DCSIMG

U.S. Air and Space Stamp Gallery

Air Stamps – Pilots and Aviation Pioneers


Wright Brothers, 1978, Scott C91, Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers, 1978, Scott C91, Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers, 1978,
Scott C91, Engraving and
lithography

U.S. stamps have long celebrated America’s leading role in aviation history with stamps commemorating both pilots and pioneering designers. The two most common subjects for stamps of this type are the Wright Brothers, whose first flight in December 1903 began the era of heavier-than-air aviation, and Charles Lindbergh, whose first solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 inspired a generation. Other U.S. stamps have highlighted a variety of record-breaking pilots as well as pioneers in aviation design, military aviation, and exploration.

Wright Brothers
Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton, Ohio, ushered in the era of controlled, manned, powered flight by a heavier-than-air machine on December 17, 1903. The brothers flew their experimental gliders and airplanes at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, because of its steady wind pattern and wide-open spaces. On December 17, with Orville at the controls, the Wright Flyer flew successfully for 12 seconds, traveling 120 feet—and changing the world. To date, the Wright brothers and their first flight have been the subjects of seven U.S. postage stamps.

Lindbergh flies the Atlantic, Celebrate the Century (the 1920s), 1998, Scott 3184m, Engraving and lithography
Lindbergh flies the Atlantic, Celebrate the Century (the 1920s), 1998, Scott 3184m, Engraving and lithography
Lindbergh flies the Atlantic,
1998, Scott 3184m,
Engraving and lithography

Charles Lindbergh
In 1927, an unknown American aviator named Charles Lindbergh burst onto the world scene by flying his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, alone across the Atlantic. In so doing, Lindbergh won a major prize long offered by hotelier Raymond Orteig to the first pilot to fly nonstop either from New York to Paris, or Paris to New York.

The dangerous solo crossing was even more remarkable because Lindbergh went against the accepted wisdom of the day by choosing a single-engine plane instead of a multiple engine design, in order to save weight.

Within months of his flight, Lindbergh was honored with a U.S. airmail stamp; he and his flight have since been the subject of two other U.S. postage stamps as well.

Amelia Earhart, pilot and explorer, 1963, Scott C68, Engraving
Amelia Earhart, pilot and explorer, 1963, Scott C68, Engraving
Amelia Earhart, pilot
and explorer, 1963, Scott C68,
Engraving

Other Pilots and Aviation Pioneers
Though many U.S. postage stamps have honored the Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh, there are also a wealth of U.S. stamps celebrating other designers, pilots, and explorers. Among the figures on these other stamps are Amelia Earhart, the well-known pilot who disappeared during a round-the-world flight in July 1937; World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker; and Antarctic explorer Richard Byrd. To see them and many other aviation pioneers, look through the stamps below.


Wright Brothers, 1949, Scott C45, Engraving
Wright Brothers, 1949, Scott C45, Engraving
Wright Brothers, 1949,
Scott C45, Engraving
Amelia Earhart, pilot and explorer, 1963, Scott C68, Engraving
Amelia Earhart, pilot and explorer, 1963, Scott C68, Engraving
Amelia Earhart, pilot
and explorer, 1963, Scott C68,
Engraving
Wright Brothers, 1978, Scott C91, Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers, 1978, Scott C91, Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers, 1978,
Scott C91, Engraving and
lithography
Wright Brothers, 1978, Scott C92, Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers, 1978, Scott C92, Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers, 1978,
Scott C92, Engraving and
lithography
Octave Chanute and biplane, 1979, Scott C93, Engraving and lithography
Octave Chanute and biplane, 1979, Scott C93, Engraving and lithography
Octave Chanute and
biplane, 1979, Scott C93,
Engraving and lithography
Octave Chanute and biplane, 1979, Scott C94, Engraving and lithography
Octave Chanute and biplane, 1979, Scott C94, Engraving and lithography
Octave Chanute and
biplane, 1979, Scott C94,
Engraving and lithography
Wiley Post with airplane, 1979, Scott C95, Engraving and lithography
Wiley Post with airplane, 1979, Scott C95, Engraving and lithography
Wiley Post with airplane,
1979, Scott C95, Engraving
and lithography
Wiley Post with airplane, 1979, Scott C96, Engraving and lithography
Wiley Post with airplane, 1979, Scott C96, Engraving and lithography
Wiley Post with airplane,
1979, Scott C96, Engraving
and lithography
Blanche Stuart Scott, pioneer aviator, 1980, Scott C99, Gravure
Blanche Stuart Scott, pioneer aviator, 1980, Scott C99, Gravure
Blanche Stuart Scott,
pioneer aviator, 1980,
Scott C99, Gravure
Glenn Curtiss and pusher biplane, 1980, Scott 100, Gravure
Glenn Curtiss and pusher biplane, 1980, Scott 100, Gravure
Glenn Curtiss and pusher
biplane, 1980, Scott 100,
Gravure
Alfred Verville and airplane diagram, 1985, Scott C113, Gravure
Alfred Verville and airplane diagram, 1985, Scott C113, Gravure
Alfred Verville and
airplane diagram, 1985,
Scott C113, Gravure
Lawrence and Elmer Sperry, aviation pioneers, 1985, Scott C114, Gravure
Lawrence and Elmer Sperry, aviation pioneers, 1985, Scott C114, Gravure
Lawrence and Elmer
Sperry, aviation pioneers,
1985, Scott C114, Gravure
Antarctic explorer Richard Byrd with airplane, 1988, Scott 2388, Gravure
Antarctic explorer Richard Byrd with airplane, 1988, Scott 2388, Gravure
Antarctic explorer
Richard Byrd with airplane,
1988, Scott 2388, Gravure
Antarctic explorer Lincoln Ellsworth with airplane, 1988, Scott 2389, Gravure
Antarctic explorer Lincoln Ellsworth with airplane, 1988, Scott 2389, Gravure
Antarctic explorer
Lincoln Ellsworth with airplane,
1988, Scott 2389, Gravure
Samuel P. Langley with “aerodrome” experimental aircraft, 1988, Scott C118, Engraving and lithography
Samuel P. Langley with “aerodrome” experimental aircraft, 1988, Scott C118, Engraving and lithography
Samuel P. Langley with
“aerodrome”, 1988, Scott C118,
Engraving and lithography
Igor Sikorsky and Vought-Sikorsky 300 (VS-300) helicopter, 1988, Scott C119, Engraving and gravure
Igor Sikorsky and Vought-Sikorsky 300 (VS-300) helicopter, 1988, Scott C119, Engraving and gravure
Igor Sikorsky and helicopter,
1988, Scott C119, Engraving
and gravure
Harriet Quimby and early plane, 1991, Scott C128, Gravure
Harriet Quimby and early plane, 1991, Scott C128, Gravure
Harriet Quimby and early
plane, 1991, Scott C128,
Gravure
William T. Piper and Piper Cub, 1991, Scott C129, Gravure
William T. Piper and Piper Cub, 1991, Scott C129, Gravure
William T. Piper and Piper
Cub, 1991, Scott C129,
Gravure
Bessie Coleman, aviator, Black Heritage, 1995, Scott 2956, Engraving
Bessie Coleman, aviator, Black Heritage, 1995, Scott 2956, Engraving
Bessie Coleman, aviator,
1995, Scott 2956,
Engraving
Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I ace, 1995, Scott 2998, Gravure
Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I ace, 1995, Scott 2998, Gravure
Eddie Rickenbacker,
World War I ace, 1995,
Scott 2998, Gravure
Jacqueline Cochran, pioneer pilot, 1996, Scott 3066, Engraving and lithography
Jacqueline Cochran, pioneer pilot, 1996, Scott 3066, Engraving and lithography
Jacqueline Cochran, pioneer
pilot, 1996, Scott 3066,
Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers’ first flight, Celebrate the Century (the 1900s), 1998, Scott 3182g, Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers’ first flight, Celebrate the Century (the 1900s), 1998, Scott 3182g, Engraving and lithography
Wright Brothers’ first flight,
1998, Scott 3182g,
Engraving and lithography
Lindbergh flies the Atlantic, Celebrate the Century (the 1920s), 1998, Scott 3184m, Engraving and lithography
Lindbergh flies the Atlantic, Celebrate the Century (the 1920s), 1998, Scott 3184m, Engraving and lithography
Lindbergh flies the Atlantic,
1998, Scott 3184m,
Engraving and lithography