One minute you don’t see an Edelweiss model for love nor money – the last one was this one reviewed just a few weeks ago: Edelweiss A330-243 HB-IQZ Phoenix 10064 2008 and then along comes the first one in eight years!
Having alluded to Edelweiss’ history at some length in the review of A330 HB-IQZ, there is little to add.
It’s owned by Swiss, in turn owned by Lufthansa, and is set to take on Swiss old aircraft, including the A340-300’s as they get replaced by 777-300ER’s (that should happen later this year, so look out for an A343 in the Edelweiss livery). Being principally a charter and holiday destination scheduled airline (much like Monarch used to be before going 100% scheduled), it services a specific niche in the Swiss market, complimenting its full service international parent.
This particular aircraft was delivered to Swiss in March 2003 then transferred to Edelweiss as the third in a series of transfers, in November 2015, leased from MacQuarrie Air Finance. Fitted with a CY168 layout, she’s often on routes such as Zurich-Marrakesh, Palma, Tenerife and Split, as well as bringing in charters to London and Paris.
The shape and mould are fine, no issues in my book.
The aerials are well positioned and scaled. The issue is more minor detail. One of these is the failure to line the silver rims of the windows correctly to the darker centre. It’s a very old Phoenix failing and odd to find it’s resurfaced after a couple of years absent. Fortunately, it’s small enough not to be overly visible from a casual glance. However let’s not go backwards to the past – Phoenix need to get a grip on this again.
They need to do the same with the stand hole, which was again, and as with the Turkish A321, almost unusable without using white tac to hold the model on.
2)Wings and landing gear
The wings are over glossed as ever, but neat, though the paint obscures most detail.
The port wing is fractionally less well fitted than the starboard, but it’s well within acceptable limits.
The landing gear is not brilliant. There is clearly an issue with this batch of wheels and tyres. The Turkish nose gear wasn’t excellent and the nose gear on this and the starboard landing gear both were not properly fitted as can be seen in the photos. Pinching them between thumb and forefinger closed them up, but they cannot be in any way acceptable on a brand new model.
The two CFM56-5B4/P’s are substantially different in appearance, indeed they seem almost too large even on the real aircraft. The paint is highly acceptable, but the port side engine without doubt, tilts downward more than it should, and noticeably more than the starboard one.
The pylons are also painted differently which while minor and not easy to spot casually, is still fact.
Silver paint, fan colour and rims are all unusually good.
Very poor. The port side of the rear vertical stabiliser join is appallingly bad. Glue, bad paint and all way to visible. As well as that the horizontal stabiliser simply doesn’t fit, and unlike the Turkish A321, this isn’t even touching the body. I suspect it’s the way the two parts of the internal strut just do not fit correctly. It’s clumsy and low quality and nearly as bad as the recent Gemini Alitalia.
7)Score and conclusions
- -10 for the tail section, it really isn’t good enough
- -8 for two sets of wheels/tyres being very poor
- -3 for the tilted port engine
- -3 for the stand hole being virtually unusable
- 76% is a fail, and I’ll be looking for a replacement from my retailer.
This is poorly made, represents low to non-existent quality control and it isn’t worth the £25 ($40US)charged. Not good enough Phoenix, and more to the point it shows how a fully licensed product gets far better treatment from these manufacturers than one that isn’t.
It irritates me that this model has obvious improvements in engine finish and a good fuselage but as so often is thrown together with little regard. Very disappointing for a model that would otherwise probably never see the light of day and deserved to be made to a higher standard. We deserve better than this for our money!