Mexicana A330-200 XA-MXQ Phoenix 1:400 11390 sept 2017

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Mexicana was the worlds fourth oldest airline, founded in 1921, but technically ceased operations in August 2010. I say technically because it’s AOC still exists and is used by Interjet and Volaris on certain international routes.

The airline was  a major carrier, but the global financial crisis starved it of cash, along with a sharp down turn in air travel globally in 2009.

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It had a rather cool livery, and that’s what attracted me to getting the model. It was also, in its last days a member of Oneworld having left Star Alliance.

Phoenix do now and again, offer up a modern historic models, and this is quite a nice one. In fact they produced two as the airline only ever operated two of the type. Other than these two, its largest aircraft were 3 763’s and 10 757-200’s.

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The two A332’s were XA-MXP which became Air Transat’s C-GTSR, and this aircraft XA-MXQ which also went to Air Transat as C-GTSZ. They operated international flights from Mexico City to London Gatwick up to 15 August 2010.

Mexicana only took delivery of them from a cancelled XL Airways CIT Leasing order in December 2008, right as the global crisis started to take hold. She would have been registered as G-XLXB.

Equipped with 48 business class and 163 economy she is equipped with 2 Rolls Royce Trent 772B-60’s.

The livery uses similar themes to the AeroMexico livery, with the bird and eye motif, but the first impression unknowing third parties came up with was it looked like a killer whale! Either way I think it’s quite striking.

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1.Fuselage

A key aspect of the Poenix A330 mould is it still remains very good, against the class winner AeroClassics and the JCW/Gemini version, which is fine other that its stupid wing arrangement.

The fuselage has three aerials up top and an extra pushed-in dome above door 2. There is one aerial underneath door 3 (which by way of a note is a full size option door, not the smaller escape door adopted by most airlines).

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Paint and technical detail is really excellent, no blur marks, no mistakes, no over-runs.   It’s an excellent level of crisp, quality, clarity, quantified by being faultless. Just how I like it.

2.Wings and landing gear

Phoenix fixed the wing issues some time ago and they remain superbly fitted, verging on seamless.

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The desire to over gloss the wings is something Phoenix can’t help themselves with. At least this time it hasn’t totally obliterated the detail. Mexicana placed their logos on the upper port wing, and the registration on the upper starboard and lower port wings, and these are all correct.

The sharklets are also an incredibly detailed and tidy effort.

Landing gear is silver paint, but a light touch has been used that looks neat. The wheels and tyres are all excellent. Nose gear is nicely detailed and nose gear doors have all their markings including the red panel.

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3.Engines

A superb set of engines with proper titanium fans at both ends! They look excellent. Why doesn’t everyone use this colour all of the time?

Engine rims are excellent, the bright blue is superb, along with the logo and technical markings.

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The exhaust end also has a darker rim which is accurate.  Add to that an excellent set of pylons, and we have a really decent set of engines.

4.Nose detail

What stands out here is the cockpit windows. Whatever has happened, they look very realistic. In fact they almost look like glass. The rims around each window are brilliant, the whole thing looks first-rate and then some.

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If you look closely enough you’ll still find the picot tubes and nose cone detail, even though the dark blue mostly obscures them.

5.Tail detail

Commensurate with everything else on this model, it’s a fine example, with the larger A332 stabilizers and all fitted perfectly.

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Paint, logos, generally excellent, but I confess there is a very slight – but not naked eye visible – shake, on the port side paint as it goes back down the fuselage. It really isn’t significant enough to be marked down severely.

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6. Colour

All outstanding in every way, dark and sky blues are all first class, no issues.

7.Score and conclusions

  • -1 for the shaky rear paint
  • 99% is an excellent score.

Congratulations to Phoenix for a first-rate job on a really nice model. Near flawless is how they should all be. Compare this to the dreadful A321neo and ask yourselves Phoenix, what are you not doing right on one production line, that you so clearly are doing right on this one?

My recommendation: a definite buy, great livery, great quality, interesting model.

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