The Air Force One airplane model
is already sleek and elegant as it is, but sitting American President Donald Trump wants to make it look more American. And how else would he do that? By changing the color design of the iconic plane! Will it work?
Out with Kennedy, in with American
According to him, the blue color the Air Force One has, is describing the former First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy; so he wants to replace it with something which involves the colors of America: red, white, and blue.
Truth be told, the Air Force One looks the way it does because the late President John F. Kennedy was on the floor of the Oval Office with an industrial designer, scissors, paper and crayons. It was 1962, and the Air Force has just ordered a Boeing C-137 Stratoliner for the president. It was a Presidential Plane that could fly him anywhere, and take him wherever he wants to go on a half-hour notice. The plane carries as many as eight crew members and 40 passengers, and had a range of 6,000 miles. It had a red-and-gold color scheme, which looked dreary, than it is powerful. And for a Presidential Plane, shouldnt it be the latter?
Raymond Loewy was the worlds preeminent industrial designer at the time, and he candidly said that the Air Force design was absolutely hideous. The designer owned the largest design firm in all of New York, and he was behind the design of the Lucky Strike cigarettes, Studebaker cars, Coca-Cola bottle and Electrolux refrigerators; earning the headliner name, The Man Who Streamlined America.
After meeting with the president twice and working on draft designs, Loewy went to examine the historic documents, and thats where he was struck by the first printed copy of the Declaration of Independence. It had the word United States of America set widely spaced in capital letters in a font known as Caslon. That was when he knew he found the perfect typeface!
When John F. Kennedy asked to remove the military lettering of Air Force One, he also said he wanted the color blue. Loewy worked his magic, and Jackie Kennedy happily had a hand in designing the airplane (the interior) and made sure that the President can enjoy: his own entrance, a customized bed, a stateroom and a conference room, glassware from Tiffany's, and a pale blue rug designed with an American eagle in the center of an oval with 13 stars.
When the Kennedys revealed the new design of the aircraft model
, many people loved it, and immediately thought the design was remarkable - including Loewy. He said the new design represents the U.S. well, and is a testament to Jackie Kennedys impeccable sense of style. The simple design speaks of elegance, power, and camaraderie, and was perfect for the President.
What can top the iconic Air Force look?
Jackie Kennedy knew the importance of making the right and powerful first impression, and thats why she was always conscious about appearances. She wanted to make sure that the very design of the airplane the President flew, could represent the U.S.leader well. Thus, the design of the Air Force One had been that way for more than 55 years.
But, when Donald Trump had a meeting with the Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, they discussed that the $4 billion deal replacement of the Air Force One airplanes, also included revision or changes in its design. Donald Trump took it as the opportunity to redesign it, and turn it into something more American.
Aside from the original colors, of the Air Force One plane, the President reportedly looks at upgrading the Presidential bed, and replacing the installed couch-like bunk with a bigger, more comfortable, and more luxurious bed. If Trump decides to really change the design of the iconic airplane model, then it will be the first time it will undergo a major reconfiguration. The past presidents have always settled for the same design.
It just goes to say that while the presidential cars are always upgraded for the newest, safest and most advanced models, and the Oval office, where the president spends most of his time, is often redecorated, to reflect the changing times and the personality of each President, the Air Force One airplane is as classic, elegant, and as powerful as it is since 1962.
Ready to be changed?
Here's the catch. Boeing will create new planes, but it will be ready by 2024. Unless Donald Trump gets re-elected, and the Boeing plane is converted from a commercial aircraft to a Presidential transport, then its highly unlikely for the Jackie Kennedy Blue to just disappear and be replaced with American colors.
The current Air Force One airplane model always exudes the majesty of the moment. Even as Trump prepares for a redesign, many think that only time and critical review will tell if its the perfect fit for a Presidential plane.
But now, the Jackie Kennedy blue will continue to represent the United States of America abroad.