by: Matthew Quiroz [ ]
The Global Flyer which took off and landed in Salina Kansas, is a single seat, turbofan powered airplane designed to fly around the world nonstop. It achieved this goal for the first time on March 03, 2005 after 67 hours and one minute of flying time with pilot Steve Fossett behind the controls. In doing so, Fossett set the record for fastest time around the world unrefueled.
A-Model continues its tradition of kitting non standard aircraft subjects with the release of the Virgin Atlantic sponsored Global Flyer. Most of the companyís limited run kits exhibit fair amounts of flash, and require a modest amount of skill to complete, but will usually build into a nice looking kit. That being said, I was happily surprised when I opened the box to examine the parts for this particular limited run kit. Not only were there no signs of flash, the parts look down right good; all 46 of them. There are no panel lines to speak of as the only recessed areas youíll find are the control surfaces and some light engine access panel lines on the Williams Turbojet FJ44-3 ATW engine. The upper and lower wings are molded as a single piece and feature thin trailing edges.
The cockpit is sparse, but once the fuselage halves are closed up, there wonít be much to see through the limited windscreen or side windows. There are no locating tabs or pins so it would behoove the modeler to add some strips/tabs to fuselage sides to aide in alignment. Of concern is the wing attachment. The wing comes in three pieces. The two outer wings connect to booms via a two pin/butt jointÖthatís it. The same holds true for the mid section of the wing and how it connects to the boom on either side. It would seem likely that some form of reinforcing will be needed here as the wings are rather long and will provide a lot of stress on that joint area. I think drilling through the booms and inserting a length of brass rod to accept another brass rod/pin from the wings would solve the problem. Others may know more. Iím just basing this on what I can see from the pieces in front of me. Also of concern will be aligninment of the twin booms.
Instructions and decals
Construction is carried out over 11 steps and appears easy enough to follow. There are two colorful decaling options provided, a short history about the aircraft and some technical data. Paint call outs appear to be strictly Humbrol colors, but Iím sure the modeler can find the appropriate colors in their preferred line of paints. All in all this appears to be a very nicely done kit that will be sure to attract some attention whether on the shelf or on the contest tables.