EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump boasts two new Air Force Ones will be part of his ‘legacy’ in documentary filmed on board before he left office that reveals how they will have queen-sized bed and ‘military equipment I don’t even talk about’
- President Donald Trump sat down with National Geographic before leaving office to talk about the two new Air Force One planes he helped design
- ‘I view this as something to do with legacy,’ Trump said in interview footage. ‘Everytime I look at it I’ll say, “I had a lot to do with that”‘
- Trump wanted a new red, white and blue color scheme for the redesigned planes and showed models of it to guests in the Oval Office
- ‘We’re changing the coloring system, I think it’s a stronger system, it’s actually more beautiful,’ Trump told NatGeo
- The documentary also revealed that Trump wanted Air Force One’s bedroom to have a ‘more modern luxury look,’ a queen bed and a larger TV
- Press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden ‘has not spent a moment’ thinking about Air Force One’s design, something Trump spent time on
- The documentary, ‘The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress,’ premieres February 15 at 10 p.m. on National Geographic
While President Joe Biden ‘has not spent a moment’ thinking about Air Force One’s color scheme, according to press secretary Jen Psaki, former President Donald Trump cared so much he sat down with National Geographic to talk about the project.
DailyMail.com got early access to the forthcoming NatGeo documentary ‘The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress,’ which shows Trump on board Air Force One speaking about the ‘stronger’ design he’d chosen for two new planes being built.
The 44-minute documentary also reveals that Trump wanted the presidential bedroom to have a ‘more modern luxury look’ that includes a queen bed, instead of two twin fold-outs, a larger TV and more seating.
President Donald Trump sat down for an interview with National Geographic in October 2019 to talk about the new Air Force One planes that he helped design
Trump looked at four different color schemes and preferred a red, white and blue design with blue engines. Trump told NatGeo that the redesign was ‘stronger’ and ‘actually more beautiful’
Air Force One’s current livery originated in the 1960s and the two 747s currently used as Air Force One date back to the 1990s
The National Geographic documentary, ‘The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress,’ shows behind-the-scenes footage of the two new 747-8s being constructed
One upgrade Trump requested was for Air Force One to have a bigger bed, a queen-size, compared to the twin fold-outs available now in the president’s bedroom
The documentary showed the current layout of the presidential bedroom, which has twin beds that convert into seating
The footage reveals that Trump requested that the new Air Force Ones’ beds become queen-sized instead of twin
The documentary also showed what the upgraded president’s conference room could look like in the two new planes, which aren’t exected to be in use until 2024
Air Force One’s pilots in the cockpit as shown in the forthcoming National Geographic documentary, ‘The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden ‘has not spent a moment’ thinking about Air Force One’s color scheme, something Trump spent an inordinate amount of time on
‘I view this as something to do with legacy,’ Trump said during the interview, which was conducted in October 2019. ‘Everytime I look at it I’ll say, “I had a lot to do with that.” Just, really, a representation of our great country.’
Two new 747-8s, which were purchased by the U.S. government after a Russian airline’s bankruptcy, are in the process of being repurposed to be used as Air Force Ones and are expected to debut in 2024.
Before Trump even took office, during the 2016-2017 transition, the incoming president caught wind of new planes being ordered and tweeted they were too expensive. ‘Cancel order!’ Trump tweeted at the time.
The current two Boeing 747s used as Air Force One – a distinction only used when the president is flying – date back to the 1990s. Since the 1940s, seven different plane types have been specifically designed to carry the American president.
‘The price was too high and the plane was just about ordered and I heard about it and I said cancel the order,’ Trump told NatGeo. ‘And then they said, “Why?” I said because they paid too much.’
The president then found out about the two unused 747s that Boeing had sitting in California’s Mojave desert.
The current Air Force One is filmed in its massive hangar at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland
A worker walks around the floor of one of the 747-8s currently under construction to become the new Air Force Ones
The National Geographic crew was allowed into planning meetings for the two planes that will become Air Force One
An artist’s sketch of what the presidential office could look like on the new Air Force Ones, which aren’t expected to come online until 2024
A welcome mat of one of the two 747s currently being used as Air Force One. These planes have been flying the president since the 1990s
‘And I bought the two planes,’ Trump said. ‘And actually got a little more plane for the dollar, not less plane, it’s not like gee whiz, we left things off, we got more plane for the money, so I was happy about that.’
Then White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the Air Force had awarded Boeing a $3.9 billion contract for the two planes, which she said represented a cost savings of $1.4 billion compared to the original proposal.
With all the bells and whistles, the new planes’ price tag will be closer to $5.3 billion.
‘The first time I came onto Air Force One was a big moment, frankly, in my life because over the years it has meant so much,’ Trump recalled. ‘It’s so important as a symbol, a symbol of power and strength, a symbol of the presidency, it’s a magnificant plane, it’s something that’s just very, very special.’
Trump remained fixated on the planes through his time in office, spending an inordinate amount of time working on the new ones coming down the line.
He boasted about the changes he hoped to make to Air Force One’s livery, which dates back to the 1960s design chosen by the late first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
‘We’re changing the coloring system, I think it’s a stronger system, it’s actually more beautiful,’ Trump told National Geographic. ‘The coloring system was that way for a long time, it’s baby blue. Now we have a, I think it’s a stronger system, and it’s red, white and blue, but it’s the color blue in the American flag, which is a darker color.’
‘We have a plane that will represent us for a long time and very well,’ the now former president added.
The documentary says that Trump picked from four different color schemes, with a blue or white engine. He chose blue to match the plane’s blue belly.
In one 2019 meeting, he showcased his desired design to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
A model of the redesigned Air Force One sat on the table before them in the Oval Office.
Trump detoured from the news of the day to tell repoters, ‘This is the new Air Force One.’
‘It’s going to be fantastic,’ the now ex-president said.
Not everyone agreed.
In the AP story on the Trump-Trudeau meeting, Alex Major, co-head of the McCarter & English government contracts practice and a retired Air Force intelligence officer, said the aircraft’s Navy blue belly would not be ‘visually benign,’ making Air Force One easier to spot in the sky – which could post a security threat.
‘When you have a light blue belly, it’s there for a reason,’ Major said.
The updated planes will have updated security features, many of which are classified.
‘Now Air Force One is different than other 747s that are like private or built in a luxury manner because we have so much military equipment on, equipment that I don’t even talk about,’ Trump said.
National Geographic’s experts speculated the plane would be equipped with decoy burning flares to deflect heat seeking missiles and would have high-tech lasers that could not only disable a guided missile’s tracking system, but actually destroy them in flight.
New wiring was being installed for the plane to be able to withstand electromagnetic interference allowing Air Force One to keep operating even if there’s a nearby nuclear blast.
‘Air Force One serves as a command center because we have so much military equipment and other things on, equipment that I don’t even talk about, but the new Air Force One has absolutely finer systems, state of the art,’ Trump told NatGeo.
The new wingshape will also allow the planes to take off and land on shorter runways.
During the Trump era, the president would often take a smaller Air Force One to rallies and on weekend trips to his Bedminster, New Jersey resort because the airports couldn’t accommodate the 747s.
The documentary also includes cameos from White House physician Sean Conley, who was front and center in 2020 when Trump was briefly hospitalized with COVID-9=19, and also Christine, whose last name isn’t given, who serves as the president’s main flight attendant.
‘The president actually likes a normal American diet,’ she shared. ‘Anything that, I guess, anybody else would eat. He doesn’t like anything, he doesn’t need anything special, if that makes sense. Hamburgers or spaghetti.’
‘The first lady is also kind of like the president where they like regular food, like your regular American diet, honestly,’ she added.
The documentary revealed that Air Force One’s new kitchen will allow staff to serve 2,000 meals on an overseas trip and prepare fresh meals while in flight.
Once all the additional elements are in place, the two planes that will serve as Air Force One will be flight-tested for two years.
Stars and Stripes reported in 2019 that a final decision on the new Air Force Ones color scheme will be due sometime in 2021.
Psaki said in January that the newly sworn-in Biden had ‘not spent a moment thinking about the color scheme of Air Force One … and no one is going to submit a decision memo to him on that particular topic.’
‘The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress’ premieres February 15 at 10 p.m. on National Geographic channel.
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