Is Trump Force One ready to take flight? Eric Trump social post highlights new look for Trump's plane
Is Trump Force One about to take flight again? And perhaps for another white House campaign?
A video posted on social media by former President Trump's son Eric suggests the refurbishment of the family 757 aircraft is complete.
SHE’S BACK!! ✈️ pic.twitter.com/YAu6z8rtK9
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) July 6, 2022
The aircraft was a fixture as Trump barnstormed the country in 2016 as, first, the leading Republican candidate, and later as the party's nominee. The 757 often served as a backdrop at his effective, fly-in airport rallies.
During his single term in the White House, Trump flew aboard Air Force One as part of presidential necessity and custom.
More: Trump denies his private 757 jet "mothballed," says it will be back in service in 90 days
From 2011: Donald Trump, Palm Beach's almost-presidential candidate, buys new Boeing 757 airplane
Related: Whatever happened to Donald Trump's old plane?
Earlier this year, photos of the plane in apparent disrepair circulated through social media.
In March, however, the former president Trump denied reports that the aircraft was "mothballed" at a New York state airfield. He said the plane was undergoing "a major scheduled maintenance program, which will be completed in approximately 90 days."
Eric Trump's video shows the 757 gleaming with some new details. The name Trump atop the front fuselage is now spelled out in gold, and a U.S. flag is emblazoned on the tail fin.
It's apparently imminent redeployment comes as reports continue to surface that Trump is preparing to formally announce his presidential candidacy, perhaps even before the November midterm election.
As with anything Trump-related, however, countering social media posts derided the makeover.
Eric Trump posted this yesterday. The get away plane is fixed and ready to fly. Thanks for the $250M MAGA😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/FYT65BOBAR
— LinHoHi1 (@LinHoHi1) July 7, 2022
Purchase of Boeing 757 in 2011 sparked presidential run talk
Back in 2011, Donald Trump unloaded his 727 private jet and purchased the much larger 757.
"I bought a great airplane," Trump told The Post.
The aircraft upgrade sparked speculation over whether Trump would run against then-President Barack Obama in 2012. Trump didn't run in 2012, but did launch a campaign in June 2015.
Trump, a TV show celebrity at the time he purchased the aircraft, had established a political beachhead as a "birther," joining the cadre of pundits questioning whether Obama was a U.S. citizen by birth.
"It's a big plane," Trump said in the 2011 interview. "We'll see what happens."
Trump didn't share details of the plane in the interview more than a decade ago, but the New York Post reported the 757 had a private shower, seating for 43 and gold-plated everything, including the seat-belt buckles.
Trump plane a fixture at PBIA near Palm Beach even as Trump, airport were in litigation
Interestingly, Trump has waged a legal war on Palm Beach International Airport for years, accusing the county-owned facility of destructively and deliberately aiming flights squarely over his Mar-a-Lago club and estate.
The lawsuits began in 1995 when Trump first moved to the area. Three more followed, with the last being dropped by Trump in 2016.
Trump did point out in that 2011 interview that the 757's engines were quieter than the one on the 727, and he joked that, when he stayed at Mar-a-Lago, he was doing his neighbors on the Palm Beach International Airport flight path a favor.
"I did that for the benefit of Palm Beach," Trump said.
Later, during his presidential visits to Mar-a-Lago, flights in and out of PBIA were diverted away from the Palm Beach club for security reasons.
Air Force One, however, became a selfie-snapping, tourist attraction of sorts when parked off Southern Boulevard during Trump's 30-plus visits to Palm Beach during his one term in office.
In 2019, Trump said he planned to give Air Force One a makeover, both inside and out. During an interview with ABC News, Trump unveiled pictures of the redesign: out would be the baby blue color scheme in use since it was selected by Jackie Kennedy and in would be a red, white and blue color scheme.
In the end, the Air Force planes didn't change to the new color scheme.
On a few occasions, the Air Force One that Trump flew to PBIA was not the iconic 747, but a version of a 757.
Antonio Fins is a politics and business editor at the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at email@example.com. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Trump Force One: Eric's Twitter post of refurbished 757 plane