British Airways operated ERJ-145’s as part of its now defunct CitiExpress group (previously known as British Regional Airlines), between 28th March 2002 and 1st February 2006. There were five different types of aircraft, BAe146/Avro RJ’s, BAe ATP’s, BAe Jetstream 41’s, Dash-8’s and ERJ-145’s which formed 30 of the 89 strong fleet.
The mix of aircraft types and maintenance requirements were cost prohibitive and the airline made a move to consolidate its operations into newer types, shutting down the whole operation and moving it to either BA itself or BA Connect, eventually CitiLink.
G-EMBX was planned as a 50 seater and was delivered as such just a few days before CitiExpress came in to operation, but for some reason a seat was removed on all of them and they’re then listed as 49 seaters, up to the present.
Following the demise of CitiExpress, BA (who had a financial interest in Flybe at the time) sold the aircraft to Flybe, but as the financial crisis really hit in 2009, and set airlines into a nose dive, Flybe withdrew her and stored her at Exeter for five months, before selling her to Aircraft Solutions in May 2009. They sold her to NovoAir of Bangladesh as S2-AGJ in December 2012 who in turn sold her to National Airways of Ethiopia as ET-AUY in February 2018.
Because it’s in current livery – the CitiExpress tiles never seemed to be used – it still fits with the rest of the BA collection, and I’ve always loved these aircraft, they were huge fun to fly in, exceptionally nimble and quick off a runway, so often flights were never long enough! You don’t see many 1:400’s of these on the ‘pre-owned’ market and they can get a little expensive. £41($55.50US) for one of these though – it was a must have to join the BA collection!
The aircraft are powered by Rolls Royce North America AE3007A’s – the same engine type that powers the RQ4 Global Hawk and was widely used in military applications.
Another one of those remarkably small but very neat moulds, very dependent on getting the nose right which they seem to have done. You can make your own judgement against the rare Tucano version of a Swiss E145 that’s now 17 years old.
Markings and technical detail are neat and surprisingly prolific as well quality definition.
The blue is also accurate and doesn’t leak into the upper white. Graphics and logos are excellent.
A very small and neatly assembled cradle, rather a lot of paint and not a lot of detail, but it’s neat. Aluminium leading edges are excellent and not too bright, underneath there is some nice little paint detailing, including tiny red wing marks.
I think the nose gear is a little too tall – but you know, it’s 13 years old and it’s all original. Main gear is very good for the size and scale – the doors on the real thing sit very low, half over the wheels so this represents that well.
The engine pair is mounted as as slot-in to the sides of the rear fuselage, and they work well enough at first glance, although in all fairness neither is fitted flush with the fuselage at the front of the slot. Look too, at the Tucano version, the engines are higher than the roof – which is actually correct, the Gemini’s are too flat and too far from the body.
The engines themselves are small, but rims, fans and exhausts are all very neat.
The cockpit windows aren’t brilliantly shaped, but you’d have to look for the mistake to notice it, it’s so small only a real expert would be likely to notice or care. There are very small indeterminate markings that add to the overall impression of a competent enough front end, but again look at the Tucano versions cockpit windows, which that also gets wrong in a different way!
Neat, dominated by the Union Jack tail livery, otherwise exceptionally neat, with aluminium leading edges on the horizontals.
It’s not my habit to score models of this age – 13 years – but it’s fair to say it is pretty good for the year of manufacture and its been superbly kept by its prior owner/s. I’m very happy with it, even with the misaligned engines.
I don’t go out of my way to collect British Airways models – new Neo A320’s, the A35K when it appears maybe, and anything small from the past it what is pretty much still the same livery since 2003 – long may it continue, but I’m glad I’ve got this.