Politifact | As the trade publication Defense One has noted, the two current Air Force Ones -- a modified version of a Boeing 747-200 aircraft known as VC-25 -- were purchased under President Ronald Reagan and were delivered in 1990 under President George H.W. Bush. With Boeing closing down its 747-200 production line 24 years ago, spare parts for the two current planes have become hard to find. And the plane is approaching the end of its expected 30-year life.
So during his second term, President Barack Obama ordered a replacement fleet. (By tradition, a president does not order planes that he will expect to use personally.) Since the old model of the basic aircraft isn’t being made any longer, a new one had to be created. The new model will be based on the Boeing 747-8, with four engines and two floors.
Trump’s tweet referenced one plane, but the Air Force One program will actually produce two planes, not one. That allows one to undergo maintenance while the other one is available.
Of course, Air Force One is more than just a plane. It’s also a mobile command center, with state-of-the-art communications and safety features.
The plane must be able to refuel while flying, and the president and his staff need to have communications capabilities equivalent to what is in the Oval Office -- secure video conferences, classified computer access, and nuclear-strike controls. It also needs robust defensive systems such as missile evasion.
The new planes will be "both the fastest and longest commercial airliner in the world," according to military.com. They will be able to fly 7,730 nautical miles -- nearly 1,000 more than the current planes -- and will produce 16 tons less of carbon dioxide on a typical flight, according to the company.