Emirates SkyCargo 747-4HAFER OO-THC Gemini Jets GJUAE1210 2014 Release
She was the 29th to last of the original 744’s before the 748 went into production. Delivered to Emirates directly on the 30th July 2007 (not 2004 as stated on Wings900) she is leased from and operated by TNT for Emirates Sky Cargo. TNT (based in Belgium) in turn lease her from Air Castle. As a purpose built full freighter she has the nose door that makes these aircraft so invaluable, as well as the rear port sliding hold door, reinforced cargo decks with powered guide tracks, air conditioning systems and full access belly doors.
The model comes fully in the usual Emirates corporate box, though it has the blue cradle rather the the red I’ve found most Emirates usually come in. Released in 2014 this is still sometimes available at full price – £38 or thereabouts in the UK ($56.60). However a few inevitably end up on eBay and I decided I wanted one to bring balance to the cargo fleets operating from RLSI. Three goes later – I’d set a max level of £30 on it, it sailed past – one going for £42 (another example of eBay bidding frenzy – why buy used for £42 when you can get one new for £38 or less)? Another went off at £31 plus postage of course. Why this one peaked only at £21.33 ($31.77) I’ll never know, but I’m not complaining (I know, can you believe it? Me not complaining…)
1) Main Fuselage
Call me cynical but Gemini always seem to do such a very good job of Emirates Corporate models, you have to ask if they can do these so well why not everything? I suppose it’s a self-answering question but still, you have to ask. I have three, an A380, 772LR and now this and they are all first class. They have even got this down to the window in the ‘g’ of Cargo on the port side. Domes and aerials are printed on, but that’s no big loss.
Four GE CF6-80C2B5F’s are well made and detailed, neatly and accurately attached to the pylons. Colours and print are excellent, verging on outstanding. No wayward paint or dodgy silver round the intakes.
3) Landing Gear
Fully rotating silver metal wheels (not the usual plastic for Emirates it seems) with neatly fitted quality tyres on metal gear that’s high detail and ideally painted. All first class.
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
The tail livery paint is probably the only real criticism I have of this model, the black has visible bleed into the white and so does the green, for some reason the red less so. Otherwise all pretty good, no glue, gaps or other unpleasantness.
5) Wings and underbody.
The cradle will always be a failing in appearance terms, but this has to be the best I have ever seen on a Gemini model. The rear gap – infamously gaping wide open on may lesser models is almost non-existent, the tightness of fit and finish is like nothing we usually see on a Gemini these days. This is how it always should be.
Spot on. No complaints. Gemini have always been great on colours (with the exception of the recent Virgin Atlantic 787-9) and this is perfectly good.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
You have to think that Emirates get special treatment from Gemini. Maybe they do, but it seems that this being a fairly recent model, is perhaps the start of a long process of Gemini improvements that during 2015 we will see across the board. Half a point off for the tail paint. Can you believe it a Gemini scoring 9.5/10? Who’d have thought.