...collecting something new
Having been a great enthusiast for military aircraft for most of my life, I admit that my model collection had not turned to civilian airliners, though I had been known to stop and look in model shops over the years. Just recently I was passed these two thanks to Lindsey, and from a manufacturer whose products I had not seen before, InFlight 200. So, a new scale (to me), a new manufacturer (to me) and equally a new subject area (much to my wife's dismay!). I have to say these are an instant hit with me.
The Boeing 727 was a tri-jet aircraft, developed at the same time as the de Havilland Trident which it closely resembled. At one time the two companies had explored developing the aircraft together, though in the end went their separate ways. In production from 1963 until 1984 it was a successful Boeing design, with unusual features such as the tri-jet engine arrangement, the high tail and an in-built rear stairway. It was aimed at internal airline routes, and for use on shorter runways, hence the in-built stairway to may it flexible in where it visited. A mid-size airliner, it could carry between 149 and 189 passengers, arranged in rows of 6 seats across.
Despite a number of updates, including so-called 'Hush kits', these have largely been retired as fuel costs have risen and newer, quieter engines could not be installed, in particular in the central position of the 3rd engine. It also had been designed to have a 2-person flight crew rather than the two of more modern jets, so had become increasingly expensive to operate.
The model itself, a 727-200, is completed in an attractive set of markings for Alitalia, the Italian national airline. Securely packed in a polystyrene block, the first thing to strike you is the weight of the model. Diecast metal throughout, it is quite weighty, though is sits squarely on the undercarriage once you put it on a shelf. Little details like the extended tail skid, built in to protect the tail against an aircraft over-rotating on take-off. Doors, glazing and the rear stairway are all represented by the transfers, which in this scale work very well. While the bulk of the aircraft is in white, the gunmetal colour jet exhausts and silver on the engine pods and the wings, coupled with the colourful green and red Alitalia markings look really good. The one thing to just be a little careful with, and this is a good thing, not bad, but there are a number of the small blade aerials around the fuselage and being tine and metal, these can be a bit sharp on the fingers if you are not careful when handling it. My basic reaction to the whole model though is that this is great. I am impressed.
Second up comes the 737-200, another Boeing built aircraft in the short (to medium) haul category. It was seen as complementary to the 707 and 727 already in the Boeing product line. First built in 1968, these are still in production and over 7000 have been built to date, with not much short of another 3000 still on order. It is the most produced airliner to date. It has had a number of updates of the years, including newer engines, while passenger capacity can vary between 85 and 215 (!). A number of 737 have been operated by Military organisations around the world, including the USAF who have used the T-43 as a training aircraft for navigators.
The model is in Sudan airline markings and features one of the early model -200 series. Colourful and with Sudanese script on one side of the tail and what I'll call standard text on the other. Carefully packaged once again, the finish on the model is excellent. With the early style engine pods, and the colourful yellow airline livery, it is an attractive looking model. Being in the same scale as the 727 it is interesting to be able to see the two side by side, where the size differential is evident. One of the benefits of models being together in the same scale. For a small model, this is again quite weighty for its' size and feels like a quality model. As on the 727, just be careful in catching your fingers on the small metal aerials that are on the fuselage.
My first impression of these airliner models from Inflight 200 is simply that I love them. Very well made and presented I feel myself wanting to add to these two.
|Airliners in 1:200...|
...collecting something new By Robin Buckland 1
by Robin Buckland 1
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