Aviation history : Introduction


This series on aviation history is an attempt to amalgamate philately and flight. The material described and illustrated in these chapters related to aviation history has been selected from the vast array of the ICAO philatelic collection (i.e. postage stamps and postal material with relation to ICAO), on the basis of what is most relevant. This is a chronological tale, ranging from the ancient mythology to the recent developments in aviation, with the understanding that some shortcuts may be taken when material is just not available in the ICAO collection for a period or a technology. This is an invitation to travel through centuries and decades of dreams, hopes and reality, but the journey will by no means be complete, as entire libraries are filled with books about man’s flight and aircraft as well as about the philatelic aspects of the subject.


When required, chapters may be devoted to subjects which are of particular interest to ICAO or when material is vast enough to devote a full chapter. The reader will be able to admire the variety of items in the ICAO collection.


Uruguay – 13 June 1978

30th Anniversary of ICAO and 75th Anniversary of first engine powered flight of Wright Brothers

This sheet presents a veritable mini-history of flight-related topics. On the left-side: Concorde and Dornier Do‑X; in the middle: Graf Zeppelin D‑LZ 127, stratosphere balloon and double decker Wright Flyer I; on the right-side: Columbia Space Shuttle and Savoia-Marchetti of de Pinedo.


Cyprus – 23 October 1978 - 75th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight

First day of issue card, issued under the auspices of Cypriot Philatelic Society, with two postmarks from the post office. Numbered copy. The illustration depicts the evolution of airplanes: from the Santos-Dumont Demoiselle (1907) to the Concorde (1975).


Libya - 7 December 1984 - 40th Anniversary of ICAO

Sheetlet of 16 stamps, the backgrounds of the stamps forming an overall design of a runway.

History of aviation from the Wright Flyer 1 (1903) to the Airbus Industrie A310 (1982).


Togo - 15 October 1985 - 40th Anniversary of ICAO

History of aviation from the Ornithopter of Da Vinci (1485) to the Boeing 747 (1969).