July 18 (UPI) -- For decades, the official aircraft of the president of the United States has been white, baby blue and gold. The next commander-in-chief, though, will fly in a completely new-look Air Force One.
President Donald Trump said late Wednesday livery on the next presidential aircraft will change to red, white and blue. It is scheduled to replace the existing pair of fortified Boeing 747s in six years.
Trump revealed there will be two new Boeing 747-8s and their colors will differ for the first time since Jacqueline Kennedy recommended the current palette in 1962. Air Force One was initially planned to be white, red and metallic gold, but the former first lady felt that appeared too royal and the light blue scheme was adopted instead.
Trump told CBS News, "Boeing gave us a good deal, and we were able to take that, but I said, 'I wonder if we should use the same baby blue colors?' And we're not.
"It's going to be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate."
Boeing's initial price for two new planes was $5.3 billion, later reduced to $3.9 billion after Trump emphasized the "need to minimize the cost of replacing" the existing jets, the White House said statement Wednesday.
The Department of Defense contracted with Boeing for "engineering and manufacturing development, to include detailed design, modification, testing, certification, and fielding of two presidential, mission-ready 747-8 aircraft."
Work on the jets will be done in San Antonio and is expected to be complete by December 2024. By that time, Trump could break-in the plane in the final months of his second-term, or a new president will be the first to fly on it.
Technically, any plane the president boards is considered Air Force One, but the designation generally refers to one of two heavily modified Air Force 747s geared to function as a "flying White House."