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canada-blue6c-cover  canada-blue6c-reverse

Hello, I hope everyone is well and having a philatelic weekend. I certainly am.

This cover from 1939, carries  SG 371, 6c blue with a Fairchild 45-80 Sekani Seaplane over the ship Distributor on the River Mackenzie.  SG 2013 catalogue value for the stamp is £2.25.  Considering this was mailed 75 years ago I think you will agree it is in lovely condition with a rather nice reverse franking as well. Maybe someone knows what the S means?

I would be pleased to hear from you at if you have time to write.

The Sekani, named for an idigenous people of Canada, was a twin-engined aircraft developed in Canada in the late 1930s. Although the 45-80 was the largest  bush plane developed by Fairchild, its poor performance doomed the project, and nearly the company. The Sekani was, what is termed, a sesquiplane of conventional configuration, with the sets of wings joined to the top and bottom of the fuselage and braced by N-struts. The lower set of wings were little more than stubs; their bracing to the upper wings passed through the engine nacelles (mounted on the upper wings), and they carried the pontoon undercarriage beneath them.  Flight testing commenced in August 1937 and revealed a number of serious deficiencies in the design, including that the aircraft was overweight and impossible to control directionally when flying on only one engine as the ailerons caused severe drag tending to turn the aircraft in the opposite direction. Hmmmmm, that doesn’t sound too good. The better news, only two were built. It was designed to carry 2 pilots and 12 passengers

For those of you who also like ships, the Distributor was a Paddlewheeter   placed in service in 1920 by the Lamson & Hubbard Trading Company. It operated on the Slave-Mackenzie River network, below Fort Smith on the Slave River, in the 1920s-1940s. It was decommissioned in 1946 and scrapped in the 1950s.

And some final history and trivia;  In 1898 the Klondike Gold Rush gave an impetus to the exploration of the Canadian North and the Mackenzie River basin was promoted as the best route to the Yukon if one was departing from Edmonton. The 1898-1900 period was very busy for the waterways with many new private vessels built and running between the Athabasca and Mackenzie Rivers.  Three companies competed for the fur trade and water transportation including the Lamson & Hubbard Trading Company  with the “S.S. Distributor” as its flagship

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the history of your stamps.



Hello, sorry it has been 10 days since I last wrote. I have no idea how that happened. Tonight I was sorting some mess and found this.. Not exactly clean but some nice stamps. Click image to enlarge.

Anything you can see that is significant about this envelope? I only see the Not Opened by Censor cachet. Other than that I know that March 29th 1941 saw the first performamce of Benjamin Britten’s “Requiem Symphony”. No idea where though :-)

And the $1 stamps, shows what aircraft? Maybe a prize to the first correct answer

Enjoy your stamps  and please don’t forget to look at my Bidstart Store. Got a gap in your collection and don’t want to buy the complete set. Do what many others are doing. Visit and improve your collection. I still have over 10,000 listings so there is a good selection I think.


pal-dc6-reverse manila-1948

I read that my good friend Philip is in Manila this weekend so thought I would show a cover for him and his visit, and give a little aviation history at the same time.

On July 31, 1946, PAL became the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific Ocean when a chartered Douglas DC4 ferried 40 American servicemen to Oakland California from Nielson Airport with stops in Guam, Wake Island, Johnston Atoll and Honolulu.  A regular service between Manila and San Francisco started in December 1946.  During this time, the airline was designated as the country’s flag carrier.

This Air Mail cover, flown nearly two years later, was for the inaugural DC6 flight. It was flown from Manila to Honolulu (back stamped as you can see)

I have tried to research this inaugural flight but cannot find reference to it. I did find a reference to Philippine Air Lines operating a DC6 from San Francisco to Manila on June 4th, 1948 with the first sleeper service, which would have been the return flight of this inaugural.

One thing I did find while searching Google, was that I actually wrote about and showed this cover back in February 2013. Oh well, maybe I have new readers and since I have written this I am showing it anyway.

 Have a great weekend, especially you Philip, in Manila.




Hello, I just got back to Hong Kong from Sydney and on a lovely flight with Qantas. An A380. Very nice. Much quicker, and quieter on an A380 than a Super Constallation, and overall much nicer flight I expect :-)

So I thought this would be a nice cover to show. Many years ago now. January 14th 1958, when Qantas carried some mail on their first round the world flight which was operated by a Super Constallation, the “Southern Aurora”, tail VH-EAO, flying Sydney – USA –  London – Sydney.  A 2/- stamp was used but this cover has two stamps.

It is in surprisingly good condition for a 50 plus year old cover.

 Hope you enjoy seeing it 

Have a great weekend… Michael




Ok, so I may have shown this before  – well if you are a regular reader you will maybe remember having seen it. Tonight, sorting through some stock I found rather a lot of these so thought I would use these on my next,  lets say 12 Bidstart orders.  Nice and collectible I think, especially  very fine used as they will be, as I will have them hand franked at Hong Kong airport for you.

 Got to promote sales haven’t I   :-)  visit   

If you want a copy Mint or used and don’t find anything to buy from my Shop just email me at

Am flying all day  tomorrow.. be back on-line Saturday..

Best wishes.. Michael  




Hello, tonight another of the aerogrammes I have recently found. Hope you like this one. Issued in 1992 and still in pristine condition.  

The aircraft shown, as you can see, – click image to enlarge –  is a Nomad, a twin-engine turboprop, high-wing short take off and landing aircraft.  It was designed and built by the Australian Government Aircraft Factories in Melbourne. Major users of the design have included the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia , the Australia Army and the Australian Customs Service. 

Rather a sad history to the aircraft because the Nomad was considered problematic and early Royal Australian Air Force evaluations were critical of the design. An early, stretched-fuselage variant crashed, killing the chief test pilot Stuart Pearce (father of actor Guy Pearce) and the assistant head designer. The Nomad has been involved in a total of 32 total hull-loss accidents which have resulted in 76 fatalities. perhaps not surprisingly only 172 Nomads (including the two prototypes) were manufactured.

Enjoy your stamps and aviation




Hello,  something different, an Aerogramme letter from Australia from 1983, postmarked First Day of Issue.

I wonder does anyone collect these. I have quite a collection, from a friend of mine. Am thinking of listing in the Bidstart Store    I would be interested to know if this is likely to attract interest.  I doubt easy to get these from that period in such lovely condition and I have no idea what they are catalogued at, nor where to look.

Any readers have thoughts, I would be most pleased to hear from you at

Best wishes…..  Michael




Hello, this air mail cover was issued in 1981 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Francis Chichester’s solo flight across the Tasman. This was the first east west flight across the Tasman.

Some more about his flight that may interest you. Finding that he was unable to carry enough fuel to cross the Tasman Sea  directly, Chichester had his Gipsy Moth fitted with floats borrowed from the New Zealand Permanent Air Force,  and went on to make the first solo flight across the Tasman Sea from East to West (New Zealand to Australia). He was the first aviator to land an aircraft at Norfolk Island and Lowe Howe Island.  Again, the trip was delayed: after his aircraft was severely damaged at Lord Howe, he had to rebuild it himself with the help of islanders.

Though the concept of “off-course navigation” (steering to one side so you know which way the error is) is probably as old as navigation, Chichester was the first to use it in a methodical manner in an aircraft. His only method of fixing his position was to take sun sights with a sextant.  As a solo pilot, this was a difficult thing to do in a moving aircraft, as the pilot also needed to fly the aircraft at the same time. After the sun sight was taken, he then had to make calculations by long-hand. As all this could be unreliable, Chichester needed an alternative. When he reached a point at which the sun was at a pre-calculated altitude above the horizon, the pilot then made a 90-degree turn to the left (or right as pre-calculated) and then flew along this line until the destination was reached. Since he did not know in advance when he would arrive at a line of position passing through his destination, he pre-calculated a table or graph of the Sun’s altitude and azimuth at his destination for a range of times bracketing his ETA. The advantage of this method was that the effects of drift were reduced to errors in distance travelled, usually much smaller. Since Chichester arrived at Lord Howe Island in the afternoon, the Sun was to his northwest when he made his turn. Some hours before making his turn, close to local noon when the Sun was to his north, Chichester made two observations with his sextant to check his dead-reckoning course.

The general principle was, when the Sun is to the right or left of one’s course one can check one’s course but not one’s distance to the destination. When the Sun is ahead or behind one’s course one can check the distance to one’s destination but not one’s course. So he planned his final approach to follow a line of position directly to his destination. This technique allowed him to find tiny islands in the Pacific. He was awarded the inaugural Guild of Air Pilots & Air Navigators Johnston Memorial Trophy for this trip

see how interesting collecting stamps can be :-)

best wishes .. Michael





Hello, I am back in Sydney and today I picked this up from the Post Office. Hope you enjoy seeing it. Click image to enlarge.

One of these I really like, well for my aerophilatelic collection I suppose. The 1954 Trans-Australian Airways advertisement.

TAA  (renamed Australian Airlines in 1986) was one of the two major Australian domestic airlines between its inception in 1946 and its sale to Qantas in September 1992.  In 1954 TAA became the first airline outside Europe to introduce the Vickers Viscount ‘propjet’, and in 1981 it introduced the A300 Airbus, the first wide body aircraft to be purchased by an Australian domestic airline.

Of course, some would it has all been downhill since then!!    :-)

enjoy your stamps 



Hello, time for some aviation stamps again I think. How about these three. Lovely stamps in  my view. Not only because of the shape and interesting plane but .also the stunning colours.

These were issued in 1937 by Costa Rica and they are as fresh now, Mint Unhinged, as the day they were issued.  Amazing they only have a catalogue value of GBP 0.40p each

They show a Ryan B-5 Brougham aircraft. which was a small single-engine plane produced in the United States in the late 1920s and early 1930s.  It had a fully enclosed cabin for the pilot and four passengers.

I will be flying in an Airbus A380 in a few days. Bit of a difference: some  trivia, the Broughan empty weight was 1870 lbs, the A380 is 610,000. Awesome when you think about it.

Best wishes.. Michael


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