The United States Air Force has commenced work on the rebuild and upgrades of two former TransAero 748i’s the airline never took delivery of before its bankruptcy.
The work is being done in at San Antonio in Texas. It involves major structural alterations and the installation of special fuselage and deck areas.
Two specialist APU’s are being installed as the commercial ones are insufficient to power the aircraft electronics, require double redundancy and must be able to support the aircraft on the ground independently.
A whole host of classified features and communications will be installed on the aircraft.
Traditionally the President who orders the aircraft never gets to use them, and these are unlikely to enter service before January 2025, when either Trump will leave office if he wins a second term, or his successor if he looses this year. It’s entirely possible that the first president to use the aircraft is currently an unknown third party!
The new paint scheme might not last either, as it’s a Trump decision, and if he looses it’s been indicated the traditional Air Force One scheme, originally designed by First Lady Jackie Kennedy, would be retained.