The US Air Force said on Aug. 1 that it is negotiating the purchase of two Boeing 747s that were abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline with the goal of converting them into the next Air Force One.
The sale could save the Air Force millions of dollars and comes after President Donald Trump had described the estimated cost of building new, specially designed Air Force One planes as “ridiculous.”
Air Force One is actually two planes — one for the president and a spare.
The planes had initially been ordered in 2013 by Russian airline Transaero, but the firm fell into bankruptcy in 2015 and never took delivery.
The jets are now sitting idle at an airport in California’s Mojave Desert.
Converting such jumbo jets to luxury command centers for the president by 2022 has been estimated to cost at least $3.2 billion.
Boeing sells unrefurbished 747s for about $390 million apiece.