After meeting with President-elect Trump, Boeing CEO says Air Force One will cost less than $4B

WASHINGTON, DC — US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday met the CEOs of defense contracting giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, whose programs he has criticized in recent weeks.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg — whose company is under contract with the US Air Force to develop and manufacture the next presidential aircraft fleet — said the price will be less than a near-$4 billion estimate.

“We’re going to get it done for less than that, and we’re committed to working together to make sure that happens,” Muilenburg said after meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

I want to know why Trump is spending his time with penny-ante nonsense like this. The last thing I think of when I think of the President of the United States is “that guy who negotiates airplane contracts for the Federal Government”.

That said, the plane wasn’t going to cost $4 Billion, Trump made that up. There was no contract for $4 billion. The projection by the government put it at $3.8 billion (IIRC) but that was our projection based on our needs over the next decade or so. In other words, Trump did nothing but make everybody look at his thinly veiled chicanery with gasps and awe as if he actually did something.

This is what a con man does.

Actually, its called “leadership”. It certainly appears that he is setting specific expectations with those who do business with the government. After 8 years with a president who rung up debt equal to all other presidents combined, this is a breath of fresh air.

Not sure why you think saving the tax payers some money should be condemned.

First a math lesson, 3.8 rounds up to 4, and the costs have been constantly rising. Trump calling the cost $4b was appropriate. You are avoiding the issue by insisting we can only look at signed contract(s) -there would be more than one.

Second a leadership lesson. The guy at top sends signals to the organization by how they respond to individual issues, small thought they may be. Everyone now knows moving jobs abroad is not a good move, at least for the time being. Govt contractors also knows the new Admin cares about value for money, and they will start to respond accordingly.

Government negotiates medical fees with providers for Medicare. Now it seems they don’t want to do that anymore. Hopefully we’ll see some leadership here as well.

These and all the “savings” talk are quite deceptive. I had a long-time cubemate who would take a 6-month project, estimate it at 2 years, do it in one year and be given a huge raise. There are people who are masters at this “ahead of schedule and under budget” game.

Yes, and I think Govt contractors are some of the best, especially when estimating the cost of any minor project changes.

Reducing such costs is like playing that game “wack a mole”. But it still matters that someone is trying over just accepting the costs being fed.

In today’s January 8, 2017 ] issue of Aviation Week, on page 24:

“Retired General John Michael Loh estimates the Air Force could get two fully equipped new presidential aircraft for about $750 million.”

Which is a lot less than $4 Billion.

General Loh purchased the current Boeing 747’s and knows how the costs work.

Good article. Full page.

Trump derangement syndrome is setting in for those opposed to his impending presidency,me thinks!:roll-eyes

I suspect the $4B is the total cost of acquisition and support of the aircraft over its expected 20 year lifespan. That includes spares, heavy checks, spare engines, Boeing support team to ensure 365/24/7 availability, etc. On the plus side, this kind of aircraft typically racks up the hours more slowly than a civilian airframe.

The actual acquisition cost is probably under $1B per airframe. Boeing lists the new price of a 747-8 at $379 million. You can probably double that for all the military and security equipment it will require; I assume you want the president to be secure, and the cost of all that gear will be more or less the same no matter which aircraft he chooses to use.

Currently, there are two “air force ones” that are well over 30 years old; at that point maintenance costs are probably skyrocketing due to scarcity of parts and age of the airframe.

I believe the order is for “up to 3” Boeing 747-8s; perhaps significant costs could be saved by buying only two in order to have a back-up. Moreover, any cost cutting will probably involve more than one supplier, not just Boeing.

Until or unless we know the cost breakdown of that $4B -and I doubt we’ll ever be privy to it- it’s just politicians blowing air and media fuelling the flames. Smoke-and-mirrors.

As usual. Plus que ça change… our politicians in Canada do the same thing. Cancel expensive military aircraft acquisitions announced by the previous party in power, only to make a more expensive acquisition afterwards on top of the cancelation penalties. So I really don’t believe any of the political hoo-haw on this acquisition either.

Good post, Ora!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit