Boeing is currently building a pair of customized Boeing 747-200Bs in Texas that are scheduled to become the next Air Force One jets in 2025. According to a news report by The Wall Street Journal, two empty mini tequila bottles were found on the fuselage of one of the future Air Force One jets. Alcohol bottles near the assembly area of an aircraft is a red flag, but we are talking about the Air Force One, which makes it extremely worrisome. It goes without saying that the Air Force One jet that flies the President of the US is one of the most sophisticated and secretive aircraft in the world. All the Boeing employees working on the pair of jets have security clearance from the secret service due to the sensitive nature of the project.
An urgent internal investigation was immediately launched by Boeing after the incident. A spokesperson for Boeing called it a “personal matter” and claimed that the company is working to improve quality control and its manufacturing operations. However, Boeing has been facing problems with factory debris being found in commercial, military aircraft in recent years, which has even been pointed out by the US Air Force. The company refused to give more information on the matter citing contractual obligations, which means we don’t if those involved in the incident have been identified or not.
A spokeswoman for the Air Force said that Boeing had been notified about the incident. She went on to add that it has not impacted the manufacturing process of both the aircraft the Air Force and Defense Contract Management Agency could hold “Boeing accountable to ensure the VC-25B program meets stringent quality-control requirements.”
The aerospace giant was awarded a contract worth $3.9 billion in 2018 for building two identical Air Force One jets during the last Donald Trump administration. The current pair of Air Force Ones were introduced by former President George HW Bush in 1990 and are nearing their service life. Interestingly, former President Donald Trump revealed a new color scheme for the next-generation Air Force One jets that replace the iconic duck-egg blue and white colors with a more traditional red, white, and navy blue combination. There’s no word if President Biden has decided to scrap the new livery suggested by Trump.