Paraguay : History of aviation

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

and 30th Anniversary of ICAO


Issue date: 24/04/1979







L'Eole airplane of Clement Ader (1890).


MUESTRA (meaning Specimen) is overprinted diagonally on the set at the right-side.


Flyer III double decker of Wright Brothers (1905).


This stamp was later reproduced on a commemorative cover, as displayed hereafter.


Voisin-Farman 1bis biplane (1908).


Curtiss Golden Flyer biplane (with a pusher configuration, as the propeller was behind the pilot) flown by Eugene Ely on 14 November 1910 for the first‑ever take‑off from a ship.

Error in spelling of the first name: Eugene is spelled with two 'n'.

More background information on this stamp can be found by clicking on: Philatelic Laxity: Eugene Ely.



Etrich A‑II Taube (1910).


German fighter aircraft of the First World War Fokker E III, with the black Iron Cross used on the German Luftstreitkräfte aircraft in 1915.

The Fokker E III was the main variant of the Eindecker (monoplane) fighter aircraft of World War I and entered service on the Western Front in December 1915. The letter E refers to the Eindecker or armed monoplane introduced in 1915.


Albatros C airplane (1915, aircraft of World War I), from the German Air Force.


Boeing 747 aircraft carrying the Space Shuttle (1980).

Airmail stamp.



Boeing 707 from Lineas Aereas Paraguayas (LAP), the state airline of Paraguay.

Airmail stamp.



Souvenir sheet (with a 50x40mm stamp) reproducing two commemorative cancels related to the Graf Zeppelin LZ 127 round-the-world flight in 1929.

ICAO emblem with surrounding text: 75o ANIVERSARIO DE O.A.C.I.

With control number.

MUESTRA (meaning Specimen) is overprinted diagonally on the second sheet.







Cancelled to Order (CTO).


Measuring 16.75” x 11.75”, the 1981 Schenker calendar showed 70 commemorative postage stamps of various themes from various countries and various years. The month of June of this calendar displays the set of 9 cancelled stamps of this issue. Schenker is one of the leading international providers of integrated logistics services.


First Day Covers.



Other First Day Covers. It is interesting to highlight that the text on the left side of these first day covers is in German, probably due the particularly notable German presence in Paraguay. Although German immigrants had settled in Paraguay before the turn of the 20th century, it wasn't until the 1920's and 30s that many more arrived. At times, it was as if German were the country's second language (or third, after the indigenous Guaraní).




Although the stamp shows an error in the first name of the pioneer Ely (Eugenne with two n-letters), the text on the left side of this cover shows the correct spelling.






Background: The designer of those stamps included the ICAO emblem, surrounded by 75o Aniversario de OACI. Paraguay inadvertently confused the 75th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ triumph, who made the first successful flight of a manned heavier-than-air vehicle on 17 December 1903, with ICAO which, even today, has not yet reached such a milestone. Furthermore, it should be noted that the date of issuance of this set by Paraguay did not correspond to an anniversary of the first flight (which should have been in 1978) nor to an anniversary celebrated by ICAO. This issue should have more rightly commemorated the 30th anniversary of ICAO (in April 1977), and not its 75th anniversary.

The first seven stamps of this issue were printed in se-tenant strip (Text in the selvage: SELLOS HISTORIA DE LA AVIACION II Y COMMEMORACION DEL 75 ANIVERSARIO DE O.A.C.I.). The last two values are airmail stamps that were printed in separate sheets. Specimen stamps also exist and are shown here above.


Paraguay, with a total population close to 5 million, has today some 166,000 German speakers. The first Germans appeared in 1881 in Paraguay in the form of five families coming from Berlin, which established themselves in San Bernardino and founded in 1888 the town named Nueva Germania. With the establishment of Hohenau (45 km above Encarnación) in 1899, German colonization at the upper Parana, so important for the further development, began; most of the Germans who settled in this region came from the larger German colonies from neighbouring Brazil and Argentina which were well experienced in subtropical agriculture. During 1900-1914, numerous predominantly German settlements developed on the west bank of the upper Parana. When the Communists came to power in Russia, the German speaking population was persecuted by the new Soviet Government; some Russian Mennonites saw Paraguay as a perfect place to settle because it looked isolated.

The presence of a large German community in Paraguay and the fact that several aircraft of this series relate to the WWI German Air Force may have triggered the release of first day covers with German text.


On 8 August 1929, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin departed on a grand adventure: a complete circumnavigation of the globe. The growing popularity of the "giant of the air" made it easy for Dr. Eckener to find sponsors. One of these was the American press tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who requested the tour officially start in Lakehurst, New Jersey. From there, the Graf Zeppelin flew to Friedrichshafen first, continued across Russian Siberia to Tokyo, then across the northern Pacific to San Francisco and Los Angeles, and across America back to Lakehurst. Finally, the Graf Zeppelin crossed again the Atlantic to her home port of Friedrichshafen, arriving there on 4 September 1929. The voyage was a triumph; she completed a circumnavigation of the globe. Including the initial and final trips from Friedrichshafen to Lakehurst and back, the Graf travelled 49,618 km.


USA - 29-31 August 2003 - BALPEX 2003.

Annual exhibition and bourse of the BALPEX stamp show in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

Black cachet produced by the Baltimore Philatelic Society in conjunction with the BALPEX 2003 stamp show, featuring reproductions of two Wright Brothers stamps: Uruguay stamp issued on 18/06/1979 (commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first powered flight and the 65th anniversary of the Uruguayan air force) and Paraguay Specimen stamp issued on 24/04/1979 (commemorating the 75th anniversary of civil aviation and the 35th anniversary of ICAO) and providing some informative text.