plane, of course the a380 will be more efficient... though it's not gonna make much of a difference compared to a 747-800

RE: Dumb
By ChristopherO on 10/19/2007 2:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
B.) Why are you under the impression it is large enough? Do you have any idea how many people fly with the President? There is a full security detail, the communications officers upstairs, various cabinet members, family, potential dignitaries, press, aides, analysts, etc. AF1 is fully intended to be a mobile White House. As such there is also dedicated office space and conference areas.

On top of that the plane needs space for many military grade devices that aren't present on consumer aircraft. Namely a full countermeasure suite (chaff, flares, etc), computer hardware out the wazoo, etc, etc.

I personally think a 747-8 would be a wonderful upgrade. An A380 could also be used, but alas that would be a politically inane decision. That this article exists indicates someone in the government should lose their job -- they are a moron and haven't a clue what sort of message it sends flying the President around in a foreign aircraft.

RE: Dumb
By SimonB on 10/19/2007 3:18:12 PM , Rating: 5
When it crashes, we want as much of the government on it as possible.

RE: Dumb
By Tsuwamono on 10/19/2007 7:15:40 PM , Rating: 1
agreed... too bad Honda doesnt make aircraft we could put them on.. that should do the trick..

RE: Dumb
By lumbergeek on 10/21/2007 10:41:25 PM , Rating: 2

Honda Aircraft. Admittedly too small for Air Farce Won, but still, Honda makes aircraft.

Oh, and for those who were talking about not trading with Cuba bein not supporting communism, explain how it is that we buy all sorts of CRAP from China?

RE: Dumb
By otispunkmeyer on 10/19/2007 6:57:51 PM , Rating: 2
i'd imagine the 380 is cheaper to run, its engines are pretty efficient and its aero work will be improved over the 747. to be honest its testament to how good the 747 really is... i mean how old is she now? and we're only just surpassing it

then again, theres no reason why they cant put those engines on the current 747 is there?

for me, its all going entirely the wrong way. airforce 1 is already too big, c'mon a whole 747 for one man?

its just gluttony and immense excess

still its better than the 60's throw back we have for our prime minister...that thing he fly's in chucks a load of black crap out the back!

RE: Dumb
By Tsuwamono on 10/19/2007 7:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
That thing looks worse then the small twin engine i took from Kingston Jamaica to my resort on the other side of the island.. glad it was like a 20 min ride..

RE: Dumb
By Justin Case on 10/19/2007 7:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
does Airforce One need to be any bigger

Are you kidding? Can you imagine how cool Bush would feel coming out of Airforce One... riding a horse? It would make the whole flyboy "Mission Accomplished" thing look almost gay.

By Chernobyl68 on 10/19/2007 1:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
I can't imagine a civilian passenger jet ever really becoming a primary military transport plane. when has that ever happened?
C-130, C-141, C-5, C-17...none are passenger jets. Some have civilian roles, surely, but the frame of a civilian jet doesn't lend itself to heavy lift cargo (low ramps for vehicles...)

RE: seriously?
By BitJunkie on 10/19/2007 2:09:15 PM , Rating: 3
RE: seriously?
By rippleyaliens on 10/19/2007 2:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
Naturally the Internet Tough Guy- Nerd hits.
People say the size of the JET, BE advised, there are also things like, It can fly from the US to 90% of the World without re-fueling.
Why need a private jet: Heads of state need privacy as well as the Presidents 30+ security + staff+ staff on the jet+support personal. Not to mention the Plane is designed as a mobile command post.

Wit Airbus- YAH right, that would be like the President getting driven in a Mercedes. Yah the Benz may be better, but it is not American made. Most of the sellouts who post may choose to buy foreign gear, but as the leader of the free world, he also has to stand by his country, not buy against it.

AND believe me, the USAF will not buy a jet from Airbus - Mainly because Boeing. LONG TIME commitment. SECOND- USAF has enough time dealing with Boeing for replacement parts, definetly not a good idea to buy foreign for something that will be used and abused. (Military uses their jets 3 to 5x times as much, and as long as any civilian)

Yah the Marines are looking at a foreign designed Helo.. Before you idgets start with the comments, 1. with budget cuts in the past, there is min- amount in the budget for that type of Helo even for research. The osprey, however troubled is a marvel, and the USMC's DREAM helo. EVERY other HELO, other than the Black hawk, is WELLLLLL over 25 YEARS old. With the Marine ch46 from the Vietnam era, the CH53 from the early 70's. The UH1- Vietnam ERA, and the Cobra- DEFINETLY VIETNAM era..

Learn your history
Learn what the thing does
Learn the NEEDS
More importantly, start thinking before opening your mouth,, Cause you can Google, and Wikjpedia your little hearts content, does not make you smarter. Just resourceful, Intelligence comes form resources But more importantly, the COMMON SENSE attained by actually doing something versus reading about it.

RE: seriously?
By Screwuhippie on 10/19/2007 2:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
what he said ...

RE: seriously?
By djcameron on 10/19/2007 2:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
There is nothing Vietnam era about an AH1-W or AH-1Z.

RE: seriously?
By DBRfreak on 10/25/2007 1:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
Other then about 75% of the control system and various other components...

RE: seriously?
By ikkeman on 10/19/2007 3:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
verry interesting rant...
nothing usefull or intelligent in there though...

RE: seriously?
By Mclendo06 on 10/19/2007 4:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
I think that you're right. The main issue is the level of the cargo deck. A M1A1 tank can drive through a C-5 using nothing other than ramps which are part of the aircraft. To even get a tank into an A380 (or 747 or other wide body commercial air transport) requires that a significant infrastructure be in place at the airfield where cargo operations are being performed. This gives high-wing/low body aircraft like the C-5 / C-17 / C-130 a huge advantage over low-mid wing/high body aircraft like the A380 / 747 when it comes to vehicle transportation.

RE: seriously?
By weskurtz0081 on 10/19/2007 4:38:05 PM , Rating: 2

I the higher elevated engines can help keep from sucking up rocks when these aircraft are landing on below standard runways. They would need to be very careful landing a jet when the engines are lower to the ground in these areas, and if they were to make the A380 low enough to drive on and of then likely the engines would be much to low and would probably get damaged very often from FOD.

Technical Detail
By CollegeTechGuy on 10/19/2007 4:35:47 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I am really picky on this kind of stuff but, "Air Force One" is NOT a plane. It is a call sign, which is given to any plane the President is on. The President could be on a little bitty Cessna and that plane becomes Air Force One. Hell if you even watch the end of the movie, when Harrison Ford gets on the Cargo plane they change their call sign to Air Force One.

RE: Technical Detail
By johnsonx on 10/19/2007 5:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
While that's true, that's also a little too nit-picky. Yes, absolutely, 'Air Force One' and 'Marine One' are the call signs of any Air Force or Marine aircraft that is carrying the President. I don't know if it's ever occurred, but presumably 'Navy One', 'Army One' and 'Coast Guard One' are also possibilities (the jet he landed on that carrier in, was that a Navy jet or Marine?).

However, 'Air Force One' is also the title given to the specific aircraft used by, equipped and painted for the President. So 'Air Force One' is both a call sign and a title.

RE: Technical Detail
By JBird7986 on 10/19/2007 5:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
It was a Navy S-3 Viking and the only plane ever called "Navy One."

Interestingly, if the president should ever fly on a civilian aircraft, it becomes "Executive One."

RE: Technical Detail
By borowki on 10/19/2007 9:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
What'd be you call the Segway that our president rode on?

RE: Technical Detail
By Steve Guilliot on 10/24/2007 9:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
One Dumb Bastard, I'm pretty sure.

RE: Technical Detail
By psychmike on 10/19/2007 6:50:13 PM , Rating: 2
No, you're wrong. The name of the two 747-200B aircraft converted for presidential use are called VC-25As. They are called Air Force One and use that radio call sign only when the president is on board.

RE: Technical Detail
By johnsonx on 10/20/2007 12:43:35 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever, we're arguing semantics here. If you show anyone a picture of one of the 747-200B aircraft converted for presidential use that are now designated VC-25A that often use the call sign 'Air Force One', nobody is going to ask whether the President was onboard at the time the picture was taken before telling you it's 'Air Force One'. In that way, it's a title. Note I never said 'military designation' or 'call sign'.

RE: Technical Detail
By Steve Guilliot on 10/24/2007 9:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
Cool, you saw the movie. Congratulations.

Just think on this one
By ikkeman on 10/19/2007 2:01:07 PM , Rating: 4
The US president goes to visit some far-off convention, pulls up in his/her little 747-2B and has to park in front of the French/german president/prime ministers HUGE A380, because the 747 could not be seen behind the new behemoth of the skies.


RE: Just think on this one
By mcnabney on 10/19/2007 4:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
European heads of state do not have big-ass government planes to fly them around.
In fact, Tony Blair and his family were flying on a commercial airlines flight when it rolled off the runway in Miami.

RE: Just think on this one
By Oregonian2 on 10/19/2007 5:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
Only if there's enough runway for all of those planes.

Doesn't the A380 need runway changes/improvements for an airport to accommodate it? Wouldn't getting one limit where the president could visit quite a bit?

RE: Just think on this one
By ikkeman on 10/22/2007 3:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
no, A380 doesn't need runway changes. It needs shoulder changes.
The wheels distribute the total load to a lower surface load than the 747 (especially the 747-8), but the a380 engines are further out, which requires a larger area next to the runway to be cleared of signs, fences and poles of any discription

Air Force One
By Screwuhippie on 10/19/2007 2:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
Its not about size ... its about versitility. If you bother to look into it ... the bigger the plane, the more fuels it carries and the longer distances it can cover as well as stay in flight. This sucker (Air Force 1) is a mobile national command center. Someone does something bad ... the President (aka the commander of the country) is airborn and un-touchable. This thing flies forever and has enough tech on it to last through a lot of stuff. So ... sure we could stick him in one of those regional jets but ...

And for you anti-bush folks. Take a peak (I don't have it handy nor do I have the time to find it for you) but ... if you want to take my word for it. The amount of airlift and cost of planes was astronomically higher under your previous fan-boy president ... heck with Hillary decided to go somewhere she mobilized most of the Air Force's C-5 inventory. Mr. Bush is a bit less of an ass an only travels when he needs to. Also ... you mock the whole "camp david" or "texas" bit but ... these guys NEVER get a day off ... he may be in Texas but believe me from dusk till dawn these guys are working.

So ... anyway ... Bigger is Better because its needed.

RE: Air Force One
By Ringold on 10/19/2007 2:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with everything in principle, but before we go and spend however many millions it costs to fully fit an A380 with all the specialized equipment needed for an Air Force One aircraft I'd hope that Congress steps forward and explains why tax payers need to open their wallets a little better than "we need more range".

While I think we're on the same page generally regarding the politics perhaps, I'd still see it as ironic that any future small-government conservative would want to pimp out a new many-million dollar flying palace. That said, I entirely understand, unlike some leftists that also complain about executive compensation more generally, why CEO's have and need expensive private jets. There's a clear cost-benefit anaylsis that can be made to justify such expenses; a CEO's time is money, and a less stressed CEO with more time and energy not otherwise drained means better quarterly results. I just would want a similar argument to be made for a new Air Force one as, presently, I'm not sure I see what's really wrong with the present one. 'Cause, gosh, if they don't want it.. I'll take it..

RE: Air Force One
By Connoisseur on 10/19/2007 2:59:13 PM , Rating: 2
Air Force Once has in-flight refueling which effectively gives it infinite range. Range benefits would NOT be the primary motivator for this plane. Fuel Efficiency, maybe; Ridiculous size, maybe... but not range.

Ringold: Expensing a private jet for BUSINESS is understandable. The reason lots of high powered exec's are getting flak nowadays is that they expense PERSONAL trips as well as other luxury items on their company tab... something which is completely unethical especially considering the ridiculous amounts of money they make. Furthermore, this has become an industry norm in many major companies. It's something that rightly irks stockholders.

RE: Air Force One
By System48 on 10/19/2007 2:49:39 PM , Rating: 1
So that's what he was doing when he was clearing brush, "working". When was this Hillary Clinton thing you talk about? And range? Maybe you should check your info before posting, the 747-800 has a fully loaded range of 8000nmi and the A380-800 has a design load (not sure if that even means fully loaded) range of 8200nmi. So yeah with that extra 200nmi they should definitely go the extra mile. Oh wait, that's right, if you knew what you were talking about you would know that Air force 1 has been modified for mid-air refueling, so that argument is pointless. And lastly Bush only travels when he needs to, like when he goes on vacation, or anywhere for that matter. That's alright though you're just a typical republican idiot that speaks without really knowing anything. So do us and yourself a favor and stfu.

RE: Air Force One
By mcnabney on 10/19/2007 4:39:35 PM , Rating: 2
If Bush was really working while on vacation in Texas in August of 2001 he might have read the report they gave him that documented how terrorists may be plotting to crash planes into American buildings.
Since it appears that he didn't read the report we can assume that he is just loafing on vacation.

By ksherman on 10/19/2007 1:40:29 PM , Rating: 4
I imagine that Boeing would just as soon as GIVE away a newer 747 than let Airbus shuttle around the president. It's not a matter of Boeing making a ton of money as it is the image of a Boeing being the president's plane of choice.

Ya right
By umeng2002 on 10/19/2007 9:27:54 PM , Rating: 2
They're only "considering" this plane to appease our allies in Europe. There is no way that the flying symbol of the executive branch of the US federal government would be build by anyone but Boeing or other US company.

RE: Ya right
By ikkeman on 10/22/2007 4:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
kc30 (converted a330 to replace the kc135 (old 707)) will be build by and in amerika, when selected. Both (or 3, can't remember) Marine one's (Westland EH101) are build in US.
All in perfect compliance with import//export and sourcing of strategic materials laws.

The appeased allies are buying some 500 to 1000 jsf's... maybe it's time to repay the favour...

C-5 bigger?
By howtochooseausername on 10/19/2007 11:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
I thought that the C5 was a larger plane than the A380.
Anyone know if that's true?

RE: C-5 bigger?
By weskurtz0081 on 10/20/2007 4:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
The C-5 is not larger than the A380, it's just a little longer, but that extra length is probably just the T-tail slanting back. The length difference is only about 7 feet or so. Still doesn't really matter, they would have to do some major redesign to fill the role of the C-5 effectively.

Do you Americans have allies?
By ukpilot on 10/22/2007 3:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
I've read this blurb from front to back.

You seem to think that the British are somehow alien to the USA, and yet (having visited the USA on numerous occasions), the USA seems to me to be the most partisan and protected industrial environment there ever was.

Airbus won't be allowed to compete?
(US national pride and all that)
Does the US rule the World?

Airbus has British wings and British engines. Perhaps the most two dominant high-tech features of any airplane.

Remember, the Mustang was a crap airplane until it was fitted with the Rolls Royce Merlin engine.

You Americans certainly don't have a monopoly on intellect or ability. Witness the fact that many of your engineers and scientists are actually canadian, german, russian, chinese, british, or indian.

You people need to grow up.

RE: Do you Americans have allies?
By ikkeman on 10/22/2007 4:07:22 PM , Rating: 2

Working on an boeing program i was surprised how few amarican engeneers actually work here. I'm not on the 787, so they may all be there, but large parts of US products are never seen by an american untill they get installed!

In service before 2009?
By DigitalFreak on 10/19/07, Rating: 0
RE: In service before 2009?
By ksherman on 10/19/2007 4:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
Better AF2 than AF1... that VP is one scary son-of-a-wench (with a 'b'). And this coming from a Republican who (somewhat) likes Bush...

If size matters
By Griswold on 10/19/2007 5:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
Then the most powerful man (maybe soon woman?) in the world just cant fly on a smaller plane than some random billionaire - yes thats right, some unnamed (the name is supposed to be revealed later this year) billionaire ordered an A380 as a private jet. ;-)

Seriously, I dont think its going to happen. Much like european head of states usually exclusively fly on airbus planes - if they're not saving tax payer money by taking commercial flights.

But the freighter version to replace the c-5 galaxy is definitely realistic. The US military is very open to foreign hardware as of late, as mentioned in some other post. Even armored vehicles from german production are being considered to replace the humvee.

Free market or protectionism?
By bernardl on 10/21/2007 8:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
The bottom line here is the message that the US wants to convey to the World. Does the US promote free trade or protectionism?

Free trade and liberalisation are a key aspect for the large US corporations that - through funding - have a lot of control on the decisions of the US gov. Profit drives these companies, not employment.

The US selecting a European plane would be a very strong message in favour of free trade.

Judging from the negative reactions of 90% of the posters here, it would seem that many US citizens do not really support the idea of free trade as soon as it treathens their job of local industries.

Without casting any judgement, if that is the case, it might be the right time to really start looking into the economical programs and actions of both Democrats and Republicans, and to veer off to the left. :-) Long lasting right voting in the US has been one of the main drivers of markets liberalization.


i totally agree
By inperfectdarkness on 10/22/2007 9:07:39 AM , Rating: 2
i don't believe air force 1 should be replaced for another decade.

i would venture to say that money could be MUCH better spent on upgrading any number of USAF aircraft. take the awacs, for example. these planes are 30+ years old, with equivelantly archaic (i.e. 1970's) systems to boot. these ARE 707's. the same plane kennedy used. the same plane the kc-135 is based on--which is soon to be phased out. upgrading the fleet to wedgetails (while very cost prohibitive) is a much better investment.

as far as the a380 vs. c5? the c17 has a better chance of replacing the c5. 2 c5's = 3 c17's. granted, the c17 is supposed to replace the c130, but no one in their right mind imagines the c130 being phased out for another 100 years.

Isn't this site slow to update
By ukpilot on 10/22/2007 4:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
I posted 30 mins ago and it's still not up
Is this for translation from English to American?

Can you increase your game?

Stop blaming us!
By AlphaVirus on 10/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Stop blaming us!
By jacarte8 on 10/19/2007 2:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
More like Crawford, TX and Camp David...

RE: Stop blaming us!
By rippleyaliens on 10/19/2007 3:15:08 PM , Rating: 2
Global Warming etc... What do you expect the heads of state, government, and big time execs to do. IM to people to discuss stuff. Or Fly there? Send a Email, or some face to face time with people. This may be 2007, but last time i checked, you still need to be face to face to get things accomplished.
Get laid
Meet wife/husband- (unless you are a loser marrying before meeting)
WORK!!!!- (how many posters have foreign cars, yet complaining that the economy is crap)

There is corruption all around us, YET we are corrupt in our own ways.

RE: Stop blaming us!
By sviola on 10/19/2007 4:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting...what buying a foreign car has to do with corruption? Last I knew, it still was a right to choose the better value for the money you pay on an item. And if US car manufacturing industry has a problem to sell their cars, is because they can't make a car that is more appealing than a foreign car, not because people prefer foreign cars...

RE: Stop blaming us!
By goz314 on 10/19/2007 5:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
Actually high altitude contrails left in the wakes of commercial jets have been linked to localized reductions in surface temperatures due to their high albedo.

At any rate, I think a more prudent question to ask (and it is certainly in keeping with your arguement) is, "Does the Air Force really need to replace Air Force 1 right now or in the near future?" Probably not in my estimation.

The current version came into service barely 15 years ago. Prior to that, the 707 was in service in that capacity for 30 years. Based on that metric alone, the current 747 fleet has another 15 years left in it before the Air Force (and vicariously american taxpayers) should even think about replacing it. Doing so prematurely is nothing more than government pork and a waste time, resources, and most importantly money.

RE: Stop blaming us!
By GTaudiophile on 10/19/2007 10:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
Here here!

And join me in voting for Ron Paul :)

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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