Air Force Finds More Economical Approach to Replacing Air Force One

(CC/Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Back when he was still the president-elect, Donald Trump famously or infamously–depending on your Trumpishness–complained about the cost of building new Air Force One jets.


A sign of things to come, the reactions to Trump’s tweet created a storm of criticism, as if the desire to reduce government spending were an amateurish ideal.

Well, it looks as if they listened to him.

A new report from Defense One indicates that the U.S. Air Force is finalizing a contract with Boeing to purchase two 747-8s that were previously owned by Russian airline Transaero. The aviation company was the second-largest airline in Russia for a time, but it went bankrupt in 2015. Two years earlier, Transaero ordered two 747s, but the struggling airline defaulted on payments to Boeing for the planes.

While Russia’s largest airline, Aeroflot, absorbed most of the Transaero fleet, it did not opt to take the 747-8 orders. So Boeing flew the two planes, which were built but never delivered to Transaero, to a storage facility at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, in the middle of the Mojave Desert. The facility is used as an aircraft boneyard where the arid climate helps prevent aircraft corrosion.

Now the Air Force is planning to buy the Transaero’s old 747-8s for “a good deal,” according to Defense One. The official purchase could be announced by the Pentagon as soon as this week. The final price for the aircraft will not be released, but the average price for a 747-8 is just shy of $387 million. The Air Force could pick up the two Transaero 747-8s for a good bit cheaper, however, considering they were previously purchased and currently reside in the boneyard where Boeing is paying to store them.


All it took was a willingness to think outside the box at the urging of a non-politician who was about to ascend to the presidency to find that a more economical solution already existed.

One of the quirkier aspects of the permanent fever pitch of complaints about President Trump is that we have largely spent the last several years complaining about career politicians, especially conservatives. Now Trump is excoriated for not being presidential or following decorum. America is supposedly sick of Congress, but we keep sending the same idiots back to Washington.

If ever a system were in need of some egg-breaking to shake things up, it’s what we’re passing off as a representative republic these days. Some are loathe to pick up the mess.

Some of us are buying more eggs to break.


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