747SP - Model Review and Memories October 21 2014

One of the fondest memories I have as a child was the summer of 1982 during a trip to Hong Kong. We were in New York and supposed to board a flight to San Francisco to connect to another flight to HK. As it worked out, the NY-SF flight was overbooked by PanAm (yeah, even in those days they overbooked) but instead of losing time, we actually came ahead. PamAm had at that time the longest regular service airline route from NY to Tokyo/Narita. At that time only the 747SP (max range of 12,320 km; 7,650 mi) could do that route and it was only until the 747-300 and later 747-400 would be able to do that trip on a regular basis (without having to do a stop for refueling).

The model from Flight Miniatures of the 747SP is very accurate. You can appreciate the shorten body and the longer/taller tail fin. The paint finish and markings are also quite good. It is not easy to achieve a silver finishing that does not look too “plasticky”. It measures about 11.5 inches long and has a wingspan of about 12 inches. These models don’t need glue or paint. The assembly is really quite basic. One fuselage is one piece and you only need to attach the wings and the tail. These models don’t have a landing gear, so you will have to attach them to the included stand, which is not too bad since the stand comes labeled with the aircraft’s model and airline. The assembly was nothing special, only that these fits are very very veeeery tight. Although they are commonly called “Snap fit” there is really nothing snapping (into place). A more accurate way to describe this would be “friction fit” since one is inserting one thing into another and a lot of special care and effort is needed not to break anything. One has to be careful for example when attaching the wings that in no way are you pushing on the engines (which could break) or bending anything out of shape.

I really like this particular 747SP, true, probably most of that feeling might be linked to my childhood memories but still, the SP was indeed a great airplane that broke many speed and altitude records.

These models from Flight Miniatures are the type of models that one used to see at travel agencies or airline offices. Later one could see them too for sale at airport gifts shops. At 1/200 scale these models are quite big. Saying that a model is about 12 inches long does not sound impressive, but it is different once you have it on your hands. It is the VOLUME that is impressive. Holding these size models on my hands makes me remember the way I held my toys when I was a little kid (and how I missed that sensation).

Nice metallic finish in the American livery


I always think of my dad and I when I see the PanAm 747SP