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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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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.


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