Whatever will be said about Farnborough 2016, most of it will be that a) Boeing did not do so well on the international orders front, Airbus came out on top. b) Is it the beginning of the end of the aircraft order bubble, and will it be seen as a defining moment for both of these manufacturers? Maybe, but I doubt it.
The big headline order that Boeing just didn’t get near, was Virgin Atlantic’s – and I’ve been saying for over two years it really wouldn’t be much in doubt, the only choice was the A350-1000, and they ordered a dozen. Everything else seemed somewhat peripheral, there were no multi-billion dollar orders for hundreds of 777’s. More worrying Boeing hasn’t sold a 777-X in 13 months.
Three days stuck in the main halls talking to colleagues and business people and it was Thursday before I could get out. I’m not a fan of the Thursday. Usually many of the big “loan” aircraft are gone – in this case ABC’s 748F in the new UK colours, there was no C-Series, and as I walked down to Embraer, the new E-Jet E2 was flown off and never came back!
However, having lunch at Airbus did extract an unsurprising piece of news – “It’s almost certainly the last time you’ll see the A380 here, they’ll be wanting to push the A330Neo by then (2018) and of course the A350-1000 will be on demo”.
Now for this blog, the photographs are more often about detail, because when reviewing the models, which are made by people in a Chinese factory who haven’t seen any of these aircraft and possibly never will, what they produce and the detail they provide can make or break our pleasure and ownership experience. That is what it’s about in the end.
Accuracy is everything, and we often don’t get it. Rubbish engines and landing gear is never unusual, moulds created from technical drawings and no personal experience of the nuances of the real thing, what really stands out and matters – should matter on the model. Sometimes they get it, often they don’t.
Two things come out of these photos that I keep trying to get across – the engines – especially fans, rims and exhausts, are often horribly wrong and can spoil a model easily.
The other is detail – especially nose and tail detail, landing gear, tail and doors.
As a result we’ll have some nice close ups of the A350 especially, the new 737-8Max, and an older A320 – because JCW/Gemini’s A350 is way out for accuracy in terms of nose shape and wings, and they seem incapable of getting the old A320 right any more.
The A380 is more of a tribute set. Something that big flying the way this does at an air show is truly awesome. And we will never see it’s like again.
Next week its back to full reviews, and there are plenty on the way…enjoy your weekend, enjoy the photos……
And some bonus shots – stuck on the motorway at the end of Heathrow for an hour, plenty of time for some ad-hoc departures spotting!
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