New Delhi: US Air Force has made a decision that it will employ Boeing Comany's commercial 747-8 aircraft to change its current convoy of two Air Force One presidential aircraft.
The decision was taken after the company decided to slow down its production of the four engines 747-8 aircraft to 1.3 a month from 1.5 a month due to the decline in its order for new procurement. The double-decker plane was commissioned in 1970, undergoing a major overhaul in 2012, with new engines and a longer fuselage.
The management of Boeing has welcomed the decision of US Air Force to skip the competitive bidding process and opting directly for the 747-8, citing its fifty year old history of manufacturing the presidential aircraft. The decision was widely expected since the only other suitable four-engine jet is the A380 built by Airbus in Toulouse, France.
An US Air Force official has said “The Boeing 747-8 is the only aircraft manufactured in the United States (that) when fully missionized meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission."
The 747-8 is the only four-engine commercial jet that Boeing produces which provides an extra edge of flight safety over the more standard twin-engine planes.