There seems to be a direct correlation between used prices for models and the size of the airline. Emirates, the big US players, easyJet, Ryan Air, BA, Lufthansa etc. They nearly always go for higher prices or at the least, if you’re on eBay, it starts to be a fight. Often the bidding begins far too early, sucking competitors in. This was not one such item, but it so easlily could have been.
I set my sights on an Emirates 773 because it’s the last type that currently flies into BHX that I physically see regularly (morning and evening) and have for years. The retail for this hovered around £30 ($46) depending on where you bought it in 2014. Used prices are fetching in excess of that. It took me three goes to get one, the first two went well above £33, which I wasn’t willing to payfor something this unremarkable (and frankly hardly rare).
As an aside, don’t you hate it when people put *RARE* on eBay listings when a cursory search brings up three others for half the price? The only rarity involved is what should be between their ears.
So on the third go, I saw two more for sale, starting prices £28 and £30. Really? People were already bidding. I clicked on the ‘buy it nows’, and a retail shop seller had one for £26 plus a small postal charge. Sold! As I’ve said before about eBay, shop around, search inventively!
It arrived as described – big retail sellers rarely screw about with these things, they’ve got too much reputation at stake to upset people.
As the largest operator of 777-300’s – 128 in service (almost $38 billion dollars worth), and 4 more on order, averaging just 6.3 years old, Emirates is one of Boeing’s most important civil clients. This one, officially a 777-31HER, is one of the older ones, delivered in December 2008. Fitted with 8 First, 24 business, and 304 economy seats, they’re fairly densly packed at 336 seats. (A typical BA 773ER for example is 253 total, and an American Airlines 773ER 280 total).
This is now the fifth Emirates aircraft in the collection, (744F, 777F, 772LR, A380) and the last addition until the airline decides to go for 787-10 or A350 – over which it dithers constantly always demading more viable data. The 777X is still an age away.
The fuslegae is OK, I know some people prefer Phoenix, others prefer this old JCW/Gemini mould. The best was the departed Witty Wings.
The print and paint is very good, everything is pretty much as you would want or expect, and it’s clear the usually higher than average standards were applied to this model, as with every other Emirates.
This model is pre-aerials, something I never mind. The small dome on the rear roof is just a printed outline.
2)Wings and landing gear
While the mould for the wings looks perfectly fine from above, despite quite heavy gloss, the cradle still doesn’t fit properly – nowhere near as good as it does on a 744. As usual, it’s the port side that skews slightly. The gap between the rear wing box and the fuslegae is quite small, but it’s had the efect of cutting off the lower case ‘e’; the one that’s white out of red on the underside.
The landing gear has a reasonable degree of horizontal movement for the six wheeled bogies, but the middle wheels on both sides don’t roll. The newer types of wheels with tyres look a lot better than the old spigot type we use to see.
My main issue is the backs of the bogies are a bit gappy, and to the normal eye look a tad untidy, with bright brass showing through.
First rate. No silver rim issues, good fan colours, nice detail, paint and graphics.
In general it’s all as it should be and yet it has no radome markings, even though they are visible on the real thing. Neat and prescise. The only small ngative is the wrong coloured bar on the nose gear doors. Gemini have it red, when it’s clealry black on every photo of her I’ve found.
Neat, tidy, well produced and properly assembled.
7)Score and conclusions
- -1 for the gear door bar colour
- -4 for the minor wing cradle skew
- -1 for the main gear wheels not all funtioning
- -1 for the partial eyesore that is the rear of the bogies
- 93% is excellent for 2014, but it’s not a MOTY contender, as it’s an older model.
It highlights again how much better Emirates seem to get treated. There were more than a few 2014 models that never reached this standard by a mile.