The next Air Force One??? And other stuff…

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.

This is an ‘interesting’ way to do it, and it WILL save the USAF quite a bit, as Boeing wants those birds off the inventory. Full story HERE from

What will be MORE interesting is how the media is going to spin this, since the birds were originally ordered by a Russian airline… Cause you ‘know’ it’s coming…

In other news, from The Firearms Blog, more news from yesterday’s post on the Sig P320… Link, HERE

Apparently Sig is going to announce a ‘free upgrade’ next week. Interesting, VERY interesting…

And one more- The Volokh Conspiracy Short Circuit update… HERE. As usual there are some screwy ones in there… Sigh…


The next Air Force One??? And other stuff… — 10 Comments

  1. My sense on the Air Force One thing is that airframe is a relatively small part of the cost. Yeah, I know approx. $400 mil ain’t peanuts but when you consider the cost of the electronics, security features, labor to install the special accommodations, modification for in-flight refueling, etc I suspect you could get the airframe for free and still be in the $1 to $2 billion range.

    Taking advantage of a deal on essentially brand new aircraft is great, but the most important aspect of this should be to change military procurement thinking to look for creative solutions rather than just pay the “sticker price.”

  2. NRW- Yep, that really IS peanuts. Agree with you on the upgrade costs, and I ‘like’ the creative solution!

  3. Hey Old NFO;

    Getting some 747-8’s is a good deal, when you are a company running on a profit, 2 engines and ETOPS is better than 4 engines. When you are the Military or the government where the cost isn’t a factor, then 4 engines are good. Also the new 747’s have a lot of composite in the wing and new fuel efficient engines so it also is a good idea. I am sure there is a lot of new electronics and countermeasures that the older airfame of the 747-200’s can’t handle.

  4. Ed- Oh yeah, exactly… sigh…

    Bob- Agree with all, not that we peons will ever know… LOL

  5. The four engines of the 747-8 put out the thrust of FIVE of the original 747 ca. 1969. While burning less fuel. The -8 can also hit .97 Mach. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if a Boeing test pilot might (just might) have pushed it to Mach 1.

    And I’m sure the Russian airliner connection will be brought up at Impeachment Hearings.

  6. I agree with the others – the airframe is a small part of the cost (give or take $400 million of give or take $2 billion).
    One aspect I haven’t seen mentioned recently is time – Boeing has been holding the 747 production line in part for the next Air Force One; given the slow movement of government procurement, giving the Air Force a deal on these unsold aircraft not only gets an asset off the books, it also gives Boeing back control of when and how they shut down 747 production instead of them having to hold it for the government – which means that they can repurpose the floor space, workers, etc; in the end that may save them more money than they would have made on the full cost of 2 new air frames.

    As mentioned above, it is a GREAT thing for government procurement to think about innovative ways of saving money. I’ve seen this done in small ways before, but seeing it done in bigger ways is always a good thing!

    • Though you’re essentially right (saved maybe 20% of the final cost) I’d happily take even 1% of the projected savings.

      I could retire in modest luxury on $4 million and leave a comfortable inheritance to my kids, too.

      Which shows one of the bigger flaws of government spending – for a normal human, obsessing about saving 1% here and 2% there is often not worth the additional time and effort (though I’ll point out that a 1% savings for someone earning the US median income is over $600 dollars).

      For even a local government, that’s not the case – a 1% savings for a small city like my old hometown (Population ~10,000, current budget >$11 million) would be over $100K. For the US, with a current budget of over $4 *trillion*, that 1% works out to over 40 *billion* dollars that could otherwise go to reduce the deficit (my preference) or cover more spending (our Congress’s, I’m sure).

  7. Sig is going to be a case study in future business schools on “How Not to Respond to a Product Defect Issue”.

    Compare and contrast with Ruger. Their response to the issue with the Mk.IV safety has been to send the owners pre-paid shipping boxes to send their guns back for rework. There were also QC issues with the initial run of the GP-100-.44; Ruger took back every gun from complaining owners and fixed them. No charge, no quibble.

    Come the time when I’m in the market for a factory-new heater, I’m going to look hard at what Ruger has to offer. And not at all at Sig.