Monday, July 27, 2009

Centenary of the First Flight across the english Channel

An important milestone in the history of Aviation.

The world was startled a century ago on, 25th July, 1909 when a 37 year old frenchman Louis Bleriot, flew across the English Channel in an aircraft designed and built by himself - the Bleriot XI. The 37 minute flight from Les Barraques, near Calais, France to Dover, England undetaken in bad weather earned him the 1000 pounds reward offered by The Daily Mail for the first aviator to cross the Channel in either direction.

His accomplishment delighted the public and shocked many in the British Military and Political establishment when they realised that Britain was susceptible to attack by air. Britain had a strong navy and could face an attack from the sea but not from the air. Politicians saw that Britian was not prepared for this new transportation system and technology.

David Lloyd George, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said "Flying machines are no longer toys and dreams, they are established fact. The possibilities of this new system of locomotion are infinite. I feel, as a Britisher, rather ashamed that we are so completely out of it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First flight covers

For a change some first flight covers today. BOAC, JAL, Lufthansa

Saturday, July 18, 2009

British Antatric Territory

The British Antarctic Territory was constituted on 3 March 1962, comprising of Graham Land, South Orkneys and South Shetland Islands, formally part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. The main bases in the Territory are Rothera and Halley (both manned all year round) and Port Lockroy and Signy Island which are manned in the summer seasons only.

The British Antarctic Survey operate these bases and it was from these that scientists discovered the hole in the ozone layer.

British Antarctic Territory lies to the south of latitude 60°S , between longitudes 20° and 80°W, and, until 1989, was administered by a high commissioner, resident in the Falkland Islands. In 1989, the administration was moved to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London. The office of commissioner is held by the head of Overseas Territories Department and the administrator is the head of the Polar Regions Section.

On 7 May 2009, the Royal Navy celebrated 100 years of Naval Aviation, on the anniversary of the date in 1909 when the Admiralty placed its first order for a Naval Airship. It was a radical shift in military thinking that was to lead to the formation of the Royal Naval Air Service, later renamed the Fleet Air Arm, and which marked the beginnings of the formidable versatility and capability of Naval Air Power.

Fly Navy 100 is a programme of centennial events running throughout 2009 aimed at raising awareness of the legacy of the Fleet Air Arm. The British Antarctic Territory issueed their tribute, a commemorative set of four stamps and one miniature sheet..

The stamps issued depict:
10p Westland Lynx Helicopter
10p Fairey Seafox
90p Westland Wasp
90p Supermarine Walrus

The ₤2 miniature shows HM Airship No.1 Mayfly

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Aviation stamps of Kiribati.
Kiribati is an adaption of Gilbert Islands which were discovered by an English Captain Thomas Gilbert in 1788 while cossing the archipelago from Australia to China. The islands together with Elice islands became a part of the British Colonies in 1919. Stamps were issued in the name of Gilbert & Elice Islands till the islands were separated in 1975. Elice Islands became independent in 1978 and took on the name Tuvalu. Gilbers Is became independent on 12th July, 1979 and took on the name of Kiribati. Actually the islands in the Gilbertese language is Tungaru. Read more about Kiribati

Kiribati Stamps showing Bonriki airport.

Stamps issued to commemorate Inauguration of Air Tungaru:

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Another tiny stamp issuing entity is Alderney situated at the northern end of the Channel islands and is a part of the Balliwick of Guernsey. It is 3 square miles and has an airport with two airlines, Blue Islands & Aurigny Air services having regular flights to Southampton, Jersey & Guernsey. Aurigny Air services completed 40 years service in 2008. The event was commemorated with 6 stamps:

Where is Alderney located?

You can read more about this island here

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Aircraft stamps of Faroe Islands

Have you heard of Faroe islands. These are a group of 22 islands (17 inhabitated) located between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Norwegian Sea about halfway between Scotland and Iceland.

The name of the islands mean fur and no wonder the coat of arms has a ram! Ever since the islands were discovered either by the Irish or the Vikings, there have been many sheep supplying large quantities of wool.

The islands have been an autonomous part of Denmark since 1948. Read more about the Faroe islands

Foroyar (the Islands in Faroese) issued a booklet pane of 5 stamps on 28th October, 1985 to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of passenger aviation in the Faroes. The stamps depict from the top:

Douglas DC-3
Fokker Friendship
Boeing 737
Interisland LM-IKB
Helicopter Snipan

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Aircraft stamps of San Marino

Another tiny stamp issuing country: The Republic of San Marino. which was founded on 3rd September, 301. Thus making it the oldest sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world. San Marino has the smallest population in the council of Europe.

An interesting issue of this tiny republic was of pioneer airplanes 1904-1910 issued on 4th April 1962

Monday, July 6, 2009

Aircraft Stamps from Anguilla

Another post of aircraft on stamps from tiny stamp issuing countries (2006 pop: less than 13,500). Do you know where Anguilla is?

Located in the Northern part of the Leeward islands, Anguilla is an overseas British Territory in the Caribbean. You can read more about it here

Here are two sets issued by Anguilla.

RAF 80th anniversary was commemorated with these stamps

Set of stamps depicting Early Airlines issued in 2006: