Swiss Bombardier CS100 HB-JBA Herpa 1:400 562522-001 Nov 2016

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It was January 25th 2016 that the first review of the new CS100 – in Swiss Livery but with Bombardier Flight Test Vehicle 5 tiles, and a Canadian registration was posted.  That model was the Paris Air Show version C-GWXZ. You can see that review here: CS100 FTV5

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Here we are 11 months later and Herpa have produced a revised production version, the first fully in-service C-Series, HB-JBA.

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This is a monumentally big deal for Bombardier, who have teetered on the brink of bankruptcy because of the costs of developing this aircraft. Despite that, both Embraer and Boeing are trying to get the World Trade Organisation to force the company to give back the $1 billion the Canadian Government gave to prop it up. As both of them only really exist from the vast subsidies and contracts awarded to them by their respective governments over the years, that’s a bit rich. Being scared of competition seems more realistic.

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The aircraft itself is part of the transformation of Swiss International. Renewing its regional fleet with these aircraft, along with its purchase of the much publicised 773ER’s on long haul, is all about moving the airline forward into the 21st Century, and few aircraft are more of a leap forward in environmental impact terms than the CSeries.

This version was announced by Herpa in July 2016, so a four-month wait isn’t bad for their 1:400’s. The Hekla Aurora was announced 2 months before this and still no sign of it.

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There are significant changes to the model since the first iteration of it, as code 562522.

This particular aircraft was delivered on June 28 2016 and at the time of writing there are already 3 in service with three more due, before year’s end, and another 14 during the next 18 months.

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HB-JBA is named Kanton Zürich, officially a Bombardier BD-500-1A10 CSeries CS100, she’s equipped with 125 CY flex-function seats, and the new United Technologies Pratt & Witney  PW1524G ultra-high-bypass geared turbofan. It’s the engine that will, along with an apparently “space-age plus” fly by wire control system, make this one of the least polluting, and efficient aircraft in the world for years to come. That’s why Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer are so bothered, because nothing they have comes close, and won’t for years to come.

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Bombardier were so determined to ensure that Swiss had a painless roll-out, they sent twenty engineers and software experts along with a raft of spare parts, coupled to a back up team of some 200 specialists available in Candada at a moments notice. Pratt & Witney were doing the same thing under the Bombardier umbrella. The group will be there until the end of 2016, by whcih time Swiss will have familiarised themselves sufficiently to manage issues in conjunction with the manufacturer. This ultra-high hands-on level of support is unusual, but big orders from Delta and Air Canada would depend on the CS100 starting life with a good reputation. At the end of the day, the company’s future is at stake.

1.Fuselage

The first thing you notice is that this now has three aerials, two up and one underneath, and they are excellently fitted and painted.

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There is a general quality improvement in the print and finish, finer, with a greater definition than on the first version.

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Obviously none of the test graphics are here and even the CSeries logo has gone. The StarAlliance logo is present, and there is a general air of greater refinement and finish about it.

2.Wings and landing gear

Slot in wings of course, and they are quite superb. Detail is excellent, from the leading edges in the matt metal silver, to the Swiss flags on the sharklets. They are quite excellent.

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The landing gear while the correct scale, is nothing spectacular on Herpa models. Black tyres on spigots of light gray plastic, none of them roll and the nosegear is particularly ugly and cumbersome.

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A quick look underneath reveals a stand hole – the type only Herpa models fit, and the stand that comes with it in frosted clear plastic with model details on the base is better than nothing, but it’s not an easy one to use for photographs!

Another plus, is the clever looking spotlights in the front of the wing root either side.

3.Engines

Very neat and highly competent, the rim colour is silver  and are excellently finished, the inner chamber, and fans, are a much darker ‘true titanium’ fan colour, so I’m pretty pleased with that aspect! It should be pointed out that the fans for the scale, are really detailed.

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 4.Nose detail

Sensors, fine detail, cockpit windows, door 1, nose gear doors, all top end for the scale. Excellent job.

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5. Tail detail

Better red and white cross definition in the metal vertical stabilizer, and unless you knew, you’d not have guessed the horizontals were plastic. If they were metal I have a feeling they may well have been too heavy for the model, and it would have tipped back too easily. They’re white with silver edges and frankly superior by some margin to the ones JCW use in the 737 these days.

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6.Colours

Spot on. Not a lot to get wrong really.

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7.Score and conclusion

  • -2 for the landing gear, especially the nose gear. It’s just clumsy and cheap looking, and it could be much better than this. `The nose wheels look over-sized, and the hydraulics are about as inelegant as you can come up with.
  • 98% is a superb score for an otherwise superb model let down by some cheap nose gear.

My recommendation: this is a distinct improvement all round over the earlier FTV5 version, a definite buy.  

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