The stature and orderbook of the Airbus A321 has grown massively in recent years so it is little surprise that its presence in 400 scale has also been increasing too. Phoenix have had their own A321 mould since 2013 (prior to that they used the old Gemini mould) but it has always had one major failing - the wings.
I have discussed this point many times before in videos and reviews but the A321 has a different wing to the A320 in that it has double-slotted flaps. What does this mean in reality - well as you can see in the images above the A321 wing has a lot more flap track fairings for the extra row of flaps, producing more points beyond the wing trailing edge.
Phoenix never took this into account and their A321 mould has always used the A320 wing regardless of whether it had wingtip fences or Sharklets:
The Phoenix A321 is no worldbeater anyway but this was its biggest issue and one Phoenix didn't seem at all interested in fixing, even though all their competitors used the correct wing for their A321s (aside from Aeroclassics with their Sharklet version).
Finally it seems however, that Phoenix have gotten the message and after 10 years of using the wrong wing for their A321s (and 92 releases) they have finally produced a correct wing on their latest release in the colours of HK Express:
Initial photos have appeared on taobao and they appear to show the wing of this A321-251NX with the correct wing:
Looking back over recent Phoenix releases and it actually appears several models have had the new wing. The earliest I can find proof for is the Air New Zealand all black version ZK-OYB from late 2022. The previous Condor editions look like they still had the wrong wing on them.
By my count that makes it 4 releases with the correct wing (Air New Zealand, China Airlines 'Pikachu, Korean Air and the Hong Kong Express). All of these models have Sharklets so it remains to be seen whether a correct version of the wingtip fence wing has also been produced.
Regardless, it is great to see Phoenix modify this aspect of the mould although somewhat ironically the very latest version of the A321neo (the XLR) reverts back to the A320 style single slotted flaps! Anyway, well done Phoenix.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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