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Hello,  the last few weeks have been very busy and no time at all for stamps. Lots of flying although not on this wonderful aircraft.  Very nostalgic to see this in a a set of 4 from Gibraltar, issued in 2006 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Gibraltar Airmail Services.

The plane, as no doubt you know, is a Vickers Vanguard. It was a British short/medium-range turboprop airliner introduced in 1959 by Vickers-Armstrongs, a development of their successful Viscount design.

It was introduced into service by BEA in 1960 and I remember flying it many times on the London Edinburgh route. Only 44 were built. The aircraft had very low operating costs per sear mile but with the introduction of jet aircraft they were not to see much further success. They were eventually converted to freighters and did continue to fly well into the 1990s.

One more bit of trivia for you. When the aircraft was configured with a first class cabin, that cabin was at the back of the aircraft. Very unusual I think, as first was traditionally at the front of a plane. Why at the back?  well because it was quieter there.

Enjoy your aerophilately and your flying.       Michael


Hello, one more cover with another value of the Airmail stamp issue that I showed on a cover the other evening.

This  cover was released in 1947  to  – as it says on the cover – commemorate the first airmail stamps. I note it has the same mailing address as the cover I showed the the evening so obviously sent to a collector in the US. And, this time the senders address is on the reverse.  I will be in Candon in 12 days time, I wonder if the same family is still there. What a small world!

Back to my theme of  Airmail stamps.  Technically these were not the First Airmail stamps. They were the first Airmails stamps of the Republic of the Philippines. Technicality I think. The first Airmail stamps are considered to be those overprinted values of the 1917-1927 regular issue with the words “AIRMAIL MADRID MANILA 1926”. They were issued by the postal authorities in Manila to commemorate the inaugural flight from Madrid to Manila in 1926 (which took 39 days by the way) by the Spanish aviators Edwardo Gallarza and Joaquin Loriga.

The first regular airmail stamp issue was in 1941 issue. I must try and find a set to add to my collection and show you.

Enjoy your aerophilately




Hello, a very simple cover  to show you today.  Sometimes plain and simple can be the most appealing.

This was issued in June 1948 to commemorate the inauguration of the first terminal  and airport facilities at what became Manila airport  when it came under the ownership of the National Airport Corporation  after the move of the airport from its old location following Philippine Independence.

Perhaps more correctly it was the handover of the terminal and facilities from the US Air Force to the Philippine government.

At the time the facilities were basically just the domestic runway and a small building which served as the passenger terminal.

I have read conflicting views about the terminal: one suggests the site of todays Terminal 2 was where the original terminal facilities were, another suggests the terminal exists today as Terminal 4 and what is often referred to as the Old Domestic Terminal.

Perhaps a reader knows more?

The stamp is the 6c low value from the 1947 Air Mail issue.

Enjoy your aerophilately



Hello and tonight the third of my flight covers for the inaugural of the China Clipper service. This was the second part of my Christmas present to myself. 🙂    It was flown San Francisco to Manila and has the cachet in green showing that detail and the special stamps known as the Transpacific Air mail stamp which was issued by the US Postal service for the occasion.


Some trivia for you. The China Clipper flew 8210 miles from San Francisco to Manila, departing November 22nd and arriving in Manila on November 29th after stops in Honolulu, Midway Island, Wake Island and Guam.  There were 44,346 pieces of mail picked up in San Francisco for onward carriage to Manila.  By comparison the Philippine Airlines flight from Manila to San Francisco takes just over 12 hours covering a route just short of 7000 miles.

While I think the China Clipper flight would be so much fun, I will stay with Philippine Airlines!

Enjoy your aerophilately, and your flying. Am off to Manila in a few days so will write more on return.

Best wishes …. Michael


Hello, welcome to 2017 and the first blog of the year. I hope you like seeing this first flight cover. It was my Christmas present to myself!! I think I told you it is a good idea to treat yourself.

Anyway as you can see it was flown Manila to San Francisco in 1935. Actually it was on the first flight for the route, being the return flight of the first Clipper service, the first transpacific flight.


This flight was a landmark in aviation history, as I have written before.  Flown by a Pan Am Martin M-130 Flying Boat christened the China Clipper. The outbound flight left San Francisco November 22nd 1935 and arrived in Manila on November 29th. The return flight, on which this cover was flown, left Manila December 2nd and arrived back in San Francisco on December 6th.   What is nice about this envelope is that it was signed by the Pilot, Captain Edwin C Musick a very accomplished and well known Pan Am pilot in those days.

You might also note the stamps on the envelope, with the PI – US Initial Flight  December 1935. These were issued by Philippines Post Office for this flight. They were the 1935 10c Fort Santiago stamp and the 30c Blood Compact stamp, both with the overprint.

Perhaps more about this flight and flown covers in the coming weeks.

Enjoy your stamps and your flying



Hello, I hope you enjoy seeing this cover. Flown Manila to San Francisco in 1935 on the return legs of the first transpacific flight. A significant achievement in aviation back then.

This was Pan Am’s Martin M-130 flying boat, better known as the China Clipper.

The cover shows the special stamps issued by the Philippines Post Office; the 10c Fort Santiago stamp and the 30c Blood Compact issue with overprint PI – US Initial Flight December 1935.

There was a special cachet, as shown on the left hand side of the cover, for mail carried on the flight from Manila to  San Francisco, and this was on 74,719 pieces of mail.

Enjoy your flying and your stamps.   Michael




Hello, yes it has been a few weeks since I last wrote. Where does the time go?  Certainly fast and perhaps it seems as fast as this plane. This cover from a friend of mine in Cebu.

If we think the days and weeks go fast, think how fast 39 years has gone by. – Yes 39 years ago that Concorde flew its inaugural scheduled London Heathrow – New York flight and just over 40 years since its first flight.

Lost of trivia can be read about Concorde. Two of my favourites:

Concorde was impeded from flying over Saudi Arabian airspace as it was felt that noise from the aircraft would disturb camel breeding.

Phil Collins used Concorde to perform at Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia on July 13, 1985.

Enjoy your aerophilately    Michael




Hello, These past few days I have been sorting and listing Bechuanaland and Botswana to the online store.  I came across this stamp. I hope you enjoy seeing it.

It is from the 1966 Independence Issue (interesting political history I might add)  and it is one of a set of 4. This is SG 204 and shows a Botswana National Airways DC3. The  airline was  just Bechuanaland National Airways renamed after Independence. It did not last long, going bankrupt in 1969 and then being acquired by the Government and renamed Botswana Airways Corporation which in turn fail around 1971. But that is another story and history of the airline industry in South Africa back in this days in general perhaps!

Enjoy your stamps and please remember, if you have gaps in your British Commonwealth collection do try cddstamps just once. You might become a regular visitor to our online store like many others. Visit here for all the countries we have in the store

Have a great weekend   Michael





Hello, one more from Portugal tonight, and another of the stamps I picked up at the Show in Taipei.

This miniature sheet is another of the Portugal 2014 – Airplanes that Azores Know –  issue showing a  Lockheed Super Constellation. It looks like it could be a KLM aircraft but I am not sure.  As for the reason for using it on the stamp, again I cannot be sure. There were a few Super Connie craches in and around the Azores. Perhaps a reader will know.

One accident I do know about is the Air France one in October 1949.  This plane, F-BAZN departed Paris-Orly at 20:05 for a flight to New York with an intermediate stop at Santa Maria, Azores. Sadly on approach to Santa Monica and the crew acknowledging landing instructions, nothing more was heard from the flight. The Constellation had struck the Redondo Mountain at an elevation of 900 m. Sadly all 96 crew and passengers were killed in the crash including the famous violinist Ginette Neveu and the famous boxer Marcel Cerdan.

Anyway, whatever the plane it is still a lovely tribute to those who flew her, and many other Connies.

Enjoy your flying and your stamps   Michael


Hello, I am back from the PhilaTaipei Stamp Exhibition in Taipei and thought you might like to see a few of the stamps I found while browsing the various dealer stands.

This is one of my favourites. Issued by Portugal  in 2014 to celebrate “Airplanes that Azores Know” The aircraft shown on the stamp is tail NC 18603, also known as the Yankeee Clipper. It made its maiden flight in 1939 and its last in February 1943 when it left Horta in the Azores for Lisbon. Unfortunately, it crashed while attempting to land when the left wingtip of the aircraft contacted the water of the River Tagus during a descending turn. Sadly also, 48 of the 78 crew and passengers died in the accident.

The Boeing clipper is widely regarded at the summit of flying boat technology.  It inaugurated the world’s first transatlantic  heavier-than-air service, and carried passengers and cargo around the globe in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Large, luxurious, and reliable — and with, what was then, an astounding range of 3,500 statute miles — the B-314 made intercontinental passenger airline service a practical reality.

The B-314 could carry 74 passengers and 10 crew, although in overnight sleeper configuration, the ship accommodated 40 passengers in seven luxurious compartments, including a 14-seat dining room and a private “honeymoon suite” at the tail end of the plane.

Over the course of their careers, the B-314’s operated by Pan American made approximately 5,000 ocean crossings and flew more than 12.5 million miles, and each of Pan Am’s Boeing clippers accumulated more than 18,000 flight hours.

Enjoy your flying and your stamps.  Michael