Getting High

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While Orville and Wilbur Wright are generally considered to have been the first to complete a powered and controlled aircraft flight it is also generally accepted that the aeroplane was the invention of Sir George Cayley in 1799 at Brompton, near Scarborough in Yorkshire, England.

The Wright brothers, stamp from USA 1949.

Indeed, in 1909 Wilbur Wright himself paid Cayley the following tribute:
“About 100 years ago, an Englishman, Sir George Cayley, carried the science of flight to a point which it had never reached before and which it scarcely reached again during the last century.”

There were many aviation pioneers worldwide and here we only feature some who have had their accomplishments recognised by postage stamp issues.

In 1987 Cambodia released an 8-value set, which included a mini-sheet, depicting some of their designs.



The mini-sheet and one of the stamps show possibly the earliest known designs of flying machines, both by Leonardo Da Vinci. Other designs shown above were by Sir George Cayley (1840), William Henson (1842), John Stringfellow (1848),Thomas Moy (1875), Sir Hiram Maxim (1894) and Horatio F. Phillips (1895).


Sweden paid tribute to its aviation history with the release of this small mint sheet of five stamps in 1984. The five-stamp designs depict the following aircraft: Top left, Thulin D Two-Seater (1915), top right SAAB-90 Scandia (1946), bottom left pilot Carl Gustaf Cederstrom with his Bleriot plane 1910), bottom right a Tomten seaplane (1927), and centre Carl Nyberg’s Flugan (1900).

And to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Montgolfier brothers’ first hot-air balloon flight, Paraguay issued this attractive sheet in 1984. In the scene created with much fantasy, onlookers marvel at the various early aircraft designs flying above them.

More from Paraguay same year.

Mustn’t forget French engineer, aviator and inventor Louis Bleriot:

Louis Bleriot was the first man to cross the English Channel, from Sangatte in France to Dover in England.

The stamp above was issued by France in 1934, marking the 25th anniversary of that flight.
And also from France, the stamp below commemorates the crossing’s 100th anniversary.

Many other aviation pioneers on this stamp set from San Marino, 1962.


And from Uruguay, 1972:


If your favourite topic is aviation, please visit PostBeeld’s freestampcatalogue.com website to view what’s in stock for that subject.

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