The era of aviation in the skies of Eretz Israel began ten years after the Wright brothers flew the world's first airplane in 1903. Marking 100 years of aviation in Eretz Israel, this three-stamp series features three different types of aircraft, each of which holds an esteemed place in the history of Israel's aviation.
The first airplane in Ell Israel, 1913
French aviator Jules Vedrines landed his Bleriot XI monoplane north of Jaffa, as he competed in an aviation contest promoted by the French newspaper Le Matin. The contest route took aviators from Paris to Cairo. The first stamp in this series marks the flight of the first aircraft in the skies of Eretz Israel. Vedrines took off from Paris in November 1913 and, after an adventuresome journey that included a diplomatic incident with Germany and gunfire over Yugoslavia, he landed in Turkey. From there he flew to Beirut and subsequently took off, on December 27, 1913 for Mikve Yisrael, where the "first international airport of Eretz Israel" had been prepared for him. Due to strong winds which depleted the airplane's fuel supply, Vedrines landed by the train station near the beach in Tel-Aviv. The next day he flew from there to Mikve Yisrael, as planned, and on December 29th continued on to Cairo.
IDF Four Force training plane, 1960
The French Fouga Magister jet-engine training aircraft was the first aircraft to be assembled by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in Israel. Over the years, extensive improvements and upgrades were made, subsequently gaining the aircraft its new name - IAI Zukit. The stamp features the original name as well as the Hebrew name of the upgraded model. Generations of IDF Air Force pilots were trained on this aircraft, which served the IDF for decades.
Unmanned aerial vehicle, 1994
This unmanned aerial vehicle was manufactured in Israel, a forerunner in the development and diverse operational use of such devices. The Heron I serves the IDF Air Force as well as other air forces around the world. This aircraft is used for intelligence, relaying and special tasks and it has logged immense numbers of operational flight hours.
Head of the Space Research Center
Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies