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Revell 1/200 Boeing 737-200 BA World Tails 'Ireland'


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A simple build of the Revell 737-200 in 1/200 scale. The kit is straightforward and went together well but the real star of the show is the quality of the decals. Representing 'Colum', the design British Airways commissioned to represent Ireland in their World Tails livery, the decals stayed in one piece as they got manoeuvred around, and actually fit almost perfectly which was a pleasant surprise. Just a little bit of touching up with paint and some microsol was needed to finish the look off. Thanks for looking.

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I really like that.

 

I know the 'World Tails' got bad press from many at the time, but I really liked them. It gave a nice splash of colour to an otherwise quite bland airport apron and you would certainly never mistake a BA plane. I suppose the problem was it followed the timeless Landor scheme...

 

Tom

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Lovely build.

 

But I hated the whole concept of the World Tail. Apart from the aesthetic mess - it also caused all sorts of maintenance headaches as well as confusion for taxying aircraft and ground controllers. It was s dumb idea which was conceived for the wrong reasons and cancelled for the right ones.

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Thanks for the nice comments guys. It's interesting to see the World Tail is still dividing opinions so strongly after all these years! If the aim was to get everyone talking about your brand then it certainly worked... From an aesthetic point of view I like them but I have no experience on the practical side of flight handling so thanks for the insight @Eric Mc

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Given the very low proportion of aircraft maintenance devoted to the vertical tail surfaces, just what were these "all sorts of maintenance headaches?"  Low credibility there:: something invented as post-justification rather than anything real.  Confusion among traffic controllers and taxying difficulties would be seem to be more a source of jokes than genuine problems.  As for aesthetic messes, that is a matter of taste.  Personally I disliked the segment of the Union Jack alone on the fin - something from a first year student at an arts college due to fail his finals.  The kind of thing that would have been considered an insult to the flag in earlier days.

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On 11/09/2023 at 16:09, Eric Mc said:

Lovely build.

 

But I hated the whole concept of the World Tail. Apart from the aesthetic mess - it also caused all sorts of maintenance headaches as well as confusion for taxying aircraft and ground controllers. It was s dumb idea which was conceived for the wrong reasons and cancelled for the right ones.

I'm with you there, and we weren't alone -with Margaret Thatcher famously diving into her handbag to retrieve a hankerchief only to drape it over the tail of a model 747 sporting one of the World Tails.

 

Lovely job on the 737 though...

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On 13/09/2023 at 22:46, Graham Boak said:

Given the very low proportion of aircraft maintenance devoted to the vertical tail surfaces, just what were these "all sorts of maintenance headaches?"  Low credibility there:: something invented as post-justification rather than anything real.  Confusion among traffic controllers and taxying difficulties would be seem to be more a source of jokes than genuine problems.  As for aesthetic messes, that is a matter of taste.  Personally I disliked the segment of the Union Jack alone on the fin - something from a first year student at an arts college due to fail his finals.  The kind of thing that would have been considered an insult to the flag in earlier days.

You might be surprised how often rudders, trim tabs etc need to be swapped about.

 

I know a few people who worked in BA maintenance in that period and they were universally loathed by the maintenance staff.

 

And I also know some (now retired) ATC people who said that they were a nightmare at busy airports, especially Heathrow and Kennedy. Telling a taxying aircraft "You are number three behind the departing BA 767" becomes very difficult for the aircraft getting the instruction when they cannot recognise the BA 767 that's being pointed out to them due to it carrying a tail scheme that does not readily identify it as an actual BA aircraft. This was no laughing matter and caused serious confusion.

 

The REAL reason the schemes were dropped were safety and cost.

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A few years back I was actually modelling availability based on the maintenance requirements of the 767, and although I can no longer remember any of the detail numbers, I can assure you that I do not recall any part of the tail unit as being a regular contributor to problems and I would indeed be surprised were this the case.  Contemplate just how many other, much more heavily stressed, components that there are on such large aircraft.   Aircraft structural units do not fail regularly.  Many years of air safety investigations have seen to that.  I can readily believe that, being so far off the ground, such problems as do occur would be much more memorable and perhaps bias the opinions of the maintainers.  However, if they did indeed fail that often, they would continue to fail whatever the colour scheme, and the spare will continue to arrive from Boeing needing respraying to match whichever colour scheme.  Nor would it be seen as a major problem were a plain trim tab be carried through until the aircraft was down for a major when it could be resprayed.

 

Sorry, but I remain unconvinced.

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