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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: 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 :)


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