My 2015 end of year review of Aeroclassics can be found here and provides the background to the new year.
Within 2016 as is often the case Aeroclassics has produced the most models. This is partly explained by restricted market fleet builder re-registration releases but also genuinely reflects that Aeroclassics just makes more models than anyone else. They alone amongst the majors for example have produced models in all four months of the year.
Panda don't seem to have the A321 and I note Aeroclassics has made 11 of these compared to only single mainstream A319s and A320s. The other A319 was available only at the Shanghai airliners show and I haven't even seen proper announcements for the other two A320s. They are supposed to be Sichuan but maybe they have been delayed (and Panda just announced multiple Sichuan A320 releases)?? The A321s for North America (Delta, Jet Blue, Spirit and Air Canada Rouge) are very nice and again no doubt welcomed by people who'd usually stick with Gemini.
Despite producing the largest number of models Aeroclassics has used the smallest number of moulds. They seem to go through cycles of intensive use of particular moulds, which no doubt makes sense from a production point of view and not being beholden to customer orders like Gemini there's no reason not to do it. This year it has been the turn of the 737-200, DC-6/7 and DC-8s. This is pleasing as they are all excellent moulds and the Douglas aircraft in particular have been used to create some long sought after models.
There have been some real gems so far this year. I'm in particular thinking the TEAL, Panagra and US trunk DC-6s and DC-7s. The continuing rerelease of replacement DC-6s for the earlier generation mould is very heartening and I can only think that it is now not long until we see replacement Continental and Northwest DC-6s also. I'd like to see an Alaska DC-6 too but feel Gemini may have thrown a spanner in the works there with their naff release from a few years ago.
The DC-8s have also been great. With the DC-8-10/20/30/40 moulds engine size and pylon issues firmly behind it it is excellent to see such strong releases of airlines like Panagra, Panair do Brasil, Aeromexico and SAS. Even better for Aeroclassics with only minor changes and a wing switch many of the same examples can be made as DC-8-50 or 62s too. Producing the World example meant they could also easily switch to a leased Air Algerie, which though not pleasing Adrian, I'm sure made someone happy! One mis-step is probably the Thai DC-8 though, which as far as I'm aware nobody can find wearing that scheme.
The 737s have also been a nice bunch, though their numbers have been bolstered by some simple re-regs (Continental and Uniteds for example). The decrease of series 300s does concern me slightly as there are a lot to be done still including such US aircraft as AirCal and New York Air. I hope there is a comeback for series 300s.
Below is the list of Aeroclassics releases so far in 2016 minus the 3 B reg Airbuses
So far this year I've acquired 17 of the Aeroclassics releases and I can see myself picking up more of these early 2016 releases as the year progresses. I'm pretty happy with the releases even if none of my 4 wishes from the 2015 review have come true as of yet. I'd like to think Aeroclassics are storing up a new mould release for this year but as I said in the Phoenix review all the manufacturers seem to be wary of new mould releases at the moment. I am probably alone in also hoping for more Chinese releases, though to be fair Panda are producing adequate examples on their versions of the moulds. More US deregulation classics would be good to keep BWI-ROCman happy and if I'm looking at moulds then I'd say the DC-9, L-1649, Herald and HS-748 were all due runouts. Let's see what the Mata Hari brings for the rest of the year!
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: