First powered flight 75th anniversary


The first flight of the Wright flyer, 1903In 1978 it was commemorated that the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville, succeeded for the first time in flying a heavier-than-air engine-powered machine and ushered year I in the history of aviation.


ICAO marked this event and commemorated the pioneers of the many countries who contributed to this achievement with an exhibit in the newly-opened Unesco Pavilion at Man and His World - the Expo 67 site in Montreal. The exhibition featured large photo reproductions of historic model aeroplanes from the Qantas Collection and as a preview of future aircraft as well as historic photographs from the Librairie Flammarion archives. A special children's corner was set aside.


Uruguay - stamp First powered flight 75th anniversaryICAO was also sponsoring with the help of some 40 national airlines an international children's contest on the theme "A World that Moves on Wings" as seen with the eyes of children all over the world. In Canada, the contest was sponsored by the UN Association of Canada. In addition to honouring aviation pioneers, the contest will help in still an appreciation of the benefits of civil aviation and the universally-accepted standards and practices that help make air travel possible. Winning entries from the participating countries were displayed at ICAO headquarters in February and March 1979 as part of celebrations for the International Year of the Child. The overall winner was Cristina Labardi (14 years) from Italy. One of the honourable mentions was for Patrick Houtkamp from the Netherlands who received an engraved plaque.


At the initiative of ICAO and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) the 75th Anniversary of Powered Flight was also marked by commemorative stamps in many countries.


Bophuthatswana - stamp First powered flight 75th anniversaryIn addition, the United Nations Postal Administration issued on 12 June 1978 sets of ICAO stamps on the theme "Safety in the Air ". The UN also issued commemorative ICAO medals on the same theme.


Finally, a one-hour documentary film on international civil aviation in 1978 was produced by the French Television (TF1) in co-production with ICAO and Radio Canada/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for showing over French and English speaking television stations all over the world. This film was produced with the assistance of Air Canada, Air Afrique, Varig, Air France and British Airways.


The stamps listed in the catalogue are only those that have a clear link to ICAO.





Bophuthatswana                                     1 December 1978









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last revised: 26 August 2010