As we wait for a huge order of JC Wings (should be here next week) and Phoenix to arrive, its time to look back again. There is very little out there in model world that covers this small but crucial airline. The last time there was anything out in this livery was the first 787-8 the airline took delivery of, made by Phoenix back in November 2014 and reviewed here: Royal Jordanian 787-8 Phoenix Item:11028 November 2014 Release in 1:400.
At present this is the single cargo aircraft operating for the airline and spends most of its time operating between Amman and Europe, with occasional stops in regional capitals, Baghdad, Cairo and Erbil, with the odd trip to New York.
Royal Jordanian are supposed to take delivery of an A332F formerly of MAS Kargo and Turkish, but that hasn’t yet happened.
Not only is it one of the smartest and most elegant liveries flying, but it serves the purpose of being instantly recognisable and exudes class.
Jordan is in the middle of one of the most turbulent regions in the world, bordering Syria in the north with its devastating civil war and Isis, Iraq to its east and Palestine and Israel to its immediate west. It has a chronic refugee problem but despite it all the Kingdom has managed to walk a fine line through the devastation of countless wars, made its peace with Israel, and remains an island of relative tranquility in a stormy sea.
The aircraft had been kept on the French register for most of its passenger life to date, having been delivered new to Royal Jordanian in February 1988 as F-ODVF. The airline leased her out to Sudan Airways in 1990, Lloyd Aero Boliviano 6 months later in 1991 and then Tunis Air two months after that in 1991. She was retired in March 2003 from passenger duty then converted to cargo. She was re-registered in Jordan as JY-AGQ on 11 December 2007 and named Prince Hamzah bin Al-Hussein / الأمير حمزة بن الحسين.
Jet-X fizzled out during the Chinese credit crisis of 2012-13, the same one that took Witty (though they’s stopped paying taxes), along with Aviation400.
Now I am more than aware that some people think this is a horrible mould, but I would ask you to look at the truly hideous travesty of thing Gemini released under Transat colours just a couple of months ago. A twisted catastrophe of incompetence compared to this.
It is true that certain parts of this are plastic, but they don’t look it and in this livery, well it doesn’t really seem to matter.
I’m struggling to see what some people have a problem with. It’s a decent enough mould, bearing in mind its age must be some 15-20 years. Compare it to the latest A350’s that simply fail to meet even basic design requirements.
The print and detail, the quality of the paint is first class, surprisingly premium to be honest, and these were never expensive models.
It’s a pity Phoenix didn’t have a look at it before they made the 788, which suffered from vanishing gold script in almost any light.
Frankly the paint quality and livery is so good for the brand and price, it’s astonishing, as is the finer detail.
2.Wings and landing gear
There’s no hiding the Airbus A310 wings look like something from a 1950’s experiment, and appear very, very dated. It’s not the paint but the under-body mould that looks oddly unconvincing with its printed on wheel housing. Other than that, it’s a surprisingly well fitted and well painted unit, and one of the tightest cradle fit I’ve ever seen on anything.
The landing gear is the spigot-on-a-tyre type it is true, but its all there and it all works, which is more than can be said for some current brands.
Now it may seem extraordinary, but these are see-through, and they are plastic, but they have a degree of quality about them, enhanced it is true by this livery, that is hard to believe. The chrome rims, superb fans, and excellent exhaust all go to make a really outstanding set of engines. They don’t look plastic, they look entirely in keeping with the classy livery.
Neat, tidy, perfect.
In terms of quality, no issues.
This is where this model goes wrong. The gold isn’t golden enough. Believe it or not but there are dozens of shades of what we describe as gold. RJ use antique gold, which is very much darker and more orange that what has actually been used. The grey is fine, as is the darker shading within.
The total fail is the red. Never ever was it burgundy. It was and is bright scarlet red.
This is a 2011 model without a score because it makes no difference. The point is it’s the only model ever made of this singular aircraft. That’s why it matters and that’s why I bought it for a measly £12! Now if you didn’t know that it was meant to have red instead of a burgundy detail, you’s think it was worth way more than that.
It isn’t perfect but little is these days either, despite the fact that it should be.
If you were to see this against the mediocrity of Gemini’s over priced and frankly derisive efforts on A310’s it’s a stunning miracle of achievement. Is there a better mould? Yes, Aeroclassics is pretty much the best I think.
Until someone can show me a model of this aircraft that’s better, its remaining firmly in the Cargo Collection.
There is also once again, a point that this has raised about how things are scored and next year we’ll be moving over to a new system, which I’ll explain in January when I’ve had time to test it thoroughly. The idea is to give you even more insight so that when you come to choose a model you lnow what’s right for you and if its worth your hard earned cash.
My recommnedation: a definite buy if you like something a bit different in cargo and can find one.