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Air Greenland - Boeing 757-200

After a long hiatus, I have found some time and some interesting models to write about after digging about the collection.


In this entry, we look at a 757 that left Europe in its teenage years to go backpacking around Australia. Air Greenland Boeing 757-200 OY-GRL is the aircraft in question so without further ado, let's see where she ended up.


The Real Deal


Boeing 757-200 (Serial Number: 25620 LN:449) OY-GRL was originally ordered by British Airways but the order was never taken up. OY-GRL rolled off the Boeing production line in Seattle on March. 25, 1992, and took to the Washington skies for the first time on April 15, 1992.

Inter European Airways Boeing 757-200 G-IEAC (Photo: Jetphotos.net/Paul Link)

Sunrock Aircraft Corporation took delivery over the aircraft and leased it to Inter European Airways as G-IEAC where it served with the Cardiff-based charter airline until October 1993. In June of 1993, Inter European Airways parent company Aspro Travel was purchased by Airtours Group and in October 1993, Inter European Airways ceased operations and was absorbed into the Airtours Group.

Airtours Boeing 757-200 G-CSVS (Photo: Planespotters.net/Marco Dotti))

This meant a change of registration (G-CSVS) and a change of paint scheme for this Boeing 757 before it could commence operations for it's new operator. Airtours was formed in 1972 before becoming MyTravel in 2002 and eventually, it became part of the now-defunct Thomas Cook Group in 2007. The aircraft served with Airtours from 1993 until 1998 when it became the first jet aircraft to be operated by the national carrier of Greenland, at the time called Greenlandair.


Another new registration for G-CSVS and of course, another paint job. TF-GRL was the registration to be assigned to our bird and was painted into Greenlandair's distinctive red and white scheme.


OY-GRL in services with Greenlandair (Photo: Jetphotos.net/Milan Cibulka)

Greenlandair named the aircraft Kunuunnguag or Little Knud in English to honour the Greenlandic explorer and ethnologist Knud Rasmussen. The addition of the Boeing 757 to the fleet allowed the carrier to operate from Kangerlussuaq in Greenland to Copenhagen in Denmark, a very profitable route, without the need for a refueling stop in Iceland. Kangerlussuaq is one of only two airports in Greenland capable of handling a large jet aircraft and is the home base for the flag carrier, Greenlandair. In mid-1999, the registration prefix changed from TF- to the OY- prefix of Denmark.


OY-GRL wearing the striking Air Greenland livery (Photo: Jetphotos.net/Bluerick)

On July 1, 2002, the airline underwent a rebranding and emerged on the other side as Air Greenland. Fortunately for the carrier, the new livery was a lot more striking than the new name. The aircraft bore the striking all-over red livery until 2011 when it's life as a passenger jet came to end.


N701AX departs one last time as a passenger jet prior to conversion (Photo: Jetphotos.net/Soren Madisen)

OY-GRL ceased to exist in August 2011 when it became N701AX and was ferried from Greenland to Jacksonville, USA for conversion to a freighter. The aircraft was meant to end up shipping freight for CargoBis in Brazil as PP-BIZ but the lease deal fell through and instead ended up in the bright yellow DHL paint and back to an old registration of G-CSVS.


VH-TCA sporting RWC 2015 decals at Auckland (Photo: Jetphotos.net/William Bradley)

G-CSVS was registered to European Air Transport Leipzig operating on behalf of DHL but Europe wasn't the destination for this aircraft. It arrived into the UK in July 2011 but less than a month later, the aircraft was headed for New Zealand and to operate for Tasman Cargo Airlines. In July of 2013, G-CSVS entered the Australian aircraft registry as VH-TCA.


VH-TCA as the The Flying Orangutan (Photo: Jetphotos.net/JeremySDD)

During her time flying across the Tasman, VH-TCA wore decals for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where DHL was the Official Logistics Partner and then in 2017, it became "The Flying Orangutan with a massive picture of Jeremy Clarkson on the tail of the aircraft to promote the Amazon Prime TV series "The Grand Tour"


VH-TCA's time in Australian and New Zealand skies in October 2018 when the aircraft was withdrawn from service for Tasman Cargo Airlines and was re-registered G-DHKZ to DHL Air in Belgium and continues to operate to this day for DHL.


G-DHKZ in March 2020 still operating for DHL (Photo: Jetphotos.net/Luke Snell)

The Collectors Item


The 1/400 model world had been crying out for years for a semi-decent 757 mould as the offerings until 2018 were average at best. With no real competition, Gemini Jets made no effort to update their mould. Then in early 2018, NG Models entered the scene with a brand new tooling for a Boeing 757.


With input from the collectorate, NG released a series of Boeing 757s that have made the competitors stand up and take notice.


VH-TCA was released first in Feb 2019 with the Rugby World Cup stickers on it and it is a stunning model. The livery, even though it's basically yellow and red, is very accurately reproduced and the RWC 2015 stickers look fantastic and very high quality.


The model even has the plugged up windows printed in high quality along with the added cargo door and regular aircraft doors.


The following month NG Models released OY-GRL in the amazing Air Greenland livery to compliment the already released Airbus A330 (both Aeroclassics and Phoenix). The printing of both the livery and aircraft details such as doors and windows is extraordinary.


NG Models entering the 1/400 world was a breath of fresh air. They have made the other manufacturers sit up and take notice that you have to keep improving or you will fall behind.


Acknowledgments


As usual, big thanks to Aussieairliners.org, Jetphotos.net, Airfleets and Planespotters.net and rzjets.net for all the info I could gather on where this aircraft ended up.

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Meet Lachie
Self confessed avgeek and model aircraft enthusiast.