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Hello, I was sorting some Gibraltar today and found a mint unhinged set of the 1978 60th Anniversary of the RAF.  Here are two of the stamps from the set of 5, SG 407 – 411. I hope you enjoy seeing them.  No need for me to tell you the aircraft shown, surely!

I do like the image of the Sunderland. Apology if shown before, but worth showing again.




Hello,  Some weeks ago, maybe more, I was in the Mong Kok stamp arcade here in Hong Kong and picked up a lovely selection of stamps with aircraft on them. I forgot all about them until I was emptying the pockets of a jacket over the weekend. Old age eh!!!

These are three I hope you enjoy seeing.

They are from a 1958 issue, from Hungary. I do like the stamp designs, lovely engraving style I think. Much better then the “photograph” style pictures we see today on stamps.  Showing views of Budapest.and an Ilyushin Il-14P. This was a twin-engine commercial and military personnel and cargo transport aircraft that first flew in 1950.There were about 1300 built.

Enjoy your stamps.  Best wishes   Michael


Hello,  I thought I might show another one from Canada. This is again a  “Special Delivery” stamp, by Air. It was issued in 1942 to support the war effort. It shows a Lockheed L.18 Lodestar  The registration  CF-BAF (you can perhaps see it on the wings) is interesting.  Does anyone know why?  There is also a 17c issue, as you may know, which also has the CF-BAF registration.

I think this calls for a competition. I was going to tell you the answer but let’s say 5th  correct answer to will win some airship stamps I found recently – to be honest no real value as far as I know but might be fun to have for someone.

As for the Lodestar, it was basically a stretched Lockheed Super Electra. (Stretching planes is nothing new  – think of the 737, 747, 787  and so many more –  it has been going on as far back, as in this case, the 1930s. I think there were about 60 built and used a passenger aircraft, including by BOAC. – not that I was around  then to see them!

Enjoy your stamps and have a great weekend.



Hello, tonight something from Canada.  A “Special Delivery” stamp, by Air. It was issued in 1946 and shows a Canadair DC-4M Northstar (tail CF-TOM)  of Trans Canada airlines.

This is an interesting aircraft for a number of reasons, well I think so.

It was a 1940s Canadian development of the Douglas DC-4 but used Rolls Royce Merlin engines for a faster cruising speed.  Also it had the Douglas DC-6 nose and landing gear, a shortened fuselage and cabin pressurization. It was first flown in July 1946. It was used by airlines we no longer hear of, notably Canadian Pacific, BOAC and British Midland. 51 aircraft were produced I believe with BOAC taking 22.

I like the stamp design as well. SG S16 with a catalogue value of £4.50 for Mint unused, as is this copy. A nice addition to my aviation collection I think.

Hope you enjoyed seeing it.



Hello, Friday evening here in Hong Kong and looking through some stamps I saw this one.

It had me thinking; was this what I saw fly at Temora some years ago?  If it was it was pretty impressive I recall.

The image is of a Vickers Valiant, a British jet bomber which was once part of the Royal Air Force’s V bomber force in the 1950s and 1960s. The Valiant was the first of the V bombers to become operational. It was followed by the Handley Page Victor, and the Avro Vulcan

It was found to have premature fatiguing and inter-crystalline corrosion in the wing spar attachment castings and was retired in 1965. That doesn’t mean to me there was not one restored to fly in airshows. Anyway it had me enjoying the memory.

It was one of a set of 4 individual stamps issued in 1993 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force.There was also a Miniature Sheet  showing 4 other aircraft.

Have a great weekend






hello, yes been a while since I wrote. finally back in Hong Kong after a bit ( actually a lot!) of flying – London and Laoag… and now a new cover to show you. I hope you like this as much as I do. Wording on the reverse talks about the airlines modern fleet of 747s and L1011s… how times change.. 30 years on and we have 777s and A350s.. the latter looking to enter service now on 1st June, some 7 weeks away. I have First Flight Covers ready and am watching for the confirmed inaugural passenger flight. Best wishes Michael


Hello, just one stamp tonight and to say I will be overseas for 3 weeks so very unlikely to be writing.

While I love this aircraft, a Vikers Viscount 800, and having worked with it for many years – a long time ago I will admit, I am more than happy to be  flying A380’s and 777s now!

I do find it interesting the aircraft image has no tail number. I wonder why?

Best wishes, hope everyone is well.






Hello, yes not been writing much have I. Been rather busy, but I suppose that is nothing new. I would like to show you this lovely and very interesting cover.

From the 1925 Italy – Australia – Asia – Italy flight by Franceso de Pinedo with mechanic Ernesto Campanelli in a SIAI Savoia 16 flying boat.

This cover was carried on the Manila Aparri leg on 16th September 1925.

The full flight was quite amazing I think, departing Rome on April 21st 1925, and returning to Rome on 7th November.  If you are interested, and I do recommend this reading, you can see more here but I should warn you there is a sad ending, if you do not already know about his amazing life.

This cover should be of interest to my seaplane friends as Franceso de Pinedo  was an influential advocate of the seaplane, sharing a belief with many other aviators of his time that flying boats were the key to aviation’s future because of their ability to land safely on the sea in the case of emergencies during long flights over water.

He also believed that seaplanes were more practical than landplanes because of the proximity to water of most cities and towns. With airports not yet common, Pinedo observed, “Civilization is built on water. The world’s principal cities are mirrored by seas, rivers, or lakes. Why not utilize these immense, ready-to-use, natural air strips in place of costly airports? Pinedo even envisioned a day when people would commute to work each day by piloting their own seaplanes from ponds near their homes to municipal docks in city marinas, where they would moor their planes near their places of employment, then return to them to fly home for the evening.

By 1925, Pinedo’s advocacy of the seaplane and its capability to make global air travel feasible led to him being regarded as Italy’s leading expert on aviation matters, especially after he presented a paper to the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.

Times have changed of course but not a bad line of thinking back then I guess.

Have a great weekend




Hello, a cover today  with some airport history and trivia which I hope you enjoy reading .

Barra,  is one place I have not yet visited but one I plan to in the coming few years.  I did work in the Outer Hebrides once but typical of the situation I never went to Barra even though it was so close.

Some history and trivia courtesy of the Highlands and Islands Airport website.

Barra Airport  is a short-runway airport situated in the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhor at the north tip of the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The uniqueness of the airport is that it is the only one in the world where scheduled flights use the beach as a runway.

The beach is set out with three runways, marked by wooden poles at their ends. This allows the aircraft  that serve the airport to almost land into the wind. At high tide, these runways are under the sea – flight times vary with the tide. Emergency flights occasionally operate at night from the airport, with vehicle lights indicating the centre line of the runway and reflective strips laid on the beach.

Barra Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instructions as authorised by the licensee (HIAL). The airport is not licensed for night use.

It was in June 1936 at the same time as a small grass airfield opened its first passenger terminal on land next to Gatwick racecourse that a fledgling Scottish airline first introduced calls on demand at Barra in Scotland. Whereas the Sussex airport developed into a great international airport, the Traigh Mhor at Barra has seen less change but continues to bring a valuable community facility. Through the visions of such early pioneers as Fresson, Sword and Nicholson, islands were among the first places in the UK to benefit from air transport and few would deny that Barra would be the poorer without its air link.

The schedule is still governed by the ebb and flow of the tide and the airfield is surely one of the most beautiful locations in the Western isles. Once it might have been considered a luxury to have an air service to Barra but now it is a highly valued asset of which the islanders are highly protective.

The Air Ministry officially licensed Traigh Mhor as an airfield on 7th August 1936 and a daily service was promoted in the Oban Times from early July that year. The single fare from Barra to Glasgow in the winter of 1936 was £4, while a 90 day return was available for £7 17s 6d. By the winter of 1983, the cost of a single fare had risen to £40.

In October 1974, Loganair begins operating Glasgow-Tiree-Barra flights under contract to British Airways and they took over the service in their own right in April 1975. In 1994, the responsibility for Barra airport passed from Loganair to Highland and Islands Airports Limited. And in the summer of that year, a one way fare to Glasgow was £80.00.

Passenger numbers at Barra are now over 10,000 per year with around 1400 aircraft movements. There are also around 60 private light aircraft flights per year.

The draw of landing on the beach at Barra makes it an ideal film location for many production companies and the airport is always being filmed all year round for its unique landing runways.

Have a great day    Michael


Hello, TGIF and 5 days off work now as we start the Chinese New Year Holiday here in Hong Kong. I will be flying to the Philippines tomorrow so thought this cover would be nice to show.

From 1977 as you can see, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Pan Am’s first international flight.  Some trivia

To commemorate its 50th birthday, Pan Am organized a round-the-world flight San Francisco to San Francisco, over the North Pole and the South Pole with stops in London Heathrow, Cape Town and Auckland. 747SP-21 Clipper New Horizons was the former Liberty Bell, making the plane the only one to go around the globe over the equator and the poles. The flight made it in 54 hours, 7 minutes, and 12 seconds, creating six new world records certified by the FAI (International Aeronautical Federation).  The captain who commanded the flight also commanded the Liberty Bell Express flight

Have a great weekend and enjoy your flying and your aerophilately.



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