No modern collection is complete without an Emirates A380. If any airlines is synonymous with a single aircraft type, it has and probably always will be Dubai based Emirates, who already have 67 in service at the time of writing with 11 more on order, and are pestering Airbus to update the engines for further orders – some of the initial batch are already coming up to ten years old. Indeed Airbus and others are wondering what will happen when Singapore announce what will happen with their A380’s as the first ten year lease runs out, they have to give a years notice by March 2016, and like it or not, other than Emirates new orders for this engineering masterpiece are a little sparse – and that’s being generous. 4 Transaeros will never get delivered now, 6 Skymark’s too. Amedeo leasing ordered 20 but so far has failed to find a single customer.
A6-EDM was delivered in March 2010 and this model is the 2012 version with the US Open logo at the nose. Since then she’s worn the Dubai 2020 Expo at the nose and the Cricket World Cup from February 2015 behind the wings.
I admit I purchased her cheaply in 2012, in Dubai Airport at the Emirates shop complete with Emirates branded box. I didn’t mind the US Open logo because while it had dates it didn’t have a specific year, so it wouldn’t look particularly old.
Gemini certainly have a different level of quality for their models when it comes to Emirates. In 2012 this was, without question the best model from Gemini I purchased, nothing else even came close in terms of quality. I recall it irritated me enormously that they could make good models if they chose to. For most of the year they did not.
The one thing about this model all the way through, is that it was at the time and remains, a complete surprise. The fuselage as with most of the rest of the model is extremely good, print and detail are first class, in fact for 2012 they are exemplary.
2) Wings and landing gear
A constant theme from 2012-13 was that the Lufthansa and BA A380’s, which sold in large numbers, was a mildly down-turned No2 engine and a tendency for the nose gear to be too short, causing the main gear to take all the weight and the nose gear just hung there, a good 1mm short of the ground. Not on this model for Emirates though.
The wings are excellent, superbly made, fitted and painted. Some of the best made on any model at any time then or since.
The four huge GP7270 are very well made. The intakes are a little silver for my tastes but they are exceptionally neat – one of the big issues on almost every other model at the time was how badly these were done. The Emirates logo is perfectly done and the exhausts all first class.
4) Nose detail
No issue at all in terms of paint, but the shape of the A380 nose is not even vaguely correct as has been proven in the “who makes the best A380” article published HERE.
5) Tail and stabilisers
Faultless, it’s that simple. No issues at all.
Gemini are good at approved airline schemes and this one isn’t overly difficult either. First class.
7) Score and conclusion
It is without doubt one of the best models made in 2012 that I purchased, it is still better than many from the following year, and even a sizeable number from 2014. Gemini’s favouritism towards commercial operations like Emirates who have the clout to demand quality, and yet the often atrocious quality foisted on retail buyers has been a constant irritant and was one of the catalysts for me starting this blog. Why isn’t everything made, not just by Gemini, but all the others too, to the same standard? Why do we deserve anything less than Emirates or any other airline? When you start thinking about what that implies, it makes for uncomfortable reading. We are being exploited every time we don’t get the best having paid our money, just like Emirates paid theirs. There is no difference between me buying the model from Emirates directly or from any other Gemini seller, so why should they be so much better?