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 India on Man’s First Flight 1983

India on Man’s First Flight 1983

A set of two commemorative postage stamps on the Bi-centennial of First Manned Flight :

Udan Khatola : India's First Hot Air Balloon and Taj MahalFirst Montgolfier Balloon, 1783 (Paris)Issued by India

Issued on Nov 21, 1983

Issued for : Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department is happy to issue a set of two stamps on this occasion.

Description of Designs : The (100 p.) stamp shows the first Indian built hot-air balloon ‘Udan Khatola‘ flying over Taj Mahal (Agra). The other stamp (200 p.) depicts the first Montgolfier Balloon lifting from the platform at Annonay in Paris. Both the stamps have been designed by Satish Gupta. First day cover designed by Pulak Gupta depicts the three hot-air balloons presently with the Ballooning Club of India. Cancellation has been designed by Alka Sharma.

Type : Stamps, Postal Used

Colour : Multicolour

Denomination : 100 & 200 Paise

Overall size : 3.91 x 2.90 cms.

Printing size : 3.55 x 2.54 cms.

Perforation : 13 x 13

Watermark : Unwatermarked adhesive stamp paper

Number printed : 15,00,000 each

Number per issue sheet : 35

Printing process : Photogravure

Printed at : India Security Press

About : 

  • Balloons were used in man’s first successful attempts at flying. In 1783, Joseph & Jacques Etienne Montgolfier brothers, French paper manufacturers at Annonay, France, discovered that a fabric bag filled with hot air would rise. On June 5 of that year, they launched the first balloon flight in history, unmanned. The craft carried about a mile and a half away. At Versailles, they repeated the experiment, with a larger balloon on Sept. 19, 1783, sending a sheep, a rooster and a duck aloft as the first air passengers. On Nov. 21, the first manned flight took place when JeanFrancois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois laurent, marquis d’ Arlandes, sailed over Paris, covering 5½ miles in about 23 minutes.
  • Balloons have proved enormously valuable in meteorology and other sciences. Balloons have played an important role during the war time for taking a view of enemy’s army, works etc. to that of sending signals. Balloons were also used for the first time in history to transport mail by air in as early as 1808, in Denmark. First balloon flight has led to the flights to the moon and the stars.
  • Ballooning in India dates back to as early as 1877, when Mr. Joseph Lynn made several flights in a gas balloon in Bombay and later in 1889 when Mr. Percivial Spencer made an ascent in his balloon ‘Empress of India’ from the Race Course in Calcutta. But hot air ballooning in India developed and continued only after the persistent efforts of Shri Vishwa Bandhu Gupta when the ‘Ballooning Club of India’ was founded on 23rd November 1970, by the American Astronaut Neil Armstrong. The Indian Balloon team led by Shri Gupta, participated in the world hot air balloon championships, at Nantes, France, for the first time in 1983.
  • (Text by courtesy : Ballooning Club of India).
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