The seven hundred and eighty seventh 787 was delivered to China Southern on lease from AerCap on 17th December 2018.
It carries 787th tiles in red with BOEING 787 in a lighter blue, emphasising the number and type.
It’s quite extraordinary that there are already that many aircraft in service with as many yet to come and likely a few more as the years progress. Currently Boeing has enough orders to sustain production until around 2024 without further orders and at the current production pace. That may prove to be an ideal scenario, if they drop from 14 to say 7 a month as the new 797X ramps up to fill the gap.
The biggest seller by far has been the 787-9, fulfilling that sweet spot of the right passenger number mix and the ideal range.
This isn’t my first China Southern 787. The other is a Witty Wings 788 from mid-2013 which frankly, until the advent of the upgraded JC Wings versions and the new NG’s, was the benchmark model in my 787 collection for paint, print, engines and overall quality. It may have lacked aerials – they weren’t a “thing” in 2013, but for the bet part of five years it remained unmatched.
Finally, it’s been superseded, because this model from NG (which stands for Next Generation after all) – has transcended both it and the new JC Wings versions. Gemini can do whatever they like to that old cradle mould, but nothing they do is going to make it come close to this, by several nautical miles.
The aircraft is equipped with the GeNex-1B engines, and a three class cabin, with 28 Business, 28 Premium Economy and 220 standard Economy seats. The earlier versions have an MEA layout without Premium Economy and 269 standard Economy.
If you read the Qantas Bilaranji review from late last year, you’ll know that my opinion of this mould is it’s simply truly outstanding, there are no other words, it is, simply, the very best.
One of the superb things about the paint and print on these NG models is the finish. It’s a silk-matt finish that is so much more realistic than the high gloss used by others. Yet again, the detail, definition and finish is simply superb. The blue/white wings livery and colours are dramatic enough by themselves, but done this well, its something else to behold.
Superbly fitted, exceptional mould, terrific paint, high levels of detail. Another outstanding example of this model makers work. There’s no faults or complaints here. It’s about as perfect as 1:400 gets.
Another excellent set of wheels, separate neat tyres, no lumps and everything rolls and works. The gear doors are of exceptional note.
Nose gear is just as good, superbly detailed and refined, excellent.
The best on the market in 1:400, superbly assembled, see through fans, correct colours for the fans and the rims, excellent exhausts, beautifully fitted to accurate pylons.
Superb. Nothing wrong, lots of small detail, great cockpit windows.
China Southern’s liveries are some of my favourites. I love the 1950’s look of the standard livery, and the colours are superb. These are just as glorious, a triumph.
8. Score and conclusions
Score is a faultless 100%
The conclusion, are NG too good to be true? Witty were like this back in 2013 – a little pricey, but outstanding quality worth every penny. Then they just imploded, getting into trouble with the authorities over tax issues and vanished.
I don’t want that to happen here, and I know that western buyers and retailers are scrambling to get product they can’t sell fast enough.
The good point here is that this is going to have some affect on Gemini and AC especially. Gemini’s high brand prices without quality to match in too many cases, simply aren’t sustainable without change. They’re marketing isn’t going to be able to beat back an onslaught of this magnitude. Collectors often have plenty of money, but most make some choice over what they spend their budgets on. Faced with $60 for this version or the same for a Gemini what would you choose?