One of the most recognizable aircraft in the world is in town for a face-lift.
One of two Boeing 747s used to ferry President Barack Obama stealthily touched down at Meacham Airport on Thursday, where it will be repainted. It’s not known how long the aircraft will be in Fort Worth.
“The aircraft is completing a year-long heavy maintenance cycle and is in Fort Worth to be repainted,” Jennifer C. Hogan, a Boeing spokeswoman, said in a news release.
“Upon completion of repainting, the aircraft will continue to go through a number of inspections and a flight test regimen before returning to presidential service,” she said.
Officially designated USAF VC-25A — with tail numbers 28000 and 29000 — the two planes are referred to as Air Force One only when the president is aboard, Hogan said. The 747 with the tail number 28000 is at Meacham.
Based at Joint Base Andrews in suburban Washington, D.C., this jet was first flown as Air Force One on Sept. 6, 1990, when President George H.W. Bush was in office, said Eric Sharman, deputy chief of public affairs for the base.
When asked whether anything new was being done to the plane — like adding flames on both sides of the fuselage — Sharman said no. Workers will merely refresh the unmistakable three-toned blue details and the lettering “United States of America,” he said.
No public tours of the aircraft will be available while it’s at Meacham, Sharman said.