N2331U is a Boeing 777-322ER delivered new to United Airlines on December, 21st 2016. This was the first of 14 777-300ERs that United has on order, which are destined to replace the aging 747-400 fleet. United has equipped their 777-300 fleet with its new Polaris Business class, in a 60 Business, 306 Economy class seating arrangement, of which 102 are Economy Plus seats. During the unveiling ceremony, United christened N2331U “The New Spirit of United.”
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-322ER
Serial number: 62642 LN: 1453
Engines: 2 x GE90-111B
Gemini Jets designed their 1:200 version of this United 777-300ER prior to Boeing’s first delivery to United and it is evident in some respects on this model. When I received the box with the model, I was slightly confused as to which model I had received. I noticed on the box the registration on the model was N58031. Upon a little more research, I discovered that N58031 was actually the original registration designated to their first 777-300. The N58031 registration would have put it in line with Continental’s old registration system. However, United later changed the registration to N2331U and upon opening the box, I discovered that the model itself indeed had the registration of N2331U.
Towards the end of the build process and before the delivery of N2331U, United Airlines made a number of changes to the fleet, including the way the airplanes were identified. The original ship number on N2331U was supposed to be 0031, as identified on this model. However, just prior to delivery, United changed the ship numbers for the 777-300 fleet to 21XX. Which means the current ship number of 2331U is 2131. This model, however still displays the old ship number of 0031 (031).
The model itself 14.5 x 12 inches and as usual, has a good, solid feel to it. The model is made entirely out of diecast metal, with the exception of the gear, gear doors and engine nacelles, which are plastic. The presentation of the model inside the box is something Gemini Jets continues to do really well. The box is very presentable; the flip top lid to view the model is aesthetically pleasing and allows a great platform to display the model while leaving it in the box. It also contains the model, landing gear and gear door pieces, and a display stand. As with all newer Gemini Jets 1:200 models, it can be displayed in both a gear extended or retracted position. The wheels are of a good size and quality rubber, and rolls nicely on the tires.
The overall mold of this 777-300ER is a great addition to the Gemini Jets fleet. The design and detail from nose to tail are nicely portrayed on this model. The fuselage and wings meet nicely, and they have done a great job of eliminating the manufacturing defects around that area of the model, as in previous models and the smaller 1/400 models. The small details from the antennas to the WIFI hump on the top of the model are done extremely well. The model also sits nicely on its display stand and displays nicely.
I would consider this model to be an early build, which means most of the design and details of this model was completed prior to delivery to United. With that being said, I will give Gemini Jets a little bit of slack when it comes to the specific, customer orientated details like the registration differences on the box and the difference in ship numbers. When N2331U was delivered to United, it was christened “The New Spirit of United,” which is clearly not present on this model. This leads me to believe this model was already in mass productions prior to the delivery date. One detail that most collectors noticed early on, and it still baffles me, is the lack of overwing emergency exit details. Both the black overwing stripes and white with black arrow egress markings are clearly missing. Other Gemini Jets 777-300ER models have these markings, and I would to guess Gemini Jets knew that United would have them on theirs as well. Rumors where that United itself did not want those details displayed on the model, but to me, that takes away from the accuracy of it. It’s tough for me to criticize Gemini Jets if United Airlines did indeed ask them to remove those markings on their model, as Gemini has to obtain licenses from both Boeing and United to produce these models. If it is a mistake on Gemini’s part, then it’s a big one.
That being said, besides these issues, the model I received was in great condition, with no manufacturing issues or defects right out of the box.
Grading this model will be tough, as the model is of great quality and design. However, in a lot of respects, it’s pretty far from the original airplane that is currently flying the skies today.
- The overall mold of this model is solid and the small details on these models continue to impress me. For this, the model will receive a 7 out of 10.
- The paint and livery on this model is good, to a point. That being said, it is still in some ways, far off from the original plane. For that, it will get a 6 out of 10.
- Quality Control is another tough aspect for me to grade on this model, however, I will give Gemini Jets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to overwing exit issue and give it a 7 out of 10.
The overall score of this model is a 20 out of 30. Some people will think this score is a little too lenient on Gemini Jets. However, without knowing the full story or background on this model or the details that were discussed between United and Gemini Jets, it’s hard to know whether these details were missed intentionally, or due to extreme lack of oversight.
Overall, this is a nice 777-300ER model in the United livery. If someone is looking for a United Airlines 777-300ER, I would recommend this model to the average collector who isn’t going for details and instead wants to display a nice-looking model. If you are looking for a model of N2331U, or something that closely resembles the way the airplane looks in the real world, then I believe there are better representations then this Gemini Jets one. That being said, I still understand the business and realize often that models are not always as accurate as their real-life counterparts. However, in an ever-expanding model industry, it’s the small details that end up making the biggest impressions on the collectors and enthusiasts.