Before the American invasions of Iraq – actually the first time I went was the day Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait, 2nd August 1990, I often visited Egypt. It was a memorable day, our Egyptair 767 in the old livery arrived in Cairo escorted down by F-16’s and Cairo airport was already swamped with US military transport aircraft – clearly they knew what was going down before it happened and were already moving. Our cameras were all taken from us and inspected and armed guards stood about as we went through immigration, roughly one per passenger. It was an interesting welcome.
However it never stopped me going back, almost every other year until 2003, when having had enough of terrorist attacks (I missed being caught in two by a whisker) and being escorted by Ouzi-touting guards just to visit a remote temple on the Nile, I gave up and haven’t been back since. Nor am I inclined to want to go. It’s a great pity as Egyptians are a humorous and generous people, quick with jokes, unusually curious and very proud.
Egyptair is a demonstration of that pride and its recent acquisition of three 787’s with a fourth due soon, is a big step forward for the airline.
Leased from AerCap, this was the first delivered on March 26 2019, two more arrived in mid-April.
Fitted with 30 business class and 279 economy, they’re powered by Rolls Royce Trent-1000’s.
Quite simply I’ve always liked the current livery, it’s oddly simple yet couldn’t be more obviously Egyptian if you tried, and without using a national flag or national colours.
This is the updated Phoenix 789 mould with the ridge in the centre underneath. It isn’t as good as the outstanding JC Wings version, and the Gemini one is so outdated it’s a bit lame.
Despite the update, the Phoenix mould doesn’t have either of the quite significant air intakes (for that matter nor does the Gemini, but that mould was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb).
However, the paint, graphics and technical detail are all excellent.
Aerials and domes are where they should be up top, but there’s only one of two underneath. The dome is the weakest part of the model quality wise – an issue that’s been going on for years. It’s pathetic that it’s not been properly resolved.
Standard Phoenix fare, bright white and neat moulds, well inserted into the fuselage. Really no issues.
All remarkably neat, wheels that work, tyres without lumps. Not superbly fitted under the wings, but no issues that will cause trouble. Nose gear is fine.
Rather excellent to be fair, the fans are a good colour and see-through is standard these days. Rims and are neat and effective, engines and exhausts all good. They’re perfectly fitted too.
Simple, effective, neat. It couldn’t be simpler but that’s how it is on the real thing. Phoenix have always been good at making these Dreamliner’s, and while not the best anymore, its an extremely competent offering.
The important vertical tail is excellent, everything else is neat, tidy and well fitted.
Simple enough and they don’t disappoint. White is white, the rest is perfect.
8.Scores & Conclusions
- -2 The dome just sin’t good enough. It may not be the worst ever, but really after all this time, still a problem?
- -2 for lack of lower aerials
- -2 lack of air intakes
Overall 94% is a really good score. It’s not model of the year levels, but this is Phoenix’s best overall model and about as good as it gets. Its simple, it’s neat, it’s good, without being outstanding.
Highly competent, but not exceptional.