Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby grwebster » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:32 pm

Some of our members on this forum are avid kit 'bashers', collectors, and hoarders. I found out from an early age that I had neither the patience nor the skill to build a kit well, I was always racing to finish it so I could fly it around. I only built airplane kits, of course.

My father was a US Navy pilot in WW2 and beyond so I grew up around airplanes.

I had a rather large collection but recently decided to face the fact that I would not live forever and I could not leave the collection to my disinterested wife to dispose of so I reduced it to a manageable size over the last 3 years. It was sad to see much of it go but there you are. What I kept will stay together for a long time as it doesn't take up much space, and as the french say 'it doesn't eat any hay'.

For many years I was living in Paris so my saturdays were flea market hunts. Today I am mainly in the south of France, and do not go to any more markets.
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby Flyingtiger10 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:01 am

The problem with Mr. Roulet is that he refurbished and repainted some of the models of
his collection to make them "rare" or unusual, perhaps to promote his French Dinky Toys
book. I am a collector and researcher of die cast toys, including aircraft.
Although not the topic of this forum, I wanted to add to the discussion.
The FDT book is well written, aside from the obvious errors that any researcher will run
into and as you well say, the later appearance of new information about the subject as
well as previously unknown factory produced toys.
Thus, there is doubt of the authenticity of some of the color variations of the models
shown in his book, by experts and collectors alike of French Dinky Toys.
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby hovermd » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:41 am

For the benefit of 24C, here is a photo of the A.R. (AUTAJON ET ROUSTAN) Autogiro in my collection:

A.R. Autogiro


I can add very little to the debate on when the A.R. Autogiro was manufactured, except to say that a collector of A.R. toys I once encountered asserted that it was made in 1935.

I would love to know if definitive evidence ever surfaces.

I always wondered if the circular cut-out in the top of the fuselage indicated that a part was missing. I even imagined a pilot sitting in there, similar to the William Britain autogiros. The contributions made by 24C now lead me to believe that my Autogiro toy is complete.

Thanks 24C!!
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby 24C » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:21 pm

Hi,
Thanks so much for the picture, I would love to see more of them in detail. from all sides and to see what drives the rotor IF driven, or if it is free and only the wheels are driven.
One of the AR Spirit of St Louis aircraft I have uses the very same fuselage, and the hole on top of it was supposed to be used to solder the tinplate wing to the fuselage but instead, AR apparently chose to solder the wing from the sides of it.
Here are pictures of it, with the wing detached:

Image

And with its wing removed:

Image

The solder would have been splashed in that oval hole:

Image

But I think that the AR folks ran into a technical problem: the prewar soldering irons had a really fat body for the tip's heater, and I presume that they had an issue with the assembly gals melting the fuselage sides, so they changed tactics and soldered from the sides in an angle, much easier to do. Here is one with the soldered sides:

Image

Now I have seen 4 different holes configurations, the first I believe being this one with a large square hole underneath:



That first version was marked "FRANCE" inside the fuselage but had no exterior markings. It does not have a tail wheel. The second version is the same but with a small tail wheel.
The third had an oval hole on top but had two rivets to hold the tinplate wing. It is marked "AR FRANCE" on its sides like all subsequent versions. Here is a picture of the first and third versions:

Image

The fourth version is the one of which I posted a pic above that has the sides soldered and a larger tail wheel. The fifth has its top hole diameter reduced (if one is familiar with molding technology, you can remove metal from a steel mold much easier than you can add any) , and served as the fuselage for the autogyro. This one has rubber tires on lead wheels, with the large tail wheel. But obviously AR also produced the same as a standard plane with plain lead wheels. Sometime over the process, the small tail wheel was replaced by one the same size as on the main landing gear. It is also far from impossible that a winged aircraft may have been produced at the same time as the autogyro, using the motor and the rubber tires.

Also, earlier versions have lead-cast prop, later ones have stamped thick sheet-steel prop (much thicker than the wing pressing).
Here are pics of how the standard AR motor (used on every single AR motorized vehicle, from lead-cast cars to larger tinplate trucks to the autogyro) would fit in that plane, driving the main landing gear.

Image

Image

But did the motor also drive the top rotor and if so, how was it driven???
Also is that rotor pressed steel or lead-cast, or a combination of both?

As far as years of production, the first rubber tires appeared on the AR Peugeot "601" coupe issued in 1935 as well as on their Bluebird record cars and rehashed versions of their Peugeot "301" models. Here is one of the "601" with these wheels and tires, sued until 1938 on several cars:

Image

Hence it is perfectly possible that the autogyro with the rubber tires would have been produced the same year. It is also likely that the first production of the Spirit of St Louis would have been issued by AR shortly after the Tootsietoy "Aero Dawn" model from which it is clearly inspired in its construction:

Image

Lots of questions to be resolved... one step at a time before it all vanishes in the great unknown... :mrgreen:
Last edited by 24C on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby grwebster » Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:26 pm

many thanks for that excellent summary. Great info.
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby hovermd » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:03 am

24C - I regret to report that the toy is tucked away in storage. So, I won't be able to provide any additional photos for some time. I'm active-duty military, and am currently stationed overseas.

To the best of my recollection, both the main rotor and the propeller do spin when the autogiro clockwork motor runs.

I LOVE this toy, and it's definitely one of my favorite autogiro examples.

Perhaps a different MACer has an example and can provide photos of the undercarriage?
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby 24C » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:36 am

Mark, the only thing I can say is, "come back home safe!", so that you can unearth the cute little toy and take more pictures... I would love to have one in my collection since i am an AR fan. ;)
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby MichaelB » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:59 pm

Excellent detail and information! Thank you for posting!
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby hovermd » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:04 pm

hovermd wrote:For the benefit of 24C, here is a photo of the A.R. (AUTAJON ET ROUSTAN) Autogiro in my collection:

A.R. Autogiro.JPG


I can add very little to the debate on when the A.R. Autogiro was manufactured, except to say that a collector of A.R. toys I once encountered asserted that it was made in 1935.

I would love to know if definitive evidence ever surfaces.

I always wondered if the circular cut-out in the top of the fuselage indicated that a part was missing. I even imagined a pilot sitting in there, similar to the William Britain autogiros. The contributions made by 24C now lead me to believe that my Autogiro toy is complete.

Thanks 24C!!


My understanding is that a c7-c8 condition AR Roustan autogiro recently brought over $650 at auction.
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Re: Unknown French diecast pre-war plane

Postby 24C » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:45 am

Well, I was bidding on an A.R. autogyro in a French auction and... got it! The auction's picture is the one below, i will try taking better pictures when it actually arrives.

Image

Looks to be in good condition for something nearly 80 years old... :D
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