Nippon Cargo Airlines 744F JA04KZ JC Wings 2009

While we wait on new models to arrive I’ve got a backlog of older vintages to keep me going harvested from eBay. There have been some long sought after models in the last three months. This one is no exception, though I would have preferred the Phoenix version. The JCW version suffers from their characteristic 744 mould fail, repeated time and again; No2 engine droops noticeably and No3 isn’t quite so bad. This one is 2009, it was still happening three years later on the Singapore Airlines 744 last flight model. Consistent failure that becomes an idiosyncrasy doesn’t make it any more endearing.

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Reaching V1 at RLSI WorldPort  – well that’s what I’m saying to cover the fact that not one of 7 different stands would fit in the tiny unusable stand hole
NCA Started as a joint operation between ANA and shipping company Nippon Yusen back in 1978, commencing operations in 1985 as Japan’s first all-cargo airline. ANA sold it’s share in the company in 2005 and Nippon Yusen is now sole owner. Based principally at Tokyo Narita, but with hubs around the world, it operates a relatively young fleet.

This particular aircraft was one of the last 744F’s (delivered in March 2007) and part of a follow up order for NCA to replace it’s older 742F’s. NCA was the first customer for the 744F and the 748F, though it recently cancelled 4 748F’s from a 16 aircraft order as global air freight continues to suffer from chronic over capacity and fierce competition.

The green livery with Pegasus (on the nose) is the aircraft’s name, her sisters being Pleiades, Phoenix, Progress and Apollo. Phoenix and Progress were sold to Kalitta Air after a period of storage in 2012-2014, as global cargo demand plunged before picking up briefly in 2014-15.

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V1 from the front quarter
Pegasus continues to fly routes out of Narita, mostly to Chicago, Bangkok, Singapore, Anchorage and Naha (Okinawa) on scheduled services.

1)Fuselage

It’s all very straightforward and there is nothing much wrong with the mould. However, JC Wings to me (and the 744 epitomizes this) is a bit of down market brand in terms of quality and always has been. There is a sloppiness to everything on this model, from the droopy engine to the less than high definition graphics and paint. Yes it passes the eyeball test, but it doesn’t sing out as being stunning quality.

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Definition up close isn’t the best but it passes the eyeball test

2)Wings and Landing gear

Landing gear is typical of 2009 period; tyres on spigots, nothing special at all. The cradle fit mould is tight but still a bit to distant from the fuselage at the top of the arc join and glue is visible inside the arc.

The wing mould is poor in two ways. One is that the stand – any stand simply will not fit the hole – hence some of the less than ideal images. The second is the pylons holding on the No2 & No3 engines just aren’t correctly angled. This results in the engines being over-tilted downward, especially for some reason, No2.

Other than that the detail and finish on the wings is pretty good.

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3)Engines

General Electric CF6-80B2-C1F’s are pretty good. Over silver in fan color but everything is neat and tidy. I’ve already alluded to the engine tilt so won’t go over that again.

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4)Nose detail

All pretty tidy, easily passes the eyeball test, but don’t look up close too much as some of the detail looks a bit low-tech.

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5)Tail detail

Well assembled and tidy, again easily passes the eyeball test but again, not one to examine too closely.

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6)Colours

No issues.

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7)Score and conclusions

This old bird easily passes the eyeball test. The droopy inboard engines are it’s biggest weakness and for that it must be scored down by 10 points.  The fuselage join to the cradle could have been better as well, – 5, and -5 for the terrible stand hole. Other than that, 8o% isn’t such a bad score and it really is a model of it’s not-so distant era. Mind you we are already talking 7 years ago.

Having tried for some time to find one of these I’m glad it’s finally in the collection. I’m just about to set up a separate mini-diorama for the now considerable cargo collection which is being moved to it’s own unique storage section in my re-modelled office space. It will give more room on the main airport for passengers aircraft, so some changes underway.

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