Washington, D.C. -- Ten classic American aircraft from the 1930's, '40s and '50s take to the skies in the form of postage when the U.S. Postal Service dedicates the American Advances in Aviation commemorative stamp sheet at the world's premier air show. The Friday, July 29 first-day-of-issue ceremony, hosted by the Experimental Aviation Association (www.eaa.org) will occur during the 2005 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, WI fly-in convention. The ceremony will take place at the event's Aero Shell Square at 10 a.m. CST in the shadows of at least six of the rare aircraft depicted on the stamps.
Many pilots and crew members of these historic aircraft will be on-site to discuss their experiences. An autograph session follows the event.
The stamps will be available at Post Offices and Philatelic Centers nationwide Saturday, July 30.
"The Postal Service is proud to build on the popular Classic American Aircraft collection we first issued in 1997," said Linda Kingsley, Vice President, Strategic Planning, U.S. Postal Service, who will dedicate the stamps at the air show. "The ten historic aircraft chosen for the American Advances in Aviation stamp sheet show the innovation and remarkable technological contributions of our nation's aviation pioneers."
"Every year literally thousands of historic aircraft participate in EAA AirVenture Oshkosh," said EAA Museum Director Adam Smith, "So we're taking the opportunity not only to showcase these beautiful new stamps, but also to show many of the actual aircraft depicted on them."
A description of each aircraft is on the back of the stamp sheet. The stamp images depict:
- Boeing's 247 and B-29 Superfortress
- Consolidated's PBY Catalina and B-24 Liberator
- Lockheed's P-80 Shooting Star
- Grumman's F6F Hellcat
- Republic's P-47 Thunderbolt
- Northrop's YB-49 Flying Wing
- Engineering and Research Corporation's Ercoupe 415
- Beechcraft's 35 Bonanza.
The header illustration includes a Hughes H-1 racer and Boeing's YB-52 Stratofortress.
Military aircraft scheduled to be on display during the ceremony include the B-24 Liberator, B-29 Superfortress, F6F Hellcat and the P80 Shooting Star. Civilian aircraft scheduled to appear include the A-35 Bonanza and the Ercoupe-415.
The American Advances in Aviation stamp sheet was designed by Phil Jordan. The stamp illustrations and header design were painted by William S. Phillips, an award-winning historical aviation and landscape artist who also created the artwork for the 1997 Classic American Aircraft collection.
Aviation Enthusiast Collectables -- Six limited edition prints will only be available on-site at the 2005 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (WI) fly-in convention.
Authenticated with a numbered certificate and autographed by stamp artist William S. Phillips, high-quality prints (12 3/4 x 13 3/4 inch) of select aircraft stamp images will be available for $175. Each print is mounted with an aircraft stamp postmarked with the Oshkosh, WI July 29, 2005 First-Day-of-Issue cancellation. Prints are available for the 35 Bonanza, B-24 Liberator, F6F Hellcat, P45 Thunderbolt, PBY Catalina and the P80 Shooting Star.
Advance orders are now being accepted for these products and will be fulfilled following the July 29 issuance of the stamps. A sampling of products available on-site and through the Postal Store at usps.com/shop or at 800-STAMP-24 include:
- First Day Cover set of ten with the July 29, 2005 First-Day-of-Issue postmark for $7.50.
- A Digital Color Postmark designed by American Advances in Aviation stamps Art Director Phil Jordan. A single First-Day-of-Issue cover is $1.50 or the entire set of ten with either an Oshkosh, WI or Vienna, VA (note: the Vienna reference will not be included in the EAA related media release) postmark is available for $15. Note: Digital color postmarks are not available on customer-submitted covers.
- An 8 x 10 inch Aviation Art Print featuring all 10 stamps for $14.95.
- Baseball caps, t-shirts, key chains, lapel pins and numerous other American Advances in Aviation themed items are also available.
The Postal Service paid tribute to the evolution of flight in 1997 by featuring some of aviation's most innovative aircraft on stamps. The Classic American Aircraft stamp sheet—only available today through collectors—included the: Beech Model C17L; Boeing B-17, B-47, 314 and P-26; Chance Voight Corsair F4U; Curtiss D (header) and JN-4 Jenny; Douglas DC-3; Ford Tri-Motor; Gee Bee Super-Sportster; Grumman F4F Wildcat; Lockheed Constellation, Vega and P-38; Martin B-10; North American F-86 Sabre and P-51 Mustang; Northrop Alpha; Piper J-3 Cub; Stearman PT13 and the Wright Model B Flyer.
EAA, The Leader in Recreational Aviation, is an international association with 170,000 members and 1,000 local Chapters. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is the world's greatest aviation celebration and EAA’s yearly membership convention. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or www.eaa.org. EAA AirVenture information is also available at www.airventure.org.
Since 1775, the Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors and businesses by mail. It is an independent federal agency that visits 142 million homes and businesses every day and is the only service provider delivering to every address in the nation. The Postal Service receives no taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues solely from the sale of postage, products and services. With annual revenues of more than $69 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mailing and delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the world. The Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the world's mail volume- some 206 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a year and serves seven million customers each day at its 37,000 retail locations nationwide.