While we still wait for new passenger models to arrive there’s a backlog of Cargo thats’s been building up since last August! This was another eBay bargain of one of my favorite liveries, though with the LAN-TAM merger into LATAM (which both parties may well be regretting now, as ongoing economic and political woes strike Brazil, and add the Zika virus scare to that, just to frighten airline passengers away), who knows how current it will remain.
A new livery was supposed to be unveiled in February, but nothing yet. TAM recently took delivery of its first A359 in their current livery, though that would have been planned months before. With the Olympics in Brazil this year you’d have thought a shiny new livery might have been more urgent, but with mounting losses I doubt they can afford to implement it at present.
I was a bit surprised at how old this model was. I thought it was around 2012, but it’s actually a 2009 vintage and officially a 777-F6N she was delivered to LAN on the 28th April 2009 on lease from GECAS. LAN ordered 2 and then leased a third (a 777-F16) from Southern Air in October 2012. The entire fleet is only five strong with the other two aircraft being 767-316FER’s.
Oddly enough, their main base isn’t Santiago in Chile, but Miami and all but one of the 767’s is US registered. Miami is more central for cargo operations, lying almost equidistant between Santiago and Europe and providing excellent links into the rest of the US and South America, where this aircraft spends most of it’s time.
Standard Gemini 772 the detail is generally good. Print and finish are first class, paint is neat and blur free.Doors, both cargo and passenger are well defined and precise, as is the LAN Cargo logo.
2)Wings and landing gear
Cradle wings, while never gap free because that’s the nature of the beast, well fitted. The issue I have is that the centre wing box underneath is more of a cream/ivory colour than the white it’s supposed to be.This exact same thing has happened on JC Wings models of 773’s and 772’s. The wings are neatly painted on both surfaces and don’t hide any details, which is a good thing.
The landing gear is rigid in every way, and not one of the tyres roll. The wheels appear to be actual wheels with tyres, but none of them could be describes as especially neat. In fact quite the opposite on close inspection, with lumpy tyres that need trimming. The nose gear has better tyres, but again they don’t move. All are painted a light grey.
The 2 GE90-115B1L’s are very well done, with a marvelous titanium fan finish that ads realism and looks so much better than eye-popping gaudy silver. Engine detail is consistent with the real thing.
Flight deck is fine, no radome or much detail otherwise. You can make out some finely done sensors, but that’s all.
The most significant part of the very detail is at thereat end were the multiple layers of blues and the red wave all look really well done. It’s a nice livery well reproduced.It isn’t quite the same as on the passenger versions, with the light blue all the way to the tail top.
No issues at all, right where it should be. A precise match with the more recent LAN 788 CC-BBA
7)Score and conclusions
- -4 for the odd colour of the wing box section underneath, Not that you’ll see it much but that’s not the point.
- -6 for the tyres, those iffy wheels and their complete failure to move.
- -2 for lack of nose detail
- 88% isn’t a bad score. It’s a more than acceptable model with a few minor deficiencies.
A nice addition to the collection and the now quite large cargo section. I wasn’t going to say I bought some new storage to move the cargo fleets into and it was already at capacity. I thought I’d have plenty to expand into!