Cyprus : 1978 Anniversaries and events

75th anniversary of first engined-powered flight of Wright Brothers

and 30th Anniversary of ICAO


Issue date: 23/10/1978



Wright Flyer I and pictures of Orville Wright (1871‑1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867‑1912); ICAO emblem for the 30th anniversary of the Organization.


Specimen stamp; overprint in red.



Specimen stamp; variety of above stamp: double overprint.


Hand-stamped Control Number.


Photo proof.


Lower-right block of four stamps.


Block of 4 stamps with first day cancel.

Full sheet of 50 stamps.


Presentation pack of the four stamps of this issue, design of Human Spirit by Susan Kerr (Cyprus Painter); 1500 cards were issued.


First day illustrated card. The back side of the card is blank.

First day of issue (23 October1978), issued under the auspices of Cypriot Philatelic Society. Card designed by G.N. Stavrinos and printed by PROODOS Ltd, Nicosia. One mounted stamp (multicolor litho-offset by Aspiotes‑Elka Graphic Arts Inc., Athens) and two postmarks from the post office. Texts in English and Greek. Numbered copy (3164 of 3300 copies issued). Size: 31 x 21.5 cm. The illustration depicts the evolution of airplanes:

1. Upper row, from left to right going upwards:

a.     Lower left corner: Santos-Dumont Demoiselle (1907)

b.     Looks like a biplane Wright Model A (1908)

c.     Looks like a Blériot XI (1909)

d.     Gee-Bee Super-Sportster (1932)

e.     Lockheed 9 Orion (1931)

f.     At the top: Heinkel He 178 (1939).

2. Lower row, from left to right going upwards:

  1. Lower corner, just above the stamp: Voisin-Delagrange No 2 (1909)
  2. Looks like a de Havilland D.H.60 Moth (1928)
  3. Looks like a racer from the 30's
  4. Gloster E.28/39 (1941)
  5. Top right corner: Aérospace/British Aerospace Concorde (1975).



First Day Card issued in limited numbers; designed by George Simonis (who was also the designer of the stamp issued by Cyprus on 21 October for the 50th Anniversary of ICAO); issued under the auspices of the Cyprus Philatelic Society. The back side of the card is blank.


First Day Covers (FDC), showing the four stamps of this issue:

  1. 15m.: Affected blood corpuscles with low hemoglobin - 5th Anniversary of the establishment of the Pan-Cyprian Anti-anemia Association for the Prevention of Thalassaemia or Mediterranean Anemia;
  2. 35m.: Sculpture (Bust) of Aristotle – 2300th Death anniversary of Aristotle; Roman copy in Vienna’s Museum of the bust of the great Greek Philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
  3. 75m.: Heads and Human Rights emblem – 25th Anniversary of the entry into force of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and 30th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
  4. 125m.: 75th Anniversary of first powered flight.


Official FDC.


Official FDC with special registered label “Philatelic Section”.


Unofficial FDC. Map of the Mediterranean seen in pink.


Aviation History: First Powered Flight - FAI First Day Cover. Wilbur Wright and Mrs. Hart O. Berg in the Wright Flyer in 1908.


Back of the above cover (signed certificate of authenticity).


The above cover is part of the album “The History of Aviation - First Day Cover Collection” (“La Collection d’Enveloppes Premier Jour de l’Histoire de L'Aviation”) containing 110 different first day covers, from all over the world, issued in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the first engine-powered flight (1978), by The Franklin Philatelic Society under the auspices of FAI, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (International Aeronautical Federation), Lausanne, Switzerland. The collection is neatly arranged in a blue embossed binder with the cover page showing the FAI emblem. Each illustrated stamped envelope has descriptions in French and English.

The frame of the picture (related to the Wright Brothers) on the cover is in gold and extends to form another rectangular box across the front of the envelope where the address would normally be written.  Inside this box written in French and English is History of Aviation Stamp Collection. Postally marked on cover describing the event.

On the back of the envelope is the same FAI symbol in gold that reads underneath FÉDERATION AÉRONAUTIQUE INTERNATIONALE.  Beneath that, there are two paragraphs, one in French and one in English that espouse the Certificate of Authenticity.  At the bottom of the envelope is the signature of Mr. Adolf „Pirat“ Gehriger, the President of FAI between 1977 and 1978.

The cachet design (original art) of the lot of first day covers reports various feats of the Wright Brothers.



Souvenir card with First Day Cover and explanatory texts in English (front-side) and in French (back-side).



The Cyprus stamp was utilized to commemorate the FAI 79th General Conference, held in Nicosia, Cyprus, from 28 October to 3 November 1979.


Background: This stamp is part of a set of four stamps commemorating anniversaries and events celebrated by Cyprus in 1978 (Prevention of Thalassaemia or Anemia, 2300th Birth anniversary of Aristotle, 30th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and 75th Anniversary of first powered flight).


The Coat of Arms of Cyprus depicts a dove carrying an olive branch, a well-known symbol of peace, over the year “1960.” This was the year that Cyprus gained its independence from British rule. The background is a copper-yellow colour, symbolizing the large deposits of copper ore in Cyprus. This copper ore is mainly in the form of chalcopyrite, which is yellow in colour. Flag and coat of arms were adopted on 16 August 1960.


The above FAI cover shows Wilbur Wright and Mrs. Hart O. Berg in the Wright Flyer in 1908. At the end of May 1908, Wilbur and Orville Wright separated. They went off in different directions, something they hadn’t done since beginning their flying experiments. Orville returned to Dayton to start work on a Type A Flyer for the Signal Corps tests, which would take place at an army base near Washington, D.C., whereas Wilbur sailed for France where he would assemble and demonstrate a second Flyer. In Europe, Wilbur was greeted with widespread curiosity and suspicion. Many Frenchmen found it hard to believe that the Wright brothers had actually flown at Kitty Hawk as early as 1903. Wilbur, meanwhile, had arranged to assemble his Flyer at an automobile factory near the city of Le Mans; but when he opened the shipping crates containing the aircraft’s parts, he found that many parts had been damaged. When the Flyer was finally ready, Wilbur made his first public flight on 8 August 1908 at Les Hunaudières, a small racetrack near Le Mans. The Flyer lifted off, climbed gracefully toward the sky, made two sweeping circles around the racetrack, and glided down for a smooth landing. None of the spectators had ever seen a banked turn before. That week, Wilbur made several more demonstration flights before enthralled crowds that grew bigger every day. At the end of the week, Wilbur was granted permission to use the Camp d’Auvours, a large military ground near Le Mans. From 21 August 1908 to 2 January 1909, he made more than one hundred flights there, captivating France and the rest of the world with his aerial feats. Mrs. Hart O. Berg, USA, was the Wrights' business agent in Europe, who became on 7 October 1908 the first woman to fly as a passenger in an aeroplane. In those Victorian days, it was considered shocking for a woman to show her ankles. Seated in the right seat of the aircraft, she tied a rope securely around her skirt at her ankles to keep it from blowing in the wind during the flight (see on the picture). After she landed, she took a few hobbling steps before the cord was removed. A French fashion designer watching the flight was impressed with the way Mrs. Berg walked away from the aircraft with her skirt still tied. Mrs. Berg was then credited with inspiring the famous "Hobble Skirt" fashion. Wilbur’s triumphant season in France made him an international celebrity.