An overhaul of Air Force One designed during the heyday of former President Donald Trump ensured the presidential plane would support our nation’s top executive through any national emergency.
While the plane might be able to survive terror attacks and other attempts to bring it out of the sky, it looks like the biggest enemy of the newest Air Force One iteration might be the man sitting in the White House now.
According to Politico, one of the most visible changes made to the aircraft is now being scrapped by the administration of President Joe Biden.
The new red-white-and-blue paint scheme, explained by Trump himself as a move away from the classic “baby blue” coloring, has now been abandoned altogether.
Trump’s dark blue-bellied design could significantly impact the temperature on the plane, the Air Force claims.
The aircraft would need additional gear and equipment to deal with the extra heat gain. An anonymous Biden administration official cited by Politico claims the adjustments would be too expensive and could significantly impact the delivery date.
“The Trump paint scheme is not being considered because it could drive additional engineering, time and cost,” the anonymous official said.
The administration’s apparent concern with cost and time won’t be enough to save the plane’s delivery date, however.
According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, it looks like the economic conditions have caused a major increase in production time, thanks to worker shortages.
In what the GAO graciously calls a “competitive labor market,” its annual assessment discovered aerospace manufacturer Boeing is having a tough time finding enough mechanics to complete the Air Force One overhaul.
Along with precise but time-consuming wiring, supply chain issues and problems with Boeing’s testing rates, the GAO report identified a lack of skilled workers with adequate security clearance as a major factor in increased production time.
In a bizarre market where some airlines are being forced to replace flights with bus routes, it doesn’t look as if the timeline will improve for Air Force One.
The original overhauls, once scheduled to take 136 months for two aircraft, now have an open delivery date that is declared as TBD: to be determined.
With the bold new pro-America design gone and an unclear production timeline that could take years to deliver a viable plane, it seems like Trump’s exact vision of an updated Air Force One will remain in limbo for now.
Since the production date could extend beyond President Biden’s term, whoever takes the Oval Office next would likely be who would make the ultimate call on the presidential craft.
If a major change is ushered in, a return to the plane’s original design could well be in order.
Otherwise, we might all be stuck with a plane designed by Trump but delivered by Biden’s economy.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.