Trump’s pointless Air Force One paint plan is officially grounded

Turns out painting the bottom of a massive plane dark blue is a waste of everyone’s time and money.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 20:  A model of the proposed paint scheme of the next generation of Air Force ...
Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump has a decidedly hit-or-miss history when it comes to air travel. On one hand, he has successfully boarded and disembarked from any number of airplanes without (much) apparent difficulty. On the other, however, Trump’s attempts to make actual executive decisions about airplanes have largely ended in embarrassing failure. From bankrupting his own airline to wasting more than a billion dollars of another, whenever this super brain genius goes beyond requesting a bag of pretzels and a ginger ale for a mid-flight snack, things get ... not great.

Adding to the already robust list of Trumpian aviation disasters is the news this week that the former president’s much ballyhooed redesign of Air Force One has been permanently grounded because it’s an exorbitantly expensive, potentially dangerous waste of everyone’s time and energy. As first reported by Politico, the Biden administration has nixed its predecessor’s artistic vision to cover the 747’s underbelly in dark blue paint (incidentally making it look more like Trump’s private jumbo jet), because doing so would raise the vehicle’s temperature to a dangerous degree, thus necessitating a host of mechanical fixes to address the increase in heat.

“The Trump paint scheme is not being considered because it could drive additional engineering, time, and cost,” a Biden administration source told the outlet. Earlier this month, an Air Force official forecast the White House’s decision, telling CNN that “analysis concluded darker colors, among other factors, on the underside of the VC-25B aircraft might contribute to temperatures exceeding the current qualification limits of a small number of components.”

Was this all predictable? You bet it was. When Trump unveiled his gussied-up designs for the presidential fleet (“it’s a 747, but you know, it’s a much bigger plane. It’s a much bigger wingspan”), it was immediately met with derision from Connecticut Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney, who presciently noted to ABC News that “additional paint can add weight to the plane, additional fixtures inside can also add to cost and delays to the delivery of the plane.”

Well, at least Trump didn’t try to install a golden toilet. That, he keeps just for himself.