Tag Archives: Airliners

Classic Aircraft on US Airmails

Originally published July 30, 2012

One of my favourite stamp sets is the American Airmail stamps issued in the summer of 1947.  The 3 value set features prominent aircraft and landmarks of the time.   The stamps were printed by rotary press and are perforated 11 x 10½. 

The 10¢ value features the Martin 2-0-2 and the Pan American Union Building in Washington DC.  The Martin 2-0-2 first flew in November of 1946 and was built as an intended replacement for the venerable DC-3.  With a production run of only 47 aircraft, these aircraft were in operation until the mid-1970s.  The major operators of the 2-0-2 were Northwest Orient Airlines, LAN Chile and Trans World Airlines.

The Pan American Union Building was built between 1908 and 1910.  The cornerstone was laid on May 11, 1908 by Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Root, and Andrew Carnegie.  The headquarters of the Organization of American States, it hosted the initial meeting of the International Labour Organization in 1919 and the Washington Naval Conference of 1921.

A Lockheed Constellation and the New York skyline are shown on the 15¢ value.  The Lockheed Constellation was first flown in 1943.  The “Connie” first served as a military transport before becoming a civilian airliner.  856 Constellations were built and the aircraft were used from their introduction until the 1990s.  A “Connie” was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential aircraft.  Major operators were Trans World Airlines, Eastern Airlines, Pan Am and Air France.

There are few views that are as iconic as the New York skyline.   We can see the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and many more buildings.

Finally, the 25¢ value shows us a Boeing Stratocruiser flying over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  The Stratocruiser was first flown on July 8th, 1947 and was based on the Stratofreighter which was derived from the Superfortress.  With only 59 aircraft built the Stratocruiser was one of, if not the most luxurious airliner of this period.   Major operators were Pan Am, BOAC and Northwest Orient Airlines.

Built between January 1933 and Aril 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge is most likely the worlds most photographed bridge. Linking San Francisco and Marin County the Golden Gate Bridge spans 8,981 feet.  It stands 746 feet high and at high tide provides 220 feet of clearance below the bridge deck.









Airliners on Cambodian Stamps

Originally published on March 07, 2009.

In 1991 Cambodia issued a set of 7 stamps celebrating some of the worlds most popular airliners. Although no airline is specifically detailed on any of the stamps, these Airliners have been used worldwide. The Stamps issued on June 15 are printed by lithography and are perforated 13×12½.


The first stamp depicts the DC-10. Manufactured by McDonnell Douglas the DC-10 was the first commercial aircraft to roll of their assembly line. 14 different variants were manufactured.

The series 30 variant has a typical range of 10,010 km and was manufactured between 1972 and 1988. 164 were built and major users were Lufthansa, Swissair, Varig, KLM and Iberia among others. The DC-10-30 was the most common model of the DC10 manufactured. As of January 2009, there were 144 DC10’s in service around the world. The DC-10-30 was powered by 3 General Electric CF6-50 engines and had a 3 person cockpit crew. The DC10 could seat 380 passengers in 1 class configuration or 250 in a 2 class cabin.


The 25 Riel stamp features the McDonnell Douglas/Boeing MD-11. Although superficially similar to the DC-10, the MD-11 is longer, has improved aerodynamics and has a glass cockpit.

The MD-11 first flew in January of 1990 and the first delivery to Finnair occurred in December of that year.

Five variants of the MD-11 were produced between the years 1988 and 2000 for a total of 200 aircraft. 3 engine types were offered on all variants. The maximum range of the MD-11 was 12,655 km. The introduction of the glass cockpit eliminated the need of the flight engineer, reducing the cockpit crew to 2. It could carry 410, 323 or 293 passengers depending on if it was configured for a 1, 2 or 3 class cabin.


Introduced in December of 1992, the IL-96-300 was designed by Ilyushin and manufactured at the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association. The IL-96-300’s first flight was on September 28, 1998. It is based on the IL-86.

The IL-96 is being manufactured in 4 variants, all powered by 4 Aviadvigatel PS-90 engines. The range of the IL-96-300 is 11,000 km and can accommodate 259 passengers in a 3 class layout.

It has a 3 person cockpit crew and a modern glass cockpit and a fly-by-wire control system. The IL-96 is still being manufactured and is used mainly by former Soviet Bloc countries. As of 2008, 28 aircraft have been built.


The Airbus A310 is shown the 100 Riel stamp. Airbus Industries 2nd aircraft, it is a shortened version of the A300.

Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines the maiden flight of the A310 took place in April 1982. The typical range of the A310 is 6, 800km and seats 240 passengers in a 2 class configuration.

The A310 has 4 variants and is used by the Air Forces of 7 countries. They were manufactured between 1983-2007 with 255 aircraft delivered. Major civil users are Fed EX, Air India, Air Transat and Pakistan International.


With 188 produced between 1979 – 2002, the YAK-42 was designed to replace the ageing TU-134. Manufactured by Yakovlev, the YAK-42 had a usual capacity of 8 first class and 96 economy class passengers with a cockpit crew of 2.

The YAK-42 was powered by 3 ZMKB Progress D-36 engines. With a range of 4, 100km, the YAK-42 was a medium-range aircraft. They were used by eastern bloc countries and only after the collapse of the old USSR were they exported to other regions.

As of August 2007, there were still 133 YAK-42’s still in service.


Tupolev’s TU-154 was designed to replace Aeroflot’s ageing turboprop and early jet fleet. The TU-154 entered service in February 1972, almost 4 years after its first flight in 1968.

Powered by 3 Kuznetsov NK-8-2U engines the TU-154 had a typical range of 3, 500km and could accommodate between 114 – 180 passengers. It had a cockpit crew of 3 – 4. The TU-154 has several variants and is operated by former Soviet-influenced nations and their airlines.

Of the 919 built, 263 of all variants remain in service.


The venerable DC-9 manufactured by Douglas and the McDonnell Douglas aircraft companies were produced in many variants between 1965 and 1982. The first DC-9 flew on February 25, 1965. It was introduced into airline service on December 8, 1965, with Delta Air Lines.

All variants are powered by Pratt & Whitney engines and have a range between 2, 340 and 3, 030km with a 2 crew cockpit. In a single class configuration, it can seat between 90 and 135 passengers.

As of February 2009, there are still 232 DC9s in service. The major user being Northwest Airlines.


Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC-10
Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MD-11
Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilyushin_Il-96
Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A310
Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YAK-42
Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TU-154
Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC-9

40th Anniversary of Czechoslovak Airlines

originally published January 21, 2007

On May 25th 1963, Czechoslovakia issued two stamps to honour the 40th anniversary of Czechoslovakian Airlines (CSA). The two stamps issued represent the Soviet influence on the countries airline operations.

Founded as Chechoslovak State Airlines (Ceskoslovenské Státní Aerolinie) during October 1923 the first flight of this fledgling airline was 321km from Prague to Braislava.

In 1957 they entered the modern era of air transport when they began to operate the Tupolev 104A turbojet airliner.

Scott 1178, Stanley Gibbons 1361 – 80 Haleru

TU-104A medium range transport two 9,700kg thrust Mikulin AM-3M-500 turbojets
Maximum Speed: 950km/h (590mph)
Service Ceiling: 11,500m (32,810 ft)
Range: 2,650km (1,647 miles)

During 1960 CSA began operating the Ilyushin 18 long range turboprop airliner.

Scott 1179, Stanley Gibbons 1362 – 1.80 Koruna

IL-18 long range transport
four 3169kw Ivchenko AI-20M turboprops
Maximum Speed: 675km/h (419mph)
Service Cieling: 10000m (32,810 ft)
Range: 3,700km (2,299 miles)

CSA continues to operate today as the state airline of the Czech Republic. Their current fleet includes some of the most modern aircraft available.


David Donald ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, (Etobicoke: Prospero, 1997)
Year by Year Development of CSA. Czech Airlines http://www.csa.cz/en/czechia/cz_spolecnost/historie.htm.
Czech Airlines. Wikipedia. 14 January 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Airlines.

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