USAirKid wrote:Aesma wrote:40 years for these birds ? That's very optimistic.
I bet that in less than 20 the president would want to be flying something else, a spaceplane maybe ? I see the Shuttle has been mentioned in the thread already...
The 747-8 based Air Force One replacement is scheduled to go into service around 2024, at which date the current 747-200 based SAM 28000/29000 will be 34 years old.
Given the long development times for planes to fly the president, expecting the new planes to fly for 40 years isn't too much of a stretch.
SAM 26000, a 707, served 36 years. Granted, there was a certain ease of keeping a 707 around when the USAF flew so many others. The 742s probably won't be kept around as spare VIP transport long after the 748s are done teething. But that puts them right in their late 30s.