ANA 767-316FER JA605F Phoenix 11065 March 2015 Release
This is the first 767 freighter to operate to RLSI and one that wasn’t actually available in the UK being in short supply in Europe too. Why this happens is beyond me but it seems its as much to do with wholesalers cocking things up as retailers not ordering enough. In the end it was sourced from http://www.aviationdelight.ca in Canada – but I have to tell you it was the last one Mark had in stock.
You all know I have a penchant for freighters (with probably a few too many for the space available to display them) but this one had “buy me” written all over it and I’m very pleased I did, it’s the huge winglets (having stood up close to them on a Delta 767-300ER at Heathrow they really do seem unfeasibly large), and the whole look of the aircraft, even the new font just appealed to my sad little heart!.
She’s relatively new to ANA having only been delivered in April 2014. Prior to this she was on the fleet of Florida West International – the winglets were fitted in 2010 and the aircraft dates back to Nov 2001. Florida West had leased her from her principle owners LAN Cargo, but she is now owned by ANA. ANA Cargo is a joint operation with Lufthansa Cargo – nothing’s simple is it?
1) Main Fuselage
The livery is simple but stands out. The red Okinawa and the other small embellishments add up to a comprehensive look. It’s hard to define quite why its attractive, it just is. The print and detail is very good, but it isn’t excellent. There is a small but genuine lack of definition. It doesn’t amount to blurring or colour bleed, it just isn’t quite there. It’s a pity because Phoenix can and do, do better!
General Electric CF6-80C2B7F’s power this 763F and they pass the basic eyeball test extremely well. Partly the fact they are very plain with no detail makes it easy – you can’t make mistakes if theirs nothing to go wrong. They are both well shaped and well fitted.
3) Landing Gear
Painted metal with detailed struts and hydraulics, fully rolling wheels but the bogies sadly don’t tilt. The tyres are not the best by any means, being quite rough and lumpy on some. Being wheels on axels makes so much difference to these models rather than a tyre pinned on a gear arm. Yet there is a downside – Phoenix have often had problems keeping the nose gear fixed in place and this is no exception. It was easily remedied but for the retail price of these things there shouldn’t be any problems!
4) Tail fin and stabilisers
The tail detail and stabilisers are all exceptionally neat and all made and assembled to a very high standard. No complaints.
5) Wings and underbody.
Push in wings which are highly detailed in the upper surfaces and of course have the one thing many of us love about 767’s – huge winglets – they are truly massive but they seem to be the right size and everything is painted the correct colour with the correct detail. The underbody on 767’s is notably devoid of much detail and so is this model, the stand had no problem fitting this time. My only gripe is that the space above the wings where it joins the body seems uncharacteristically large for a Phoenix model. It isn’t so horrific that you can see through to the other side like on some of the Gemini’s, it’s just not what I expect from Phoenix. Again, it’s not a deal breaker, just not good enough really.
This time Phoenix seem to have come up trumps with the colours, not always their strong point. They seem to have got it right this time.
7) Overall score – we start at 10.
With a -4 for the nose gear and -5 for the slightly iffy print and another -5 for the wing root fit it’s a highly pleasing 86%. To be honest I hoped it would be better – it is far from being bad, but I just thought it would be in the 95%s zone. DO NOT however get me wrong, while it’s not perfect, the production standards and quality overall are so much better than they were 18 months to two years ago, but this isn’t the finest example of what Phoenix can actually achieve. The problem is that as the general quality improves then even the tiniest flaw starts to stand out far more. Phoenix seem to lack the ability to be truly consistent. They find one thing right, then go and get something wrong that there was nothing wrong with the last time. It’s a problem I used to encounter with China all the time and I find through friends who work closely with Chinese manufacturers on sometimes crucial mechanical parts – that they still seem not to be able to overcome.
Am I happy with the model? In general yes, it certainly isn’t bad, it’s very good and it came at a good price, so no fundamental complaints.
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