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First Flight of New Air Force One Presidential Plane DELAYED to 2026

This just in: The maiden flight of the new Air Force One has been delayed to March 2026.

Originally, the Boeing 747, which has already faced multiple setbacks, was scheduled to take off for the first time in November of this year.

But, now, after even more complications, it won’t be flying until sometime in spring 2026…

Gee, I wonder why!

If it’s Boeing, I’m not going.

And, apparently, neither is the president!

Simple Flying has more details on the delay:

The new Air Force One Boeing 747, known as the VC-25B, has suffered another setback. Its first flight was pushed back by more than a year. The revised date will hopefully see the upcoming presidential aircraft take its maiden flight in March 2026.

According to a report by Breaking Defense, the VC-25B has had its maiden flight pushed back from November 2024 to March 2026. The program, which has already led to losses exceeding $2.4 billion for developer Boeing, has faced numerous setbacks over the years, including major design flaws, supplier bankruptcy and labor problems.

Initial schedules would have seen the new Air Force One delivered by September 2024, with a second jet scheduled to arrive in February 2025. However, the project timeline was extended by 2–3 years in a July 2022 announcement, with the first airframe touted for a September 2026 delivery at the earliest.

Before it can take off for its maiden flight, the aircraft is due to undergo ground subsystem testing. This testing was supposed to occur last month and that was previously pushed back from October 2023. However, with the latest complications, this probably won’t happen until July 2025.

Flight Global added:

The issue-plagued Boeing VC-25B programme to deliver two new presidential jets to the US Air Force (USAF) is absorbing fresh production delays that will push the type’s first flight into 2026.

The VC-25Bs are meant to replace the USAF’s two 747-200-based VC-25As now serving as Air Force One. Both those jets entered service in 1991.

Boeing in 2018 won a $3.9 billion contract with the USAF to deliver two VC-25Bs, which are heavily modified versions of 747-8 passenger jets. At the time, the new presidential aircraft were expected to enter service in December 2024.

That target subsequently slipped two years to 2026 after the programme was impacted by supply and labour disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside engineering challenges.

The programme timeline is changing again, and not in Boeing’s favour. The USAF now says first flight of the VC-25B will not occur until March 2026 – a 16 month revision. The news was reported by Breaking Defense on 14 June.

Air force officials say Boeing is still developing a revised programme schedule and those dates could be adjusted further.

In my book, this is good news.

I say, let’s save the new, upgraded Air Force One for the REAL president!

What do you think?


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