A top Air Force general said on Tuesday that former President Trump’s preferred red, white and blue Air Force One design has not been locked in as the iconic aircraft readies for an upgrade.
Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson said during a press conference at the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space and Cyber Conference that the new Air Force One designs will be decided closer to when the planes are ready, Defense One reported.
“At some point, when the build proceeds to where it needs to be, Boeing will come to the government and ask for a final decision on the paint,” Richardson said. “Then when that happens, we’ll work that.”
The project, however, has been delayed one year, with Darlene Costello, the acting Air Force acquisition executive, saying Boeing is experiencing supply chain issues due to the coronavirus pandemic and problems with one of its subcontractors.
“We’re not ready to report out when we think that first flight would be,” Richardson said.
The red, white and blue designs have been in the Air Force’s official budget request, including in President Biden’s 2022 budget report, but Richardson said those designs are not set in stone, according to Defense One.
“It’s a cartoon. It’s not a real airplane,” Richardson said. “It’s just something that’s on a paper.”
The final paint plans were presented by the Pentagon in February 2020 but were still said to be up in the air, as the design wouldn’t be fully approved until 2021.