• Issue: July 1970
  • Designer: D. Pessach & S. Ketter
  • Plate no.: 288
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

The story of Israel Aircraft Industries, the largest industrial enterprise in Israel, began with the 1948 War of Independence. The then struggling state needed an effective air defence arm and a hard core of experienced volunteers responded. They were later to form the backbone of this industry

In the early 1950’s the then Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, David Ben Gurion , forsaw the need for a local aircraft industry that could service the fledgling Israel Air Force as well as commercial aircraft. In 1953 with a nucleus of 70 employees and an investment of $600,000 Bedek was founded, which is today one of the divisions of the Israel Aircraft Industries.

I.A.I., employing 12,000, is fully certified as a repair organization by the aviation authorities of Israel, Great Britain, U.S.A. and others. It performs the maintenance for most of the international air carriers using Lod Airport and it is capable of handling aircraft from a simple Piper to a Boeing 707.

In 1957 the Government of Israel decided that a locally produced jet trainer was needed by the Israel Air Force. Negotiations with France were entered into and soon thereafter the production of the Fouga-Magister was commenced.

Two further aircraft are now produced by this company: the Commodore Jet and the wholly Israel-designed and developed Arava.

After an intensive survey by Israel Aircraft Industries, it was found that the market was ripe for a new type of transport aircraft. In order to fill this need, the Arava project was initiated. The Arava is an advanced Cargo/Commuter, STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) twin turboprop plane which is also capable of utilizing tough, unprepared or inaccessible landing strips.

In seventeen short years Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, have become an integral and indispensable link in the defence and economic development of the State of Israel.

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Arava Aircraft