One minute BA are decrying the need for sharklets on their A320’s and the next minute their retrofitting all of them as fast as they can lay their hands on them and buying new ones with them fitted. That’s very BA. These days you have to look at BA more in the context of IAG, it’s parent company. G-EUYV is important for a number of reasons.
Leased from Itochu, she was the first in service in the pan-European A320 configuration IAG selected but only had 162 seats. This was later increase to 168. This enables any A320 to be quickly swapped from one of its constituent airlines (BA/Iberia/Vueling and soon Aer Lingus), and transferred to any of the others in 7 days. The interiors are basically exactly the same layouts, in terms of toilets, galleys, walls, everything. Seats are covered in a way that enables them to be swapped out in hours. All that is basically required is a respray and re-registration. This is also the reason BA didn’t logo-up the sharklets. One less thing to have to do and one less cost.
G-EUYV went into service in April 2014, without sharklets, but was retrofitted with them in April 2015, I actually saw her at a distance in Frankfurt the day after she came out of the refit. Gemini have made an error on the box saying she’s an A320-323 but she is actually a 232.
Two aerials up top and one below, which is odd because she actually has three up and two below. Gemini seem to be averse to putting in the rear aerial near the tail. I suspect the cost is considered too high. They seem well seated and look fine.
The overall colour and detail is excellent although the BA “To fly, to serve” crest is a bit weak and looks too pale. Overall everything is well done and she’s pretty much a first class example of what Gemini can do when they put their minds to it.
The downside is the cradle system, which it has to be said, while not ideal, has at least been made to fit tightly and with care.
2) Wings and landing gear
You won’t find any complaints here. Yes, it’s the annoying cradle system (but seeing how badly Phoenix have mismanaged the slot system on A330’s/A321’s of late…), really it’s a superbly tight fit, no gaps or poor fit, so all in all it looks pretty good.
The stand hole is also ideal and fits perfectly.
The landing gear is excellent, for this scale we’ve had a real mish-mash of tyres and spigot wheels over the years, but these are really neat, and look really good.
The graphic detail and overall paint and mould are excellent.
2x IAE V2527-A5 are excellently represented and have no issues.
4) Nose detail
As with this rest of this excellent model, no issues. I love typing those words, after years of some truly atrocious models, interspersed with a few good ones, Gemini seem to have gotten their act together again. Are they now able to maintain this level of quality consistently? Only time will tell.
5) Tail detail
This is the one place the side has been let down. The port side stabiliser is not as well fixed as would be considered ideal. It’s not so bad as to be a serious issue, it just isn’t commensurate with the otherwise excellent quality we’ve seen on this model.
Standard BA white over dark blue blue with the red of the union flag, no issues. The paint – especially the white has too much fine dust in it, but it’s minor complaint.
All in all an excellent job from Gemini. 95% with deductions only for the very minor issues mentioned above.