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Parker 51 Flighter.


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Shangas

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 07:50

Pen: Parker 51 Flighter.

Date of manufacture: Late 1950s. Possibly 1958.

First impressions:

Such as with the Montblanc Meisterstuck 145, I was first struck by the pure simplicity. Stainless steel barrel and cap with a gold arrow-clip and a gold band at the bottom of the cap make for a very simple but stylish and admittedly rather futuristic and contemporary design. Even today.

I liked the fact that the stainless steel was not super-reflective, and had more of a dulled effect. It looks nice without looking overly expensive. The band is slightly faded, but is still discernable and still stands out clearly from the rest of the pen as a tasteful marker of the point where the cap and barrel meet. The pen was free of any dents, dings, missing parts and major scratches. VERY minor scratching was visible here and there, but that would be expected with a pen of this age and fame.

Appearance and finish:

Like my father commented, and like I duly noticed, the Parker 51 Flighter is amazingly simple and lacking of 'finery' in it's design. It speaks of stylishness and simplicity, but not of cheapness. The slightly dulled, but well-polished stainless steel barrel gives the pen an expensive appearance. The barrel and cap are smooth through-and-through, with the single intrruption being Parker's famous Arrow-clip. One should not pick this pen up with greasy hands, because it would fall right out of them.

Design/size/weight:

The design like I said, is very simple. A pen with a clip, with no outstanding rings or carvings or engravings. The pen lies at 5.5 inches, capped, and just over 6 inches when posted. Though it's made of metal, the pen is surprisingly light. I was able to post the pen and write several lines with it, and the weight of the cap being posted on the end of the barrel was consistantly light, and almost unnoticable. Definately a good pen for posting with.

Nib design and performance:

Everyone knows of the Parker 51's famous hooded nib, so there's nothing to say there. The lack of an exposed nib did make it a little hard for me to orientate the pen correctly at first, but I've gotten over that now. The nib on my Flighter is a FINE one, which lives up to it's name in both name and nature. It produces a nice, consistantly thin line, and is nice and smooth on paper. Only rough when the nib is held at an incorrect angle. Otherwise, perfectly fine.

The Filling System:

The Parker 51 Flighter is an aerometric filler, and was surprisingly easy to use. The original designers of the 51 aero had the great foresight to engrave the filling instructions inside the barrel, thus ensuring that they would not be missed. A very handy feature. Five squeezes of the ink-sac were sufficient to fill and empty the resoviour to my satisfaction. Peter Ford said that the aerometric fillers were more durable than the vacumatics, due to the lack of moving parts.

Cost/Value.

The cost of the pen was $198AUD. While rather expensive, the pen has proved to be a good, smooth, fine-lined writer. it looks BEAUTIFUL and has an easy-to-use filling-system. I will treasure this until I die.

Conclusion.

A beautiful pen with a beautiful appearance, a nib that writes nicely, and produces a good, thin line, which is what I like. Easily filled, easily emptied, easily stored and looked after. I'm proud to own such a famous pen.

Edited by Shangas, 22 May 2007 - 22:47.

http://www.throughouthistory.com/ - My Blog on History & Antiques

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#2 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 08:51

Congrats on the purchase and enjoy yours wink.gif The flighters are rare nowadays and very expensive. Unfortunately the p51 isn't a pen for me. I am planning the purchase of another duofold senior but this time a lapis lazulis one from 1927 with the lucky curve nib.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#3 Mike S.

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 13:58

Fantastic photographs of a very nice pen. Thanks for the review!

Mike

#4 Shangas

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 14:12

Not mine. I pinched them from somewhere else.

but it is the exact same pen.
http://www.throughouthistory.com/ - My Blog on History & Antiques

#5 French

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 15:12

Congratulations on a very nice pen and a well done review. Enjoy the pen!

French

#6 Blatherscribe

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 16:44

Stainless steel and copper... drool.gif

Beautiful pen!


#7 jonro

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 18:01

Thanks for an interesting review. Enjoy the pen. It has the look of a real classic.

#8 Shelley

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 21:59

Indeed, nice pen, I have a P51 from the fifties, but not a flighter, but I would love one, how about posting some of your photos rather than ones from the Stylo mag, I want to see some real photos...just curious because those other photos seem so perfect and if I manage to buy one I imagine it will not look so amazing...by the by does yours have a tiny hole at the bottom of the barrel?
Lamy 2000-Lamy Vista-Visconti Van Gogh Maxi Tortoise Demonstrator-Pilot Vanishing Point Black Carbonesque-1947 Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue Double Jewel-Aurora Optima Black Chrome Cursive Italic-Waterman Hemisphere Metallic Blue-Sheaffer Targa-Conway Stewart CS475

#9 kudzu

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 23:07

Congratulations - you finally got your Parker "51"! Beautiful pen. You've been talking about getting one for some time now, and I hope it lives up to your expectations. I don't have a Flighter, but my "51" Special is indeed special to me. What color ink did you put in it!?
Kudzu

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#10 Shangas

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 00:42

QUOTE(Shelley @ May 21 2007, 07:59 AM) View Post
Indeed, nice pen, I have a P51 from the fifties, but not a flighter, but I would love one, how about posting some of your photos rather than ones from the Stylo mag, I want to see some real photos...just curious because those other photos seem so perfect and if I manage to buy one I imagine it will not look so amazing...by the by does yours have a tiny hole at the bottom of the barrel?


Hi Shelley!

Well, I'm not much of a photographer, but I'll try.

And yes, it does have the little hole. Peter said it was to relieve pressure or something. He said the 'flighter', as the name suggestesd, was designed to be taken on airplanes and not leak.

I'll try take some photos and...please be merciful...a blind man could take better shots than I do...

*EDIT*

Sorry, I didn't see your question there, Kudzu,

I put jet-black Parker Quink into my 51. I read that the two were supposed to go together. And I've had a bottle of Quink in my posession since time-out-of-mind...so...yeah. Since the two were made to go together, they might as well do just that. It writes very well.

Edited by Shangas, 21 May 2007 - 00:49.

http://www.throughouthistory.com/ - My Blog on History & Antiques

#11 Shangas

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:23

PHOTOS!!!

A sample of my handwriting with my Parker 51 Flighter:




The pen in it's box*



*Peter didn't have an original Parker 51 box, so he just gave me that one. It's still Parker. It fits perfectly, and is well-protected.

Pen and cap:



And the cap:


Edited by Shangas, 21 May 2007 - 01:25.

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#12 Shelley

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:05

Lovely photos, now I am truely jealous, nice handwriting as well...I wonder if he has any more...
Lamy 2000-Lamy Vista-Visconti Van Gogh Maxi Tortoise Demonstrator-Pilot Vanishing Point Black Carbonesque-1947 Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue Double Jewel-Aurora Optima Black Chrome Cursive Italic-Waterman Hemisphere Metallic Blue-Sheaffer Targa-Conway Stewart CS475

#13 Shangas

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:22

If who has anymore what?
http://www.throughouthistory.com/ - My Blog on History & Antiques

#14 Maja

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 06:05

Nice review, and congrats on a very nice pen, Shangas! Very classy.....and I agree about it being a nicely-balanced pen when posted.
ENJOY!! biggrin.gif
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#15 markc

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 06:15

That is a beautiful specimen! I would happily trade many of my P51s for a nice Flighter like that

Congrats on a wonderful find!
Science is a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.
-Carl Sagan
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

#16 Shangas

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 06:43

Hahahah!! Thanks Mark. Yes. It is a dandy pen. I just love it so much. I use it more now, than any of my other pens. I'm playing catch-up at the moment on my note-taking and readings for university in preparation for a test, and I've been writing flat-out with my 51 for two days straight now. It's wonderfully smooth, which is a godsend in a situation like this.

Hi Maja, was wondering what happened to you. Haven't seen you around for a while.

Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised about the issue with posting, too. Made of stainless steel and all, I thought it would be very heavy. Usually when you post a pen and write, you feel the weight of the cap pressing against your hand. I didn't feel that at all, and I just loved it! It's just so deceptively light! roller1.gif
http://www.throughouthistory.com/ - My Blog on History & Antiques

#17 Dan Carmell

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 20:28

Shangas--

Nice review, but Bill Riepl does copyright his photos and if you didn't ask permission to use them, they really oughtn't be here.

best, Dan

#18 gary

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 20:36

Nice choice of pens.
I agree with Dan C: best get permission to post Bill Riepl's photo's.
And if anyone cares, I sold Bill R. the pen in the photo's. I never got over selling the pen until I bought another Flighter.
gary

#19 HesNot

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 21:15

My flighter is my go to pen, the best writer in my small collection. Mine has a few dings which is why I could afford it, but they don't pop up very much anymore here, on the green board or even fleabay.

I'm sure happy I got mine when I did - I'm not sure I could afford one these days...

A pen a day keeps the doctor away...

Parker "51" flighter; Parker 75 cisele; Conway Stewart Dandy Demonstrator; Aurora 88P chrome; Sailor Sapporo ; Lamy 2000; Lamy 27 double L; Lamy Studio; Pilot Murex; Pilot Sesenta (Red/Grey); Pilot Capless (black carbonesque); Pilot Custom 74 Demonstrator; Pilot Volex; Waterman Expert 2000 (slate blue)

#20 Shangas

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 22:45

Okay, I'll remove them. I just used them because they're better than mine.

There, done.

I was rather fortunate with this fountain pen. No dings or scratches or dents or twisted/bent clips or anything like that. It looks brand-new. The only setback was the absence of a proper box. But I'm happy with the box I have now.

Edited by Shangas, 22 May 2007 - 22:51.

http://www.throughouthistory.com/ - My Blog on History & Antiques






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