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The C-32A is a specially configured version of the Boeing 757-200 intercontinental airliner, selected along with the C-37A to replace the aging fleet of VC-137 aircraft. Active-duty aircrews from the 1st Airlift Squadron, 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., fly the aircraft.
The contract was awarded for the C-32A in August 1996. By using commercial off-the-shelf acquisition practices, a new record has been set from contract award to aircraft delivery in less than two years. The C-32A is the first military aircraft ever to be acquired in this manner. The 89th Airlift Wing acquired the first of four aircrafts in 19 June 1998, and the second aircraft arrived in Andrews three days later. The remaining two C-32As arrived in November and December.
The C-32A is configured for 45 passengers and 16 crews, and was designed for a 4,150 nautical mile mission, roughly the distance from Andrews to Frankfurt, Germany. The aircraft is also Stage III noise level compliant. Inside the C-32A, communications are paramount. The heads of the state and other decision-makers can conduct business anywhere around the world. The C-32 has state-of-the-art avionics equipment.
The C-32A is far more fuel efficient and quieter than the 707-based C-137s they are replacing. Each engine of the C-32A has 40,000 pounds of thrust, compared to the VC-137 engine that delivers 14,000 pounds. Yet, the C-32A's high-bypass-ratio engines, combined with an advanced wing design, help make the plane one of the quietest, most fuel-efficient jetliners in the world.