India on Air Mail
Complete Set of 4 nos of commemorative postage stamps on the INDIA-80, an India International Stamp Exhibition : Mail–carrying Aircrafts of India :
Issued by India
Issued on Oct 15, 1979
Issued for : Posts and Telegraphs Department honours all those who have been and are associated with carriage of mails by air by issuing a set of four stamps on AIRMAIL. This set is a part of the series of 10 special stamps commemorating the India International Stamp Exhibition (INDIA-80), held at New Delhi from January 25, 1980 to February 3, 1980. The first two stamps in the series, on INDIA-80 and the Centenary of Postcard, were issued on July 2, 1979. The remaining 4 stamps issued on January 25, 1980.
Description of Stamps :
2. 50p stamp shows CHETAK helicopter against a background of snow-capped peaks. This general purpose helicopter of Indian manufacturer is extensively used by the Indian Air Force for carriage of mails in the forward areas.
3. 100p stamp depicts mail being loaded into a BOEING-737 jet aircraft of the Indian Airlines. The introduction of this jet aircraft has helped in speeding up of mail transportation inside the country.
4. 200p stamp shows BOEING-747 aircraft of the AIR INDIA cruising high above the mountains. Cruising at a height of 14,000 metres, the 747 jumbo-jet can fly at a speed of 580 kms. per hour upto an operating range of 8,000 kms.
Type : Stamps, Postal Used
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 30, 50, 100 & 200 Paise
Overall size : 4.06 x 2.28 cms.
Printing size : 3.8 x 2.00 cms.
Perforation : 14 x 14½
Watermark : Unwatermarked paper
Number printed :
30 P. – 50,00,000
50 P. – 30,00,000
100 P. – 20,00,000
200 P. – 20,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 50
Printing process : Photogravure
Designed and printed at : India Security Press
- Speed is of essence in transmission of messages. In the past man had trained pigeons to carry messages speedily over inhospitable terrain and long distances. Today man has lofted sophisticated satellites in space to transmit messages ultra-sonically all over the world. Earth bound man broke his shackles in 1903 when the Wright Brothers made the first powered flight. The history was created on February 18, 1911 when Henri Piquet took off in a Humber biplane from the right bank of the Yamuna at Allahabad, crossed over to the left bank and dropped a mail bag containing 6500 letters and postcards at the Naini Railway Station. This arrangement by the Indian Posts & Telegraphs marked the very first instance in the world when mail was carried by air.
- After a short lived service run by the Government in 1921, the first regular airmail service started in India in 1929. The State owned Indian State Air Service started operating an inland airmail service that year between Delhi and Karachi to connect the Imperial Airway’s Empire Airmail Service to England. From January 1932 Delhi Flying Club operated the service on this sector. On October 15, 1932 the first Indian aviator J.R.D. Tata flying a single-engined De Havilland Puss Moth, made the maiden flight carrying mail between Karachi and Madras via Ahmedabad, Bombay and Bellary.
- Shortly after Independence, on January 30, 1949 the Government of India launched the Night Airmail Service linking the metropolitan cities of Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras through Nagpur in Central India. The architect of this scheme was late Shri Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, then India’s Minister of Communications. The Night Airmail Service on an average carried every month about 2,200 kgs. of mail with airmail surcharge. Less than three months later, late Shri Kidwai introduced the “All-Up Mail Scheme” under which all first class domestic mail is air-lifted without any surcharge. Today India’s nationalist domestic air carrier, INDIAN AIRLINES carries more than 1,200 tonnes of mail over its domestic network every month. India’s International flag carrier, the AIR INDIA carries the bulk of country’s foreign airmail.
- In peace and war INDIAN AIR FORCE have been ferrying mail for and from the forces. During the last three decades the pilots of the IAF transport fleet have made maiden flight into the uncharted regions of the Himalayas and the lesser ranges. Beginning with DC-3 Dakota aircraft in 1947, the Air Force now used high-flying jets to fly the mail. Of late a new breed of intrepid helicopter pilots have taken over the hazardous task of carrying the mail to the remotest out-posts. Weaving intricate patterns through snow-capped peaks and narrow valleys they land at tiny helipads to deliver their eagerly awaited cargo.