India on First Powered Flight

A commemorative postage stamp on the 75th Anniversary of the First Powered Flight :

Issued by India779 First Powered Flight

Issued on Dec 23, 1978

Issued for : The Posts and Telegraphs Department feels privileged to issue a commemorative stamp on the 75th year of First Powered Flight.

Picture : The stamp depicts Wright Brothers with their aeroplane. The design is based on photographs by courtesy of International Communication Agency, New Delhi.

Type : Stamp, Postal Used

Watermark : Yes [A.P. watermark]

Colour : Buff and Bright Purple

Denomination : 100 Paise

Overall Size : 3.91 X 2.90 cms.

Printing Size : 3.55 X 2.54 cms.

Perforation : 13 X 13

Stamps Printed : 20,00,000 in sheets of 35

Printing Process : Photogravure

Designed and Printed at : India Security Press

About : 

  • On a cold and windy day 75 years ago, one of man’s oldest and boldest dreams – to be able to fly like a bird – became a reality.
  • On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their heavier-than-air flying machine from a desolate spit of land jutting out in the Atlantic Ocean, a place called Kitty Hawk, in North Carolina. The dream of centuries was realized when their flimsy plane, made of silk and wood, with Orville at the controls rose from the sandy ground and was airborne. The flight lasted exactly 12 seconds.
  • This was the first time that a machine carrying a man raised itself by its own power into the air in full flight and sailed forward without reduction in speed.
  • That day the two brothers flew their plane three more times, alternating piloting the flights. On that notable day, Wilbur had the fourth turn and made the longest distance. He flew for 59 seconds and covered 852 feet.
  • In 1904 the Wright brothers rebuilt their machine with modifications and 105 landings were made. In 1905 they concentrated on improvements and refinements, not on radical changes. By 1907 the new Wright engine gave 50 per cent more power than the 1905 engine; its power was sufficient to carry two men, fuel, and a load of 100 pounds. The brothers continued to make and fly planes for many years and Wilbur established a world record for flight in September 1908 in France when he flew 52 miles and remained aloft one hour, 31 minutes and 25 seconds.
  • The Wright brothers were two of five children of a bishop. The other three attended college while Wilbur (born 1867) and Orville (born 1871) preferred to tinker with bicycles and printing presses. It was not long before they were interested in the study of flying.
  • And their success was not achieved overnight or by chance, nor was it a surprise to those few who knew of their careful preparation. In their work they had been helped beyond measure by the prior efforts of hundreds of other men. For example, the theory of aeronautics was an old one by 1896 when the Wright brothers first began to study it.
  • In 1912, just as the airplane was beginning to make great advances, Wilbur died of typhoid. Orville worked on alone, and in 1913 won the Collier Trophy for a device to balance airplanes automatically. He died in 1948.

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