Summary: You can buy a leather men's wrist band that features a valve guide from an original Le Rhone engine built in World War I from Stephen for $60, with delivery expected in May.
Well, this certainly wasn't anticipated. I managed to find some parts from an original 80 hp Le Rhone rotary engine built in July 1918, and I'm offering them to my Dawn Patrol friends first. If nobody wants them that's okay. I know lots of WWI collectors and engine enthusiasts who will scoop them up.
Authentic World War I fighter airplanes - that is, real originals - are incredibly rare. And believe it or not, the original engines that powered them are even more rare. There are perhaps a few dozen complete, original Le Rhone Type C 80 hp rotary engines remaining on planet earth. As most Dawn Patrol players know, these engines powered the Nieuport 11, Sopwith Pup, Morane Saulnier N and most of the Standard E-1's and Thomas Morse Scouts that the American aces flew in training. CLICK "READ MORE" below...
But in July 1918, USSD was pumping out over 500 examples of these extraordinary engines to help train American pilots. It is quite possible that the handful of valve guides that I've procured came from a British or French fighter. But it is even more likely that they were installed in a Thomas Morse or Standard E-1 for American aces-to-be.
A really good look at the valve guides is below, along with some random items like British WWI goggles and a French Croix de Guerre for a size comparison. Each valve guide is about the size of a spent 9mm cartridge casing. Take a look, then read more below...
I do not have photos of the final product, so please bear with me and have a little faith. This is just an overview of the idea... the actual product is on the way. I've decided to turn these Le Rhone valve guides over to a jeweler and have them incorporated into men's leather wristbands/bracelets so they can be enjoyed and remembered. Each wristband will be a three-tiered brown leather braid. The hardware on the wristbands will be engraved with the engine model and type, as well as the date of manufacture, so that any future owner will know what they have.
They will come in a wooden presentation box with a certificate of authenticity stating exactly what they are and how they were used during World War I. It will be the perfect accessory to wear while playing Dawn Patrol. There's nothing like rolling dice with an authentic piece of World War I aviation on your wrist at the same time.
Look at the pictures below, and then scroll down for ordering instructions...
The final product should arrive in May, and I'll have them shipped directly to you (or give them to you at the next Dawn Patrol event). Don't worry about shipping, I'll take care of it. And there's no obligation... if they don't sell to my DP friends, I'll take them to the next Dawn Patrol Rendezvous at the USAF Museum and dump them for three times that much to some gearhead who actually wants to build his own Le Rhone (those people actually exist).
The easiest way to order is to send $60 to firstname.lastname@example.org via Paypal. If you want one but need to pay for it later or by a different means, just say so. No problem. Send an email to email@example.com (note the different address) and reserve yours any time. Otherwise, they're going to some gearhead!
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