Edelweiss A330-343 HB-JHR Phoenix 11237 June 2016

Edelweiss-Air.jpgYou can go years without one, then like a London bus, three come along all at once.

You can find out about Edelweiss Air on this review of the 2008 Gemini A332  from a few months ago. It took me ages to get one of those! Now I have that, an A320 and an A333!

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The livery at first glance appears the same, but you soon realise that’s very deceptive.

  • The nose edelweiss flower has been shrunk to a small flower on doors 1L & 1R. It only appears in large-scale on the tail on newer aircraft and re-sprays.
  • The red nose paint has also been reduced so that the  first ‘e’ in edelweiss is on a background of white rather than part red and white
  • The blue ‘edelweiss’ logo is much larger, by about 15%
  • The edelweiss flower is much larger in the tail, so it’s only about 80% visible
  • under the main logo at the nose end, the word ‘Switzerland’ now appears in red

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This aircraft is the second of a pair allocated by parent Swiss, as new, to the Edelweiss Air fleet. Equipped with 27 business class and 288 economy, she entered service on 23 March 2016 and is named Chässerrugg.

Since entering service she’s been flying from Zürich to Punta Cana, Calgary, Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver and Las Vegas.

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Phoenix have had problems, as you’ll know if you come here often, with A330 build quality, which last year reached new lows with the Asiana A333. Since then they’ve slowly improved  – wing issues especially seem to be resolved, along with landing gear problems and paint quality.

This is the first Phoenix A33o with a starboard wing that hasn’t arrived with a bend in it. It’s a good mould too, accurate and at present, the best on the market as JC Wings continue to drag their own, and Gemini’s brands through the mud with their abysmal quality.

So, to the model…

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1)Fuselage

An excellent mould all round, it always has been. The paint quality is superb, dust free (a prior issue), high-definition, no bleed, no rough lines, window and door print all superb. The three aerials are all fixed in and neat, the forward dome is neatly finished, especially as it intrudes into the red. No technical issues at all!

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2)Wings and landing gear

These were a major issue not long ago, with the wings not fitting the body due to some sort of mould malfunction inside the fuselage. Clearly this has been sorted out as they now fit closely and perfectly in every way. Oh and in case you’re wondering, they’re the correct height too!

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Even the small edelweiss logo in the winglets are spot on. Winglets by the way that are the correct size, not the oversized type JCW now employ.

The paint as ever with Phoenix, is a bit heavy and glossy, and seriously floods the detail in the wing mould to the point where it’s almost obscured.  That would be my one complaint.

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Landing gear is rigid but it is neat, all wheels rotate and the tyres are free of lumps.  The nose gear is firmly in place and spot on for the model.

3)Engines

Powered by two RR Trent 772B-60’s with their distinctive rear fan, the engines are superbly detailed, the entire nacelle is brilliantly printed and the silver paint on the rims? You know that’s one of my biggest irritations – it’s excellent! Not only that but the colours are realistic and a look the part, with a titanium coloured fan.

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It doesn’t stop at the front end either, the rear fans and rims are just as good!   

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4) Nose detail

Perfect. the flight deck windows are chrome in appearance on the real thing and they look spot-on to me.

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5)Tail

Exquisite detail, perfectly executed. Really a first class production.

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6)Colours

Again, absolutely spot on – really first-rate. There is no difference in the base red in all three models, the 2008 A332, the 2016 A320 or this A333. As accurate as it is possible to get.The blues of the main wording, the yellow in the flower, are all simply, perfect.

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7)Score and conclusions

  • NO DEDUCTIONS
  • 100% score

I don’t think there has ever been a time when two models in a row from one manufacturer have ever achieved 100%. This is a new experience! It’s also one I like. Really, two models where there have been zero failures. Phoenix already have more entrants in the MOTY 2016 awards than they did in all of last year.

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I’m delighted. It shows it can be done, it shows that quality pays dividends. When a manufacturer makes great models we naturally feel more kindly disposed toward them and what they produce. I know I will widen my Phoenix purchases (provided it’s a viable airline and aircraft), and not be so picky, as my confidence in their ability to make good models increases.

Who minds paying when they’re this good? Not me.

Congratulations to Phoenix for scoring a double century! Amazing. I never thought it would ever happen. Now just remember to keep it up!

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