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Centenary of Powered Flight in Australia
Home > 2010 Issue Summary > Centenary of Powered Flight in Australia

Unlike many other countries which issued stamps for the centenary of the Wright Brother's first flight in 1903, Australia Post has waited until 2010 to celebrate the centenary of powered flight in Australia.

Australia's first powered flight was undertaken by Colin Defries on 9 December 1909, though he crashed on landing. The first successful powered flight was made by Harry Houdini on his 1910 tour. He bought with him his Voisin biplane and made the flight at Diggers Rest, Victoria (near Melton) on 18 March 1910.

Issue Information
The issue consists of three stamps. The first two commemorate Australian aviation pioneers: Defries on the 55c and John Duigan on the $1.45. Harry Houdini's first flight is commemorated on the $2.10 stamp - which happens to be the airmail rate to the United States.

Issue Date: 9 March 2010 (more information)
Stamp Design: Ethos
Printer: McKellar Renown (more information)
Printing Process: Lithography (more information)
Stamp Size: 37.5 mm x 26 mm
Designs: 55c Colin Defries
$1.45 John Duigan
$2.10 Harry Houdini
Usage: 55c Small letter rate within Australia (details)
$1.45 Letter rate to Asian and Pacific countries (to 50 grams)
$2.10 Letter rate to Europe, Africa, America (to 50 grams)

Gummed Sheet Stamps
The 55c and $1.45 stamps were issued in individual sheets of 50 stamps, with a very similar version in the Canberra Stamp Show miniature sheet.

55c Colin Defries   $1.45 John Duigan   $2.10 Harry Houdini
Sheet stamps

Gum: Ordinary gum
Paper: Tullis Russell (incorporating phosphor) (more information)
Issued In: Individual sheets of 50 (2 panes of 25 (5 x 5) with traffic lights in gutter) (more information)
Perforations: Comb perforated 14½ x 13¾ (more information)

Gummed Miniature Sheet Stamps
The 55c and $1.45 stamps also appear in the Canberra Stamp Show miniature sheet issued on 12 March 2010, and London 2010 miniature sheet on 7 May 2010. The miniature sheet stamps have thinner text when compared to the regular sheet stamps. This is due to a change in printer. There are minor shade differences between the

Canberra miniature sheet
Canberra Miniature Sheet

London 2010 miniature sheet
London 2010 Miniature Sheet

Sheet stamp Mini. sheet Differences
Text on miniature sheet stamp is thinner than the regular sheet stamp text.

Issue Date: Canberra Stamp Show 12 March 2010 (more information)
London 2010 7 May 2010 (more information)
Printer: RA Printing (more information)
Issued In: Miniature sheet of 4 (2 x 2) (more information)

Self-adhesive Booklet Stamps
The $1.45 and $2.10 stamps are issued in booklets of five self-adhesive stamps.

$1.45 $2.10
Self-adhesive stamps

Gum: Self-adhesive
Paper: B100 (with 'L-shaped' phosphor tagging) (more information)
The phosphor runs along the top and left of the design, around the International Post indicator.
Issued In: Booklets of 5 (more information)
Perforations: Die-cut 11¼ x 11½ (interrupted) (more information)

Self-adhesive Booklets
Even though the booklets are printed with a clear cover, they are not rouletted to enable them to be folded in half. Booklets are distributed to post offices in chequebooks of 20 booklets. These are not listed on this website.

$7.25 booklet

$10.50 booklet
Booklet layout

$7.25 booklet

$10.50 booklet
Booklet covers

Booklet size: 122 mm x 85 mm (unfolded)
Barcodes: 9312650379728 ($1.45 x 5 philatelic booklet)
TBA ($1.45 x 5 general booklet)
9312650379735 ($2.10 x 5 philatelic booklet)
TBA ($2.10 x 5 general booklet)

Postal Stationery
There will be two releases of postal stationery for this issue - the regular maximum cards, and a special flight postcard.

The special flight postcard was limited to 1785 copies and was flown on a mail flight re-enactment (more information is given on the postcard's back). This postcard was only available via mail order at a cost of $4.95, and was limited to one per customer. The postcard notes the re-enactment flight took place on 9 March, but was sent out by the Philatelic Bureau until 9 April! The postcard was only available addressed.

Maximum cards
Maximum Cards

Postcard front

Postcard back
Limited Edition Postcard

Maximum Cards
Issue Date: 9 March 2010 (more information)
Size: 146 mm x 104 mm
Selling Price: $6.35 (set of 3)
Stamp Imprint: Three bars (picture)
Limited Edition Flight Postcard
Issue Date: 9 March 2010 (more information)
Not delivered by Philatelic Bureau until 9 April 2010
Size: 160 mm x 118 mm
Selling Price: $4.95 each
Stamp Imprint: Three bars (picture)

Issue Summary
The table below summarises the above information. The cost of each item is given, along with a total for each section. In some cases the stamps are only available from self-adhesive booklets (sold at face value), or from prestige booklets, souvenir sheets or folders (sold above face value).

Item and Description Cost
For the General Collector
Gummed sheet stamps
3 values from sheets (55c, $1.45, $2.10)

Self-adhesive stamps
2 values from booklets ($1.45, $2.10)



Total $21.85
For the Specialised Collector
Miniature sheet stamps
55c and $1.45 from Canberra or London sheet (thinner text)

2 booklets with philatelic barcode
2 booklets with general barcode

Postal stationery
Maximum cards
Limited Edition Flight Postcard




Total $52.10
Grand Total $73.95

Wikipedia, Harry Houdini and Diggers Rest, accessed 18 December 2009
Australia Post, Australian Stamp Bulletin, No. 303, March-April 2010

If you have more information, or spot an error, please e-mail me.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the content of this website is © 2009-2012 Christopher de Haer.
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Last updated 9 January 2012. Website comments and queries to stamps@chrisdehaer.com.au or PO Box 1448, Booragoon WA 6954.

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