VC-25B Air Force One program begins modifying first Boeing 747-8 aircraft

By Sara Sirota / March 11, 2020 at 12:01 PM

Workers supporting the new Air Force One program have begun modifying the Boeing 747-8 aircraft that will transport the president around the world starting in 2024.

The VC-25B program started altering the first of two planes in San Antonio, TX, on Feb. 25, according to a statement the Air Force released today.

"Following ferry flights in spring 2019 to the Boeing modification facility, Boeing prepared the two aircraft for modification start by removing the commercial interiors, engines, auxiliary power units, and numerous secondary system components," the notice states.

"The first phase of aircraft modification involves cutting out large skin and structure areas in both the forward and aft lower lobes of the aircraft and then installing two newly manufactured superpanels," it continues.

Overall, the VC-25B program will alter the 747-8 planes with electrical power upgrades, a mission communication system, medical facility and autonomous ground operations capabilities.