In part 1 I introduced the Gulfstream G550 as the first of the new NG Models 200 scale business jet moulds and it is partnered with its French equivalent the Dassault Falcon 7X, one of only two trijets still in production anywhere (the other is the Falcon 900). Aside from a selection of military fighters there appears never to have been a release of a die-cast Dassault business jet in any scale so this is truly a first.
NOTE: Most of the model photos in this review can be expanded and viewed in larger size at FlickR by clicking on them.
The Falcon line of bizjets goes all the way back to 1963 however the first generation series, the Falcon 20, was a tiwnjet. The trijet layout first appeared in 1976 with the first flight of the Falcon 50, which was in fact a completely new design to the earlier 20. The Falcon 50 series continued in production until late 2007 with the Falcon 50EX before replacement with the Falcon 7X and larger Falcon 900.
The Falcon 7X continues the unusual look of the Falcon trijet series with a strongly pointed nosecone, highly swept wings and the unusual trijet arrangement and vertical stabiliser. It can accommodate up to 20 passengers and is the first Falcon with winglets. The manufacturer has a nice page with a lot of good info on it about the 7X.
Sales have been decent with over 260 aircraft produced. As with the G550 it is used by several military customers (although a lot less than the Gulfstream). They all appear to be used as government or head of state transports. Military customers include the air forces of Australia, Ecuador, France, Hungary, Monaco, Namibia, Nigeria and Egypt.
Design wise there is certainly a lot going on with the Falcon 7X and a lot to include in any casting. NG Models have done a good job on this sample although there are a couple of areas requiring small attention.
The overall shape of the fuselage is excellent. The nose profile, wing fairing and tailcone are all spot on. The mould is missing the scoops near the wing roots within which are I think the landing lights. These could be added.
The complicated wing and vertical stabiliser are also excellent. This is especially impressive with the tail shape, which is really unusual with the odd tailtop fairing and the strange extended tail base under the rudder. Proportions and casting of all elements here are excellent with the exception of the horizontal stabilisers which although well shaped do not have the downward attitude they ought to have.
The undercarriage is well detailed and correctly shaped and positioned. The only criticism here is that the nosegear door doesn't quite touch the fuselage behind the gear leg as it ought to.
The sample also has the forward belly aerial and unusual hook style aerial on the no 2 engine but is missing the rear belly aerial.
As with the Gulfstream when you get close in you can see the outline of the doors and windows:
So overall this looks like another nice mould for 1:200 albeit there are four minor modifications that can be made if NG feel like it. So that's it for my foray into 1:200 scale for now. I hope that 1:200 collectors are looking forward to these additions. Personally I'd have preferred they were 1:400 scale Tu-134s, MD-80s or DC-9-10s but I'll let the big scale get this win :).
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of 1/400 scale model aircraft and airports. This blog reports work on my model airport dioramas and discussion of the model manufacturers output.