BY DARLENE SUPERVILLE
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Air Force One is getting a patriotic makeover.
Trump says the familiar baby blue color on the presidential aircraft will give way to a red-white-and-blue color scheme. Updated models could be in service during a potential second term. The president made the announcement in a CBS News interview broadcast Tuesday.
Trump said he wondered, after reaching a deal with Boeing for the new aircraft, whether to stick with the baby blue color that’s recognized worldwide.
He said he decided against it.
“Air Force One is going to be incredible,” said Trump. “It’s going to be top of the line, the top in the world, and it’s going to be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”
Separately, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that the Air Force has awarded a “firm fixed-price” contract to Boeing to design, modify, test, certify and deliver two presidential “mission-ready” aircraft by 2024. They’ll replace the current Boeing 747 versions used by the president, which are 31 years old.
Sanders said the contract sets the total price for the two completed aircraft at $3.9 billion. She said that represents a savings of more than $1.4 billion from the $5.3 billion initially proposed.
Trump tweeted in December 2016, after he was elected, that costs for the program were “out of control, more than $4 billion.” He added, “Cancel order!”
Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg and Trump have met multiple times to discuss the Air Force One contract.
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