Category Archives: 1:200

Atlas Convair enhanced

By John Quilter

All photographs by the Author, and copyright of the Author, except for the photograph of the real plane which was uploaded by Logawl and is in Wikipedia Commons.

In the late mid to late 1940s there was a growing commercial airline business beginning to gear up to the new world after the Second World War. The workhorse Douglas DC-3 was an ageing design and even though there were many available as war surplus, American Airlines commissioned a newer replacement aircraft, also a twin engine mono plane with low wings but now with tricycle landing gear. American also wanted a pressurized aircraft for use at higher altitudes. The result was the Convair 240 the first in this series of aircraft. While Douglas was busy making larger, longer range DC-6s and Lockheed the Constellation L749, Convair stepped in with a smaller twin engine aircraft for shorter distance travel. The 240 had a range of 400 to 1000 miles but with the later stretched version, the 340, this increased to 1875 miles. Both used the well-known Pratt and Whitney R2800 Double Wasp radial engines of 18 cylinders.

The 340 was launched with United Airlines in early 1952. Other airlines using this type were, Braniff, Delta, Hawaiian, National, and internationally, All Nippon, Garuda Indonesian, Philippine, Saudia Arabian Airlines, Ansett, Finnair, Alitalia, Lufthansa, KLM and others. The 340 was similar in size to the Vickers Viscount 700 and 800 but was piston powered rather than jet powered turbo props. Speeds of the two aircraft were similar in the area of 280 MPH for the Convair versus 310 to 350 for the two Vickers. The 340 in piston engine configuration flew in the USA well into the late 1960s and later versions known as the 580s, which were turboprop powered, were still in service as late as the mid-1980s

Atlas Editions make a quite comprehensive range of chrome plated aircraft, and include many of the famous commercial aviation aircraft of the late 1930s s to the 90s. All are in 1:200 scale which makes this Convair 340, shown above, about 4.75 inches in length with a wingspan of 6.5. 1:200th scale is what my aircraft collection comprises so this Convair fit in well with my older Dinky Toy items such as the Vickers Viking, Lockheed Constellation, Caravelle and others. My collection now comprises well over 20 aircraft from the Boeing Stratocruiser all the way to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and on the McDonald Douglas side from the DC-2 to the DC-10. Even such items as the BAE 146 and Lockheed Electra are represented.

The Atlas Edition Convair came in chrome but I really wanted to have it fit in with the other period livery United Airlines propliners in my collection. To do this I found Vintage Flyer Decals http://www.vintageflyerdecals.com/index.html who make very accurate decals for the United scheme but they were In 144:1 scale. When I contacted the owner he agreed to supply me with a 1:200 decal which was perfect for my project. I painted the aircraft (is it a crime to paint over chrome?? [Editor: No crime at all I cannot see the appeal of chrome models, but I know it can be difficult to do!])  in the appropriate silver and white colours and applied the decal when it arrived off the printing queue at Vintage Flyer. It is necessary to prime thoroughly the slick surface of the chrome to get the paint to stick well but I still keep handling it to a minimum. Perhaps scuffing the chrome would have been advisable before painting.


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Promotional Planes – Part Four

By Fabrizio Panico

This part brings to an end this series of articles by Fabrizio. MAR Online would welcome contributions from readers on similar topics – if you are interested just use our contact us page on the bar at the top of the page.

Two more models to conclude my short flight among promotional planes : an Alitalia A330 from Socatec and a rare old Airtours International MD-83 from LPE (Long Prosper Enterprise).

Plastic snap-fit model aircraft have been a long time favourite promotional item of the airline and aircraft manufacturing industries, usually to 1:200 or 1:250 scale, made in China and quite easy to assemble quickly. They come with fully printed airline liveries and with a stand to display them. You can found them at Airport Retail Shops, On-Board In-flight Duty Free Catalogues, Airline Company Stores, Airline Marketing and Promotion Departments.

Alitalia Airbus A330-200 (1:200 scale by Socatec) – Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. was established in 1946 as Aerolinee Italiane Internazionali, as a result of an Anglo-Italian agreement and was funded by the Italian Government and BEA in a 60/40 share arrangement. It started operations in 1947, with a Fiat G.12 Alcione. In 1957, Alitalia merged with Linee Aeree Italiane and took on the name of Alitalia Linee Aeree Italiane. After losing money for years it went into liquidation in 2008. The viable parts were bought by the private company Alitalia – Compagnia Aerea Italiana, starting operations in 2009. Between 2009 and 2011, its fleet was renewed with 34 new aircraft, not owned by Alitalia itself, but leased mostly from APF, an Irish leasing company. Almost the entire fleet is now on the Irish registry (EI code) instead of the Italian registry (I code). Even the provision of capital by Etihad Airways didn’t solve all the problems and from 2015 its brand and operating assets went to a new company, Alitalia – Società Aerea Italiana S.p.A., which today is going through a bankruptcy process,. It has been officially put up for sale and will be auctioned off. A very sad story.

The Airbus A330 is a medium- to long-range wide-body twin-engine jet airliner, with a range up to 13,400 km, and can accommodate up to 335 passengers or carry 70 tonnes of cargo. The A330’s origin dates to the mid-1970s as one of several derivatives of Airbus’s first airliner, the A300. The A330 was developed in parallel with the four-engine A340, which shared many common airframe components but differed in number of engines. Both airliners incorporated fly-by-wire flight control technology, first introduced on an Airbus aircraft with the A320. The A330-300, the first variant, took its maiden flight in 1992 and entered passenger service with Air Inter in 1994. Airbus followed up with the slightly shorter A330-200 variant, which entered service in 1998 with Korean Air. The current A330 (referred to as the A330ceo, current engine option) is to be replaced by the A330neo, which includes new engines and other improvements.

The model sports the penultimate livery, the Alitalia-CAI : a white fuselage with a green stripe along it and a grey bottom, grey wings, tricolour (green-white-red) tail fin, logo on the sides of the fuselage and on the upper side of the wings. No registration number is present on this plane.

 


 

Airtours International McDonnell Douglas MD80-83 (1:200 scale by Long Prosper Enterprise) – Airtours International Airways was a UK charter airline based in Manchester. It was launched in 1991 with five MD83 series aircraft, it was to be the in-house airline of Airtours Holidays. In 2004, as part of the final phase of its financial restructuring, Airtours International Airways was rebranded as MyTravel Airways UK, which was in turn to merge with Thomas Cook Airlines. The merger between the two airlines and the rebranding was completed in 2008.

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a series of twin-engine, short- to medium-range, single-aisle commercial jet airliners. It was lengthened and updated from the DC-9, while the wing design was enlarged, and indeed it was certified as a version of the DC-9, keeping the two rear fuselage-mounted turbofan engines design and the T-tail. Originally known as DC-9 Super 80, it first flew in 1979 and was introduced into commercial service in 1980 by Swissair. The MD-80 series includes the MD-81, MD-82, MD-83, MD-87, and MD-88. These all have the same fuselage length except the shortened MD-87, and only differ from each other in having different engine variants, fuel capacities, and weights. First delivery of the MD-83 was in 1985, the last one in 1999. The series was followed into service in modified form by the MD-90 in 1995 and the Boeing 717 (originally MD-95) in 1999. Model livery is the original standard one of Airtours International Airways : white fuselage featuring a thin green line towards the lower part, painted dark blue. The blue and the green line run to the fuselage rear cone and up to the tail fin, where there is the “A” logo of Airtours in green. Grey wings, white engine nacelles. The airline’s name is written in dark blue, with a small UK flag. No registration number is present on this plane.

Socatec Aircraft Models has developed a very wide range of models and decorative items on the theme of Aeronautics and Space for enthusiasts and professionals over the last 20 years. As a supplier of promotional items Socatec offers a range of official objects with famous approved brands, like Air France (www.socatec.aero).

LPE (Long Prosper Enterprise or also PEC) started in the early 1970s offering inflight entertainment system (IFE) components to Airlines. Today the Taiwananese company supplies headphones, inflight products and aircraft models to many Airlines and IFE system providers (www.longprosper.com).


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Promotional Planes – Part Three

By Fabrizio Panico

 

Three more models from Premier Planes, British liveries for all of them.

Plastic snap-fit model airplanes have been a long time favourite promotional item of the airline and aircraft manufacturing industries, usually to 1/200 or 1/250 scale, made in China and quite easy to assemble quickly. They come with fully printed airline liveries and with a stand to display them. You can found them at Airport Retail Shops, On-Board In-flight Duty Free Catalogs, Airline Company Stores, Airline Marketing/Promotion Departments.

Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 747-400 (1/250 scale by Premier Planes)

The Virgin airline was established in 1984 as British Atlantic Airways to fly from London to the Falkland Islands, but the short runway at Port Stanley Airport precluded such an idea. Sold to Richard Branson it changed name and started operating between Gatwick and Newark using a leased 747-200. Today Virgin Atlantic uses a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, being in 2002 the first airline to operate the A340-600. It has recently completed a re-fit of all its 747 fleet.

The current livery dates from 2010, its “Eurowhite” design features purple billboard titles on the fuselage (also on its underside), and red metallic paint for the aircraft’s tail and engines. On aircraft that have winglets, the wingtips are red, with the Virgin logo on the inside facing passengers on board. Near the nose of each aircraft is a pin-up girl, the “Scarlet Lady”, carrying a Union flag, a tongue-in-cheek challenge to BA‘s traditional role as the UK’s flag carrier. The registration number on the model is G-VAST.

Following its introduction in 1969, the Boeing 747 became a major success with airlines and the flying public. As the world’s first wide-body jetliner, the 747 revolutionised air travel: nicknamed “Jumbo Jet”,. Its first first commercial flight was in 1970 and the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years. By March 2017 more than 1500 aircraft had been built, with more cargo variants still on order. The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the 747 family. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, technological and structural changes produced a more efficient airframe. Its distinguishing features versus preceding 747 models are 6-foot winglets mounted on 6-foot wing tip extensions. It has a cruise speed of up to 920 km/h and a range up to 13,450 km. It entered in service in 1989, and its production ended in 2007 when it was superseded by the improved 747-8.

British Airways Airbus A380 (1/250 scale by Premier Planes)

British Airways (BA) is the flag carrier and the largest airline in the UK, based on fleet size. BA is a founding member of Oneworld, an airline alliance, its main hub is at the London Heathrow Airport.

BA originated in 1974 from the merger of four previous airlines : BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation), BEA (British European Airways), Cambrian Airways and Northeast Airlines.

 

A long-time Boeing customer, in 1998 BA ordered a few Airbus A320 family aircrafts and in 2007 it purchased 12 Airbus A380s and 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, starting its long-haul fleet replacement with the Boeing 777 as the centrepiece.

Its livery went through many different evolutions: the original one was white fuselage with a dark blue underside, blue engine nacelles, a blue speedbird logo (like the BOAC one) near the cockpit, and the tail design representing a quarter of the Union Jack flag with red tail top. In 1984 after some minor colour changes, the speedbird was replaced by a red speedwing, and the red top tail by a blue one with the BA coats of arms. In 1997 BA adopted a new “Speedmarque” on forward fuselage, but the major change was the introduction of tail-fin art (known as “Utopia” or “world image”) representing countries on BA’s route network. Seen as a move away from the traditional British image of the carrier, they were unpopular with many people in the UK. The former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher showed her displeasure at the designs declaring “We fly the British flag, not these awful things.” Virgin Atlantic took advantage of the controversy by applying a Union flag scheme to the front end of its aircraft (to the Scarlet Lady). The model shows a later livery (2011-2014), called “To Fly To Serve Union Flag”, where a crest is added next to titles on the fuselage (white with blue underside), grey wings, blue winglets and engine nacelles. The tail shows one of the old “Utopia” tails (a bit updated), known as “Chatham Dockyard”, initially applied only to the Concorde, a stylised Union flag as flown by Lord Nelson. There is no registration number.

British Airways A380 first service was on August 2013 : it is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner. It is the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft and the upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage. Carbon-fibre is used on key parts of the A380, about 25% of its overall structure is made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic. As already seen in part two (Air France A380), its first flight was in 2007 with Singapore Airlines. Its range is 15.700 km and a cruising speed of 900 km/h. Components’ transportation, assembly methods and all airport services had to be modified due to its extra-large dimensions.

Comparing the Premier Planes A380 to the Socatec one (both 1/250) it is easy to find some small differences, but quite visible is the different shape of the wings junction to the fuselage (same could be said for the tail wings). Which is the most correct one ? or are they two different versions? Maybe a  reader knows the answer?

British Airways Boeing 787-8 (1/200 scale by Premier Planes)

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-haul, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner. It is Boeing’s most fuel-efficient airliner and is a pioneering one with the use of composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe. The 787 Dreamliner’s distinguishing features include extensive electrical flight systems, raked wingtips to improve fuel efficiency, and noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles. The airliner’s maiden flight took place at the end of 2009, with the first delivery in 2011 (launch customer All Nippon Airways). The 787 is the first major commercial airplane to have a composite fuselage, composite wings, and uses composites in most other airframe components. Carbon fibre, unlike metal, does not visibly show cracks and fatigue, prompting concerns about the safety risks of widespread use of the material. The rival Airbus A350 uses composite panels on a frame, a more conventional approach, which its contractors regarded as less risky. The aircraft has suffered from several in-service problems, but the most known concerns fires on board related to its lithium-ion batteries. A FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) directive in January 2013 grounded all 787s in the US and other civil aviation authorities followed suit. After a revised battery design the 787 returned to passenger service later in April.

British Airways has ordered a total of 42 Boeing 787 aircraft, the first of which (a 787-8) arrived in 2013, and the first 787-9 (a stretched version) in 2015. With a typical capacity of 214 passengers and a mach 0.89 speed, it enjoys more comfort thanks to increased humidity, low pressurization and larger windows. The windows are interesting as they have no conventional blinds instead an electrochromic dimming system is used so that the windows can pass gradually from completely transparent to completely obscured.

The model’s livery is similar to the one on the BA A380, but it is missing the crest next to titles on the fuselage : it is a 2000-2011 livery, called “Updated Union Flag”, with the UK titling removed from rear of fuselage and the tail flag enlarged and raised higher on the tail compared to the previous livery, the 1999-2000 “Union Flag / Chatham Royal Dockyard” that replaced the unpopular Utopia scheme. There is no registration number.


Premier Planes is a brand of Premier Portfolio International (www.premier-portfolio.net ). This company specialises in supplying products to airlines and airports carrying airlines liveries.


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Promotional Planes – Part Two

By Fabrizio Panico

 

Here are three more models from my “souvenir” collection. As usual they are to 1:200 or 1:250 scale and made in China. They are plastic snap together kits which are quite easy to assemble quickly. They come with fully printed airline liveries and with a stand to display them. You can found them at Airport Retail Shops, On-Board In-flight Duty Free Catalogues, Airline Company Stores, Airline Marketing/Promotion Departments, and sometime (not them all) at a few specialised retailers.

Aegean Airlines Airbus A320 (1:200 scale by PPC Holland BV)

Aegean Airlines is the largest Greek airline by the total number of passengers carried, by the number of destinations served, and by fleet size. A member of Star Alliance since 2010, it started operating in 1987 as VIP and business carrier. Scheduled passenger services started in 1999 with two BAe Avro RJ100 planes. Following healthy growth it acquired its main rival, Olympic Airways, at the end of 2013. Today its fleet is composed of Airbus aircraft, mainly A320-200 and A321-200, plus a Learjet for VIP transport.

As already seen in part one the Airbus A320 is a short to medium range twin-jet narrow-body airliner, pioneering the use of digital fly-by-wire flight control systems in the 1980s . Unlike the easyJet one, this is a model of an A320-200ceo (current engine option), missing the “sharklets”.

The Aegean livery is mostly “eurowhite”, featuring a thin red line towards the lower part of the fuselage. Above it, the fuselage is white and features the airline’s name, written in dark blue.

Below the red line, the fuselage is painted grey, like the wings. The Aegean Airlines logo, two seagulls flying in front of the sun, is featured on the tail of the aircraft. No registration number is printed on this plane.


 

Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 (1/250 scale by Limox Wings)

No need to trace the history of Lufthansa, the largest German airline, and the largest in Europe in terms of fleet size when combined with its subsidiaries. Formed in Berlin in 1926, after the Second World War it  had to wait 1955 before being allowed to restart scheduled flights. In 1997 it was one of the five founder members of Star Alliance. Its fleet saw aircraft by Lockheed, Douglas, Vickers, Boeing etc, today the majority is by Airbus, plus a few Boeing 747s to be joined by the new 777.

The A350-900 is the cornerstone of Airbus all-new A350 XWB (extra wide body) family : long-range, twin-engine wide-body jet airliners shaping the future of medium, long and ultra-long haul travel with state-of-the-art comfort and amenities. The A350 is the first Airbus with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer. The first A350 entered service in 2015 with Qatar Airways, and the first Lufthansa flights were in 2017.

The livery is the classic one: white fuselage, grey on the lower part, blue Lufthansa logo, white wings, blue tail with the “crane” in a yellow roundel, and grey engine casings. The registration number is D-AIXA.


 

Air France Airbus A380-800 (1/250 scale by Socatec)

Air France needs no introduction: the French flag carrier was formed in 1933 from a merger of several airlines, it was a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance and merged in 2003 with KLM. Starting with Potez 62, then DC3, DC4 and Lockheed Constellations, Air France entered the jet age in 1953 with the Comet, the world’s first jetliner, the Sud Aviation Caravelle, the Boeing 707 and later on the 747 and the Airbus A300. The first Concorde flew in 1976 from Paris to Rio, starting supersonic transport. Today Air France operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body jets on long-haul routes, and A320 on short-haul ones.

The Air France A380 was introduced at the end of 2009 on the Paris to New York route. It is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner, which first flew in 2007 with Singapore Airlines. Its range is 15.700 km and a cruising speed of 900 km/h.

Being the world’s largest passenger airliner, it is quite easy to understand the problems found on assembling the different extra-large components to be transported from the different production facilities all over Europe : traditional transportation methods often proved unfeasible. The same happened at airports, their services (lifts, tractors, jetway bridges etc) had to be modified in order to accommodate the A380.

Since the late 1970s Air France’s livery is a “eurowhite” scheme : white fuselage with the blue airline’s name, grey wings. The tail is white with a series of parallel angled red and blue lines across it. Since 2009 the livery saw the tail slightly changed : there are now 3 blue bars running down instead of 4 previously. The bars also now curve at the bottom, reflecting the design of the logo.

The model wears this latest livery with the registration number F-HPJA.

About the makers of these promotional models

PPC Holland BV, founded in 1978, is one of the largest trade-only supplier of aviation related gift items, working with all the major aircraft manufacturers and supplying to more than 200 airline and aviation related companies (www.ppcholland.nl).

Limox GmbH, founded in 2004, has taken over the distribution of Hogan Wings brand models for Europe, Russia and the Middle East : they are sold under the “Limox Wings” brand, like every Lufthansa licensed model (www.limox.de and www.hoganmodels.com). Some of them can be found on Amazon online shops.

Socatec Aircraft Models has developed a very wide range of models and decorative items on the theme of Aeronautics and Space for enthusiasts and professionals over the last 20 years. As a supplier of promotional items Socatec offers a range of official objects for famous brands, like Air France (www.socatec.aero).

More planes can be seen in Part 1.


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Promotional Planes – Part One

By Fabrizio Panico

How many times while waiting to board your flight did you visit the shops at the airport, or once embarked did you look through the airline magazine? Of so you probably saw this sort of model of airliners. Not exactly a toy (usually marked 14years+) being made to scale and sponsored by the airlines themselves.

A nice “souvenir” of your travels, a gift to a younger relative, or a collectors piece? Here are a few examples I have collected. They are usually to 1:200 or 1:250 scale and made in China. They are plastic snap together kits which are quite easy to assemble quickly. They come with fully printed airline liveries and with a stand to display them.

easyJet Boeing 737-200 (1/200 scale by Premier Planes)

An historic plane for easyJet,since the airline started operating from Luton airport in 1995 with two “wet leased” Boeing 737-200s.

This kind of livery is called “telephone number livery” (initially booking was by telephone only), and it carries registration number G-BECH.

The 737 is a short to medium range twin-jet narrow body airliner, derived from 707 and 727, later developed into a family of ten models with capacities up to 215 passengers. Launched in 1965, it had its first flight in 1967 and entered service with Lufthansa in 1968. The 737-200 is an extended fuselage version and entered service in 1968 with United Airlines.


 

easyJet Airbus A320 (1/200 scale by Premier Planes)

Like other low-cost airlines easyJet’s strategy is to operate just one aircraft type: initially Boeing 737, then Airbus A319 (still operating) and now Airbus A320. It sports the white and orange 2015 livery, and carries registration number G-EZOM. By the presence of the winglets, named “sharklets” by Airbus, it can be identified as an A320neo (new engine option) which entered in service in 2016 with more efficient engines, airframe improvements and the winglets.

Like the Boeing 737 the Airbus A320 is a short to medium range twin-jet narrow body airliner, its family includes the A318, A319 and A321, with capacities up to 220 passengers, and a range up to 12.000 km. The A320 family pioneered the use of digital fly-by-wire flight control systems. The A320 was launched in 1984, first flew in 1987 and was first delivered in 1988.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Airbus A340-300 (1/250 scale by Premier Planes)

SAS is a member of the STAR Alliance. SAS uses the A340-300 on all its Asian routes. It is configured in three different classes and has a total 245 seats. It has a length of 63.7 metres and a wing span of 60.3 metres, a cruising speed of 875 kph and a range of 12.800 km. The current livery was introduced in 1998 : a fuselage in light beige with “Scandinavian” in silver and “Airlines” in white. The tail and winglets in blue, and the engine casings in scarlet. There is a stylised version of the Scandinavian flags. No registration number is printed on this plane.

The Airbus A340 is a long range, four engine, wide body jet airliner, its family includes four fuselage lengths. The most common type is the first one launched the A340-300, sharing the fuselage and wings of the twin engine A330. A shorter variant exists in the A340-200, while the heavier A340-500 and A340-600 are longer and have larger wings. They seat up to 440 passengers, with a range up to 16.700 km.

The first Lufthansa and Air France aircraft entered service in 1993 and production ended in 2011.


Premier Planes is a brand of Premier Portfolio International (www.premier-portfolio.net). This company specialises in supplying products to airlines and airports carrying airlines liveries.

Readers are invited to send us articles and we would welcome articles about static aircraft models. MAR magazine used to incorporate Mini Avia and we would be very happy to continue that tradition if readers with some knowledge would like to contribute information and articles.  

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.