El Al Boeing 757-200 "90's colors," by Aeroclassics
Aeroclassics Part Number: AC4XEBR
Released: January 2019
This is not my first El Al model. But it is my first from Aeroclassics. While there typically isn't a lot of diversity in the packaging used by Aeroclassics, there is a good amount of it here. The most notable detail is that the Star of David which is found on the Flag of Israel and is flown on the tail of all El Al aircraft is the shape of the window frame on the top of the packaging. I applaud this attention.
On the back of the box is a basic artistic, almost children's encyclopedic like map of Israel being passed over by what looks to be a Lockheed Constellation wearing a 50's El Al paint scheme. If you didn't know you purchased a classic model aircraft this should clarify things for you.
Finally, you get the typical color sticker that includes the basic computer rendering of the aircraft (nose to tail) and the registration that's applied to the side of the box. The aircraft itself comes in a standard plastic cradle with the added bonus of ground service rolling stairs rolled in plastic and attached to the underside of the shell.
This aircraft was the 3rd 757 for El Al, arriving for duty shortly after completion in July 1988. It was the 185th for Boeing. She would then serve with the airline until April 2001.
MSN 24254 wore several variations of this paint scheme during her tenure serving El Al primarily on routes to central Europe. Often as a result of Israel's turbulent relationship with some governments and political groups and a string of hijacking attempts, this aircraft was frequently assisted while taxing to and from the runway with APV's (Armored Protection Vehicles). On a related note, I only realized as a result of research that El Al is the only (known) airline that equips planes with ground-air missile defense systems.
The aircraft completed service with El Al in 2001 and was briefly controlled by Boeing before being issued to HMY Airways (later Harmony Airways) under the registration C-GMYD. The aircraft was used to serve on leisure routes from Canada to places like Hawaii, California, and Las Vegas. In 2007 Harmony Airways issued layoff notices to employees and the airline shuttered.
Upon the closing of the airline, 2 of HMY's 757s were sold to Rolls Royce for parts and the other two sold to an American salvage company, likely to be scrapped. At this time, I have not been able to recover evidence of this airframe's final destiny. I'd like to think its most proud moments were involved during Operation Solomon when thousands of Jewish refugees were flown to safety. You may recall this operation involved setting the world record for the most passengers on an airplane, 1,088 or 1,122 inc. some children.