Korean Air 787-9 HL8081 Phoenix 04126 1:400 May 2017


I wrote this a week ago so that as I sit here suffereing from zombie jet lag, there will be something to read! I hate night flights, but there’s not much choice out of IAD!

Korean Air is a long time Boeing buyer and is one of the few airlines to have taken the 747-8i, though quietly seems to regret having done so.

The 787-9’s of which 2 of 10 have so far been delivered (May 2017), will strengthen the company’s ability to work routes that don’t require the 773ER but are too far to rely on anything with lesser range. As with many other airlines taking the 789, new destinations, previously unviable, are now within reach of non-stop travel. Since being introduced the 787-9 has been used on domestic routes between Seoul and the island of Jeju in the far south, training pilots and cabin crew for the new aircraft types operations. The first full route will be Toronto in June 2017.

hl8082-korean-air-lines-boeing-787-9-dreamliner_PlanespottersNet_751814.jpg Fitted with 6 first class, 18 business and 245 economy seats, and powered by GEnex-1B’s, the 789’s should make a significant contribution to expanding Korean Air’s profitability in the longer term. There is a slight oddity about the first class – the seat is exactly the same as the business class, not the first class seen on A380’s and 748i’s. the only difference is the extra partition and foot rest/secondary seating area.

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Witty/Apollo A380, JCW 748i, Phoenix 789. The JCW is the least colour accurate in the blue fuselage.


This is one of Phoenix’s 04 product numbers – and they almost always have a level of superiority over the standard 11*** series.  Many of their bespoke models come out of this side of the business. They make a few for individual retailers like AMS in Amsterdam from time to time, though it’s no guarantee they’ll be brilliant. The Transavia new livery 738 they had made a couple of years ago was diabolical. However most of the time, they are superior. This is, unquestionably so.

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The detail is exquisite, every last bit of its perfection, super HD, and matchless for quality. You know how much I love it when they do make something superb, and I get the feeling I’m looking at it now. It excites and thrills me, because that’s what we all want, to look at it and enjoy it, to see that effort has ben put in and quality achieved. To know we have something worth our hard-earned cash.

The fuselage is excellent. The silver coach line is immaculate and precise, the paint quality outstanding.

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The aerials, all three of the roof set are white, and neatly fixed in, and properly sized and angled. The small dome on top is correctly painted white.

2.Wings and landing gear

Phoenix produce a really nice set of 787 wings across the board, and these are no different. Perfectly inserted to the point of almost looking seamless.

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The landing gear, so often a painful experience these days, all works and rolls, with no lumps and bumps on the tyres. Doors and hydraulics ae excellent. The nose gear is problem free too!

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Outstanding, really quite perfectly presented, with neat print, great fan and rim colour and those crystal blue exhausts – which are really more appropriate on the Rolls Royce engines, but Phoenix put them on everything. GE engines start that way but tarnish, whereas the RR engines don’t.

A superb set of engines, a delight to behold!

4.Nose detail


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Having been offered a large credit, RLSI Engineering have now fixed the wings and stabiizers back on the Conviasa A342 in the background, Korean Air 789 engines are excellent.

5.Tail detail

Build, paint and finish is outstanding. There is but one issue….

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It’s the red again, just as it was on the Air Canada 788, it’s too dark by a very wide margin. Whoever is choosing these reds, needs to understand how they work on darker base paints of a different hue.

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7.Score and conclusions

  • -6 for the red colour. It’s quite wrong and while it’s not as dominant on this as the Air Canada, it’s still well away from being accurate.
  • 94% is an excellent score. It could have been perfect, but it’s not.

Isn’t it amazing how different this model is to the 788 Air Canada new livery? OK the same mistake, but the production standards are way ahead of it. It can’t be a coincidence that most of the high score models come with a 04 number prefix on the box.

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Overall, this is so well done that the red is of minimal consequence. I know and always will, that it’s there, but it’s still overall, an excellent model.

My recommendation: too good to ignore, I’d buy it again.

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