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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: 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'.

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