MNG Airlines A300B4-203F TC-MNG Jet-X JX461 2008

According to records, only 250 of this model were made. She is of course the sister to the bright yellow and blue TC-MNC reviewed here, also made by the departed Jet-X. You can find all the detail about MNG ailrines there so I wont repeat it for you in this review.

Now a lot of people like to say it’s not the most accurate mould, and it isn’t, or that the detail doesn’t have the right gravitas. Or there is some reason why you, (or I) shouldn’t entertain it in a ‘serious’ collection. Well balls to that.

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It’s hard enough trying to find specialist cargo that aren’t the ususal 777F, 744F, 748F variants as it is, and this one, like it’s sister has that little bit extra – a small logoed up metal truck and and a full metal labelled MNG stand. Who gives you anything like that these days?

This particular aircraft, TC-MNG, was first registered on 31st January 1980 so would have been built in December 1979, and supplied to Hapag-Lloyd as D-AHLB. They kept her until 1989. In January 1990 she became Irish registered EI-BZB and was leased by GPA to Phillipine Airlines who in turn re-registered her as RP-C3007. They kept her until 1997 when she was sold to MNG Airlines and re-registered as TC-MNG when she was converted to freight. MNG kept her until 2003 when she was re-registered as TC-ORH for Orex Orbital Express and named “Aida” (pronounced Ay-eeda).

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One of her more interesting liveries: Orex Orbital Express

In 2005 she was sold to ACT Cargo as TC-ACT, then in 2007 sold again to Libyavia as 5A-DMK . Following the overthrow of Libyan dictator (and certifiable nut case) Colonel Ghadaffi in 2011, the Airline (whose sole aircraft she seems to have been), seems to have ceased to exist in 2012, and the aircraft is presumably rotting on an airstrip somewhere, if not destoryed in the civil war.

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Don’t know why but having the pair of these has oddly made my week!

1)Fuselage

I’ve said it before, this was never a pretty aircraft. It’s not the most stunningly accurate either but it passes for a bargain second hand model few would find interesting enough to want. A300’s are still flying in cargo fleets around the world – indeed they outnumber even 742’s which are now down to just 22 world wide. Small wider bodies are an ideal cargo fit in the current climate.

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The print/paint is well done, far btter than some of what we’ve seen with all the supposed technological advances in the field 8 years later.

2)Wings and landing gear

A300 wings looked dated when they were new, never mind now. What there is, is good enough and it all fits nicely.

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Landing gear, well not ideal. The tyres are lumpy and rough and that’s being gnereous. The spigot system always looks old but that was normal at the time. The metal gear istelf and the doors are fine.

3)Engines

Bright silver and of course plastic. Now they fit images of the aircaft at the time, but they were never that bright. The plastic moulds have allowed great detail in repsect of fans and they are actually see-through from one end to the other. That aside, they don’t really denigrate the model, it just works, more so with the white than the yellow.

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4)Nose detail

There’s detail? There’s not. They have printed on the flight deck, but not brilliantly. Nothing else and that is a down side. A little more detail would have gone a long way to make this look better.

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5)Tail

Excellent, well made and fitted.

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6)Colours

No issues.

7)Score and conclusions

  • -3 for the poor tyres
  • -2 for the poor flight deck window print
  • 95% for a quality, if not brilliantly accurate mould on the model.

If you compare this to the very poor moulds JCW/Gemini have created for the A350 – the nose is truly bad, and Phoenix’s isn’t that much better, it doesn’t even come close to being as bad on this. And it matters less. The mould, the aircraft and the manufacturer are no more.  When modern manufacturing comes up with travesties like the A350 nose and the wrong wing tips, or JCW’s hideous A333 revamp mould with the sieg-heil wings, we’re a long way from being able to level much criticism at a low volume defunct manufacturer like Jet-X.

I don’t see manufacturers running to correct these problems either. Nor does it seem to stop the obsessed from buying them. And that’s why they’ll never correct them. QED.

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