The postage stamps of russia and the Soviet Union are a remarkable souce of symbolism. Likewise, the Soviet/Russian Airmail stamps contain their share of symbolism.
Each page I offer below is a kind of visual gallery with a certain theme. I hope you enjoy the images.
The First Russian/Soviet Airmail Issue
This stamp was issued 1922, four years after the first U.S. airmail issue.
The airmail design is a simple red overprint, which shows the outline of a mono-plane.
The stamp without the red overprint is a regular postal issue commemorating the 5th anniversary of the revolution. The airmail issue itself was only sold in the Moscow Post Office. There are counterfeits of this airmail issue, and we are interested in any images that might help our web readers understand how to determine if a specimine is genuine or not.
Call to Complete the 5 Year Plan in 4 Years
It is 1930, and the airship Graf Zeppelin makes an impression on the world. From Germany it brings passengers and mail to destinations in other countries. It is thus a fitting symbol for this stamp series, Call to Complete 5 Year Plan in 4 Years.
Workers in agriculture, industry and their managers follow the lead. We cannot let another nation beat us.
The design style of the stamps we see here has been refered to as “heroic bombast” and is especially popular today in Information Technology and internet companies. How often do workers in those companies hear a call to complete their projects early? Probably all the time. The message on these stamps are timeless.
Soviet Zeppelins on Airmail Stamps
This series of stamps was issued in 1934. All appear to illustrate Soviet Airships.
This stamp illustrates the Airship “Pravda” emerging from the hangar. The style of the auto is an additional clue to the era.
The rear/side view of this airship shows the large control surfaces.
This gives us a feel for boarding the airship. Must have been quite a sight when boarding.
With the mooring tower behind us, we are now in flight. This side view shows two of the four engines propelling the airship.
This 30 Kopeck stamp is the final of the series. The Airship “Lenin” is illustrated in blue over a map of the USSR, with what we assume is the route followed by the airship. Can anyone provide me documentationi, postcards or web pointers on the topic of these Soviet Zeppelins? How long were they in service?
Memorial to Those Who Died in a Balloon Accident
This stamp set was issued 1944. It commemorates a Soviet research balloon accident in 1934. The 3 stamps honor 3 people who died in the accident. Balloon stamps are not frequently seen in airmail issues, and memorial issues are not frequent either.
Russian Transport Series of 1933
The twin engine transport plane flies over Soviet blast furnaces.
The twin engine transport plane flies over Soviet oil wells.
The transport plane flies over a busy Soviet collective farm.
The transport plane “flies” over a map of the Moscow-Volga canal.
The twin engine transport plane flies over Soviet cargo ship traversing a frozen Arctic sea.
World War II Heroic Pilots
These two stamps are over printed in red, and indicated for use as Airmail stamps. Both have been re-denominated to 1 Ruple.
Lieutenant Talalikhin is honored for ramming a German plane in mid air from his disabled plane.
Captain Castella directs his burning plane into an enemy area.
Soviet Arctic Camp Near the North Pole
This stamp was issued 1956. A plane set to land is the symbol of a vital link to home for scientists at this arctic camp. The colors of this stamp seem almost non acrtic, more desert like. The subjects in the illustration tell a different story. Weather stations, and clouds suggesting extereme cold, with the sun very low on the horizon.
Soviet Helicopter Over Moscow
Helicopters on Airmail stamps exist, but not too frequently. This stamp was issued Mar 5, 1960 with a denomination of 60 Kopecks. In the background are Moscow buildings. One wonders if much Soviet Air Mail was flown by helicopter.
An over print of the same stamp design, with a new denomination of 6 Kopecks.
Soviet Ilyushin IIs or DC-3s of 1955
Over the water the twin engine plane roars, carrying Soviet Airmail. The aircraft pictured is remarkably like the DC-3. Some say this is due to a lend-lease program with the U.S. During World War II, the DC-3 found a place in the Soviet Union under lend-lease programs, so it is not surprising that they could have seen duty as mail planes in the mid 1950s. Others identify the aircraft illustrated as an Ilyushin II-12, which seems to have merit as well, as that would have been a frequently seen aircraft built domestically.
Another depiction of the transport plane over wilderness.
Common Airmail Stamps Issued in 1955
Although this series is a common airmail stamp, it has all the important features seen in the best of airmail stamp designs. A transport aircraft is in flight over a globe picturing the Soviet Union. The country extends from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean.
The aircraft resembles a DC-3. The design is a small stamp, though the message of airmail and the political extent of the Soviet Union are quite clear in its design.