Now it is official: Boeing has received the official order from the US government to draft a preliminary design for the new Air Force One.

The two 747-8 will replace the two old Boeing VC-25, the military variant of the Boeing 747-200.

It was a long way back and forth. Actually, Boeing had the job already in its pocket. But then came Donald Trump. "Boeing is building a brand new Air Force One for future presidents, but the cost is out of control, over four billion dollars, he said on his Twitter account shortly after his election. Subsequently, various discussions took place, and Boeing has now adjusted the price. The American aircraft manufacturer has received a fixed contract worth about 600 million dollars for the initial design of the new aircraft.

Instead of specially built Boeing 747s for it, The US government receives the two Boeing 747-8, which were actually intended for the Russian Transaero. But the Russian airline operator Transaero slipped into the bankruptcy before the jumbo jets had been completed. Since February 2017, they have been parked in Seattle. The contract includes the preliminary design for the reconfiguration of the two aircraft.

Following the decision to purchase the two civilian 747-8s, this agreement is now the next step to ensure an overall affordable program," said the US Air Force General major Duke Richardson in a statement. Duke Richardson is responsible for the program, which replaces the two old Boeing VC-25, the military variant of the Boeing 747-200. The current two aircraft that transport the US President with Callsign Air Force One, have been in operation since 1990 when George HW Bush was President of the USA.

The preliminary design is to design a command center, a medical center, an electrical system, a self-defense system and ground supply systems for the two Boeing 747-8s. The detailed design will start in summer 2018.