Air Force One, which is the name of the plane used to transport the US President, is painted blue not due to tactical or patriotic reasons, but due to a collaboration between the famed designer Raymond Loewy and the U.S. President at the time, John F. Kennedy.
While you might not know Raymond Loewy by name, you’ll almost certainly recognize some of his designs, which include the Coca-Cola bottle and Lucky Strike cigarette packet.
Upon Kennedy’s election in 1960, he understood that a specially built VC-137C dedicated for presidential use was in construction, but not yet completed. Kennedy’s wife, Jacqueline, recommended that he get in touch with Raymond Loewy to design a new livery for the plane.
According to Loewy himself, Kennedy chose a red-and-gold design from the initial concept sketches, but ultimately asked the designer to render the design all in blue, which was Kennedy’s favorite color (and it probably helped that the color of the Democrats was blue too).
Kennedy also picked the widely spaced and upper case Caslon typeface, which resembles the one used in the heading of the Declaration of Independence.
So the reason why Air Force One is painted blue is simply because it was John F Kennedy’s favorite color.
Even though the USA has undergone many changes in President since Kennedy, Raymond Loewy’s iconic design of Air Force One has stuck.
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Air Force Doesn’t Have to Be Painted Blue
There is no legislation that prevents Air Force One being painted a different color other than blue.
The color scheme of Air Force One is so widely accepted and universally recognizable that there simply isn’t a reason to change it – well, that was until Donald Trump was elected.
Raymond Loewy did an exceptional job with the design, and it has stuck despite the Air Force One plane variant having changed over the years.
Why Donald Trump Wanted to Change the Design of Air Force Design
When Donald Trump was President, he intended to replace the livery of Air Force One to something more patriotic – a red, white, and blue paint scheme reflecting the American flag.
However, due to Trump having lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden, Trump’s vision for an updated, more patriotic color scheme of the Air Force One is unlikely to be realized.
Thankfully, the history of the Air Force One paint scheme is set to continue.
How Big is Air Force One?
It is 231 feet 10 inches or 70.66 meters long, with a wingspan of 231 feet 10 inches or 70.66 meters long, and stands at 64 feet 6 inches or 19.35 meters.
Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.
Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.
Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.