The aircraft is a model of a 787-8 recently having entered into service with Kenya Airways, probably the most ambitious of Africa’s airlines after Ethiopian. It’s the first Black African airline into RLSI and long over due. There was the option to have had a 777-300ER but it was too big for a small market and the 787-8 is just right.
Utilising the countries national flag for the principal part of its livery with a large K on the tail it’s a little different to most. I managed to purchase this as a bit of a bargain on E-Bay at just £19 ($30.11 USD) so I was quite happy about getting it. According to the various pundits only 500 of these were made but I so wish someone would confirm that from Phoenix as I find it hard to believe.
1) Main Fuselage
This follows on almost immediately in the production run from the amazing ANZ 787-9, which has to stand out as one of the best models of 2014 so far. It is in its own way equally as perfect, that exquisite Phoenix attention to detail (aerials, crisp and clean graphics, no hideous paint or blurring), it is as you would expect for the original retail price (around £30/$47 US) exceptionally good. I think what makes it so neat is the clarity and crispness of the markings and detail. What sort of high level process Phoenix use for this I do not know, but it is a long way from being the hand painted drivel we’ve seen chucked out of Gemini factories. There is a precision here that is both exceptional and refreshing.
These are the massive GenEx 1B’s and the nacelles are beautifully made, assembled and painted. Engine detail is excellent, though not the see-through HBE fans of Witty, they are still exceptionally good and the paint is perfect. The exhaust cone detail is of special note and the anti-noise serrations spot on. Even the K logo on the engines is clear and crisp. The paint round the intakes is also perfectly neat and not excessively shiny. By altering the way the paint is applied and leaving the rear of the fans blades lighter it adds a better dimension when viewing it which adds depth. It’s a very small and simple – almost unnoticeable technique but it’s harmonious to look at at the 1:1 eyeball scale. Very professional.
3) Landing Gear
Painted metal with detailed struts and hydraulics, fully rolling wheels but the bogies sadly don’t tilt. Spot on. No cheap plastic.
4) Tail fin and stabilizers
They look so good and are so perfectly straight, flawlessly mounted, just as you would hope for, outstanding. A lot of the graphic detail on the livery comes up from the body into the tail,and it works perfectly. No ghastly glue or fingerprints as so often on Gemini and even some JC Wings.
5) Wings and underbody.
Phoenix use the push in wings which are painted white top and bottom, spot on and problem free. Even the registration under the starboard wing is accurate for position. Not vast amounts of underbody detail but no complaints about what is there. The Phoenix logo is white on black but doesn’t impinge on the overall look. The hole for a stand fits the standard Gemini chrome types.
White, green, red and a small patch of black – they appear to match the correct specifications, no problems.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
And we stay there. Flawless. I’m almost getting bored with congratulating Phoenix on yet another excellent model. The facts remain, they are doing the business and they are producing the quality that gives us value for our money. Long may it continue.