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3419 Flatcar w/ Helicopter

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Production: 1959 - 1965

History
The 3419 Flatcar with Launching Helicopter was produced for seven years. The flatcar is extremely common, however there are some unique or unusual variations to this car. A single web page could not even begin to describe every variation. For simplicity, the common variations will be documented on this site with a few unusual ones mentioned for reference purposes.

The 3419 is part of Lionel's "Space & Military" series. As with many of the items from that series, there are delicate parts that are prone to damage due to improper handling. Locating a complete, all original flatcar with helicopter is a difficult task as few helicopters have survived intact.

Features
Standard features of the 3419 include: unpainted blue flatcar with white lettering, AAR trucks, black tail support structure, winding and launching mechanism plus a brakestand with metal brakewheel.

As the production cycle evolved, so did the variations. Listed below are some of the more significant changes in year order:

  • 1959 - Introduced with a royal blue flatcar, large plastic winder (just over 2" in diameter), blackened metal mechanism attached to the bottom of the flatcar, manual operating lever pertruding through the top of the flatcar and two operating couplers. The helicopter had dual blades.
  • Late 1959 - Flatcar was now produced in either dark blue or light blue -- almost an aqua color.
  • 1960 - The large plastic winder was reduced to approximately 1.375" in diameter. Additionally, the metal mechanism attached to the bottom of the car was plain metal (no longer a blackened metal) and the manual operating lever was relocated to the side of the flatcar. Finally, the helicopter was changed to a single blade version.
  • 1961 - The couplers were either two operating couplers or one operating and one fixed coupler. Additionally, the flatcar was now produced in light blue -- which is fairly hard to find compared to the royal blue variation.

Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
The length of this flatcar is approximately 11 1/4" long (coupler to coupler).

Numerous Variations - Due to the a lengthy production run of seven years, there are numerous variations to this flatcar. Most involve the color of the flatcar, single or dual blade helicopters and styles of launching mechanisms, but other subtitle differences also exist.

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