A much anticipated Space & Aviation auction has taken place in Paris, as it does every year. This time round it was entitled: From the Earth to the Moon: the icons of the era of supersonic aerospace and conquest, and we first reported on it back in December, noting the exciting range of items available.
The expected top lot was a Fouga CM 170 Magister, an aircraft with an extensive history in both military and civil aviation.
Designed by Robert Castello and Pierre Mauboussin for the Potez Air Fouga Company, the plane showed exceptional technical capabilities in aerobatics and air weapons, manoeuvrability and reliability.
With 929 examples built in the early 1950s, it has been used by over twenty countries as an aerobatic aircraft including the famous Patrouille de France for 24 years (1956 to 1980).
Initially, it served a military life with over 12,000 pilots trained on the Magister, but from 1996 on it was retired from use and started a new life in civil aviation.
The example offered for sale at Artcurial is one of just 10 left in France which is still airworthy (there are around 100 in the USA). It is estimated to have around 700 hours of flight time left.
That was enough for many to bid enthusiastically on the venerable aircraft, and its €60,000-80,000 listing was exceeded as it achieved €88,521 ($116,600).
|What the Fouga Magister can do with the right pilot
(With or without a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle)
It's remarkable that this piece of aviation history was brought into service just a few years after the death of the longer-lived of the two Wright Brothers, Orville Wright.
Collectors looking for a genuine piece of aviation history but unwilling to buy a plane will want to take a look at this cheque bearing Wright's autograph.