LOT – Polskie Linje Lotnicze
ERJ 170 – Boeing 787-8 – Boeing 757-500
The gallery of Airliners is a big one with lots of big aircraft. Many airlines from around the world are represented there. I am partial to the LOT livery with the big bold letters painted on the forward fuselage and the big blue tail with the airline’s symbol on it so I’ve picked out the three LOT aircraft in the gallery for us to look at this week.
LOT’s history goes back to 1928 when the Polish government merged two existing airlines. It established a network across Europe using mainly American Lockheed 10s and 14s and Douglas DC-2s. After the war and with Poland under the domination of the Soviet Union the airline was reconstituted and used mainly Soviet built airliners, with the exception of a handful of Convair 240s and Vickers Viscounts for a short period. After the fall of communism in Poland LOT was able to use Western aircraft, starting with Boeing 767s and Boeing 737-500s. The airline began using Embraer E 170s around May 2010 and took delivery of its first Boeing 787 in 2014 for routes extending to North America and Asia.
Embraer ERJ 170 in 1/144 by Hasegawa
This airliner is one a class of twin jet regional airliners that, these days, includes the Embraer family of ERJs and the Airbus 220 (formerly manufactured by Bombardier). The ERJ comes in two basic forms, the 72 to 88 seat ERJ 170/175 and the 100 to 124 seat ERJ 190/195. They have proved successful because they can efficiently serve lower-demand routes while offering many of the same amenities found on larger airliner. Over 1,600 had been build to the end of June 2022.
The Hasegawa 1/144 kit of the ERJ 170 is the only kit of this aircraft available. It was first published by Hasegawa in 2010 and has, more recently been republished Karaya with new decals, including ones for LOT. Hasegawa has made a lot of airliners in 1/200 over the years so they know what they are doing, even with this rare venture into 1/144 scale. This was a simple and pleasant kit to assemble and all-white schemes are not too difficult once you’ve mastered the technique. The real key to this, and most other airliner models, is the decals. There is a wide range of companies making decals for airliners and two good sites to start your search for LOT decals are Joy Decals and Airline Hobby Supplies. (There are currently over thirty decals for LOT airliners in 1/144 scale listed on the Airline Hobby Supplies site.)
Boeing 787-8 in 1/144 by Revell
This aircraft is a new generation airliner with powerfuel fuel efficient engines. It was designed to replace Boeing’s 767 series and carries a similar passenger load over greater distances with the fuel burn reduced by about twenty per cent. Planning began in 2003 but there were many delays so the first 787 made its first flight in 2009 and, after more delays, they began entering service in October 2011. This shorter 787-8 version has a passenger capacity of up to 259 and a range of up to 13,620 kilometers. Over 1,000 787s had been manufactured by September 2020.
You can buy this kit in three different boxes, from Zvezda, Revell and Doyusha, but they are all the same kit. It is a really decent kit with few problems, though you can make some for yourself by adding replacement engines and a fuselage plug to upgrade the model into a longer 787-9. Again, the real choice is the livery in which you want to present this model and there is a plethora of choice, some more appealing than others. Reviews on the Fine Scale Modeller and IPMS/USA websites agree with me that building the kit is relatively easy, it’s achieving a good paint job and livery that are the challenges.
Boeing 737-500 in 1/144 by Minicraft and Revell
This aircraft is one of three second generation Boeing 737s, one of the most successful airliners in world history with over 11,150 in all versions built by September 2022. It was amsller than the other second generation 737s and could accommodate up to 140 passengers. LOT was the first airline to order the 737-500 which first flew in June 1989, and entered service with that airline a little later. They have now all been replaced by 737-800s and 737 MAX 8s.
For a long time there were no kits of the -500 version of the Boeing 737 but Eastern Express published a kit of one in 2010 which was subsequently republished by Bigmodel. I have not seen a review of one so I can’t comment on the kit. However, but I have found some Eastern Express kits to be very good and others to be very bad, so it’s a lucky dip. I made this model by combining the wings of a Minicraft Boeing 737-400 kit with the fuselage of a Revell 737-800 kit cut down to 737-500 lenght. You can read about it in my Workbench Notes on making all the variants of the Boeing 737.