Icelandair has had quite a few freighters in service over the years, hardly surprising for a country so isolated and dependent on imports for just about everything except water and geothermal energy.
With as many as 7 752F’s in several build variants operational at one point, all but two were removed during the 2011-12 world-wide air freight collapse.
TF-FIG and TF-FIH are all that’s left, and NG models rather oddly chose to produce just one of the registrations – TF-FIG, in two variations, rather than say TF-FIH in the standard livery and TF-FIG in the other, special livery, worn only between 2010-11.
So with two versions of TF-FIG, I chose the standard version, and so did everyone else as that’s now almost completely unavailable, while the “Absolutely Fresh” is still easy to get.
TF-FIG was one of the earliest 752F variants, built from new in 1989 – in fact she’s 30 years old on July 10 2019. First delivered to Challenge Air Cargo as “The Spirit of Miami” N571CA, she was returned at the end of a ten year lease to AWAS in 1999, and leased by Icelandair in September the same year from the same company. She was re-leased in 2015 from Castlelake. As with most 757 freighters, the’re powered by Rolls Royce RB211-55-3E4’s. Powerful, noisy and ideal for freight operations, they remain the most sought after type.
This is of course the very latest in 757 moulds from NG and if they keep producing 757’s at this rate it won’t be long before none are left to make!
It is, without question the very best of the moulds made so far. One aerial on the roof and two below, just as there should be,
One of the real highlights of this model, is the nearly perfect paint. The blue has a yellow line all the way round before becoming blue again and then swapping to white. 95% of this line is perfect, but it’s fail area is underneath at the rear, where its gone somewhat wonky.
All of the technical detail is excellent and superbly printed. The logo is unusually crisp and the CARGO aspect in its 3D shadowed print format is outstanding.
The wings on these NG models are especially fine, it’s an unusually thin mould, and just superbly detailed and printed, as well as beautifully and near-seamlessly fitted into the fuselage.
The freighters often don’t get the fuel saving winglets, quite common on Rolls Royce engined aircraft, and depends on the wing build which changed over the years, they’re simply too heavy for the framework. BA’s RR engined 763’s had a similar issue.
Every wheel rotates, the gear is a neat mould, clear of flashing. The nose gear is detailed, neat and well fitted (which hasn’t always been the case, so its good to see that problem has been addressed, and I did bring it up with them directly, getting a positive response). All the tyres are neat and lump free too.
These are superb in so many ways. Not only are they the correct yellow colour, the rims are neat, the fans are a realistic colour, the exhausts outstanding. And they have neat and highly defined RR logos.
Overall these are an excellent pair of engines and all other manufacturers could learn from them. This is the sort of detail and quality we should expect from every model.
An exceptional paint finish, no lines, blurs or crooked joins. The technical detail is outstanding, with clear but very fine sensor and dome details. The cockpit windows are especially neat.
I’ve already alluded to the under-body paint at the tail. The rest of the structure is excellent. The finesse of the tail vertical and logo is outstanding. If I was being picky, and I am, I would say the horizontal stabilisers are a tiny bit less than ideal fit wise.
Compared to the Gemini for instance, which has a deep full-width insert into the fuselage mould for the horizontals, which when done properly looks seamless, NG have chosen to use a narrow peg-insert type fit. This requires that the mould for the horizontals has to be very accurate to fit the fuselage’s tapering tail because they sit outside of the mould, not inside like on the older Gemini. They don’t quite make it, hence the small issue.
Again, its picky, but it’s there and it’s my job to point these things out!
First rate, outstanding, excellent. It trust that’s sufficient to eradicate any doubt?
8.Score and conclusions
- -2 for the under tail paint issue
- -2 for the horizontal stabiliser not quite perfect fit
Overall score 96% Now that is up in the annual MOTY leagues, it’s a very fine model overall with just some minor issues. Overall it is, as we have often come to expect from NG, an excellent standard generally and worth the relatively high prices. Looking forward to seeing NG branch out into some other models. How about a brand new super high definition 747-400? Plenty of scope for liveries and and anything is better than than the Phoenix, and the Gemini/JCW simply can’t compete anymore.