Friday, 11 September 2009

Aircraft On Stamps (The Lancaster)


What a response, to the last post, no less than 6 emails asking "for more" I did not think that so many people were interested in this subject (aerophilately). Due to popular demand here is a second in the series, and the answer Micheal if you wish to use it is yes, please do so with pleasue.

As this is supposed to be a site dedicated to Machin definitives I am going to start with a reference to them. Below is one of my favourite booklets. This is the 5th booklet in a series of aircraft illustrations by peter Hutton titled Military Aircraft.

First issued 26 Jan 1981. The booklet was Printed by Harrison & Sons Ltd. and sold at face value for £1.15p. The front cover of this booklet shows a picture of both the Spitfire and Avro Lancaster in flight. It contains 10 x 11½p mushroom Machins. two types are available to collect selvedge at left and selvedge at right.

The Lancaster Mk 1

Roy Chadwick designed the Lancaster based upon the twin engined Manchester bomber - which was an operational failure due to using engines that did not produce enough power for the weight of the aircraft. The Lancaster was born by increasing the length of the fuselage, and widening the wings to handle another two engines, but most importantly as with the Spitfire the Lancaster used Rolls-Royce Merlin engines.

After WW2, Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris (shown below on this 31p stamp) said in a letter to Sir Roy Dobson of Avro.

"The Lancaster surpassed all other types of heavy bomber. Not only could it take heavier bomb loads, not only was it easier to handle, not only were there fewer accidents with this than with any other type throughout the war, the casualty rate was also considerably below other types.

I used the Lancaster alone for those attacks which involved the deepest penetration into Germany and were, consequently, the most dangerous. I would say this to those who placed that shining sword in our hands - Without your genius and efforts we could not have prevailed, for I believe the Lancaster was the greatest single factor in winning the war."

One such attack of WWII was that of "The Dambusters" led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the pilot and his comrades who manned 19 Lancaster's from 617 Squadron for the raid.

Recently we celebrated the 50th anniversary of this raid and several FDC were prepared for the occasion. Below is one of these covers you may find interesting.

50th Anniv Dam Busters Signed Edward Wass 617 Sqn Gunner.

17 May 1993 Scampton 50th Anniversary 617 Squadron special postmark. Special cover issued for 50th The Dam Busters No 617 Squadron. Personally Signed by Sqn Ldr E A Wass, gunner with Ivesons crew with 617 Sqn. Edward Wass went on the Tirpitz and Berchtesgaden raids.

left: Bombs away:

The world's only flying Lancaster makes a low pass over the Derwent Dam Instead of Germany's Ruhr Valley , it was Derbyshire UK but no less poignant for that. This was the exact spot the famous bombers had painstakingly prepared for their mission in 1943.

In dummy run after dummy run, the elite RAF crews planned their method of attack on the similar German targets.

I would have loved to have been here and I can just emagine this scene:

Amid the roar of the bomber's four Merlin engines the Lancaster bomber soars over spectators during its flypast over the dam. Two fighters of WWII, a Spitfire and Hurriane followed in its jet stream.

This link gives you some idea of the size of this massive war machine. Please use your back button to return to this page

There is also the chance for indiviuals to experience a ride in a lancaster . A day out to remember is offered (and bring a guest). one package includs a look inside the Lancaster and tour of the cockpit for £50.00.

The actual ride is just a taxy down the runway, ok if you can afford the price as this costs £270.00.

Places MUST be pre-booked! All guests go home with a certificate signed by the pilot who has done the taxy run that day. Make a few bob on the day get your covers signed too!


Anonymous said...

what were the illusrtations on the other booklets in the Military Aircraft series?

nnnnnn said...

great subject..machins and aerophilately... we must do more.. between us.

best wishes.. Michael cddstamps