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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