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United States: Covers: United States First Flight Covers and Zeppelin Covers  
All items are available for approval viewing. Airmail stamp first day covers (sometimes are also first flights) are listed here.
United States First Flight Covers and Zeppelin Covers  Shopping Cart: Review or Check Out   Top 
Item #
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US$
241527
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AAMC #108b, September 5, 1918, early experimental flight from New York to Chicago, with stops at Lock Haven PA, Cleveland OH, and Bryan OH. This cover was carried from New York to Cleveland. Franked by 16c green Biplane #C2. Mailed by the "Aerial League of America" and with nice blue "AERO / MAIL" large winged handstamp. Cancellation as illustrated in AAMS catalog: Violet oval "N.Y. CHIC. / AERO MAIL / 9-5-1918 / FIRST TRIP". Cleveland Sep 6 backstamp as expected. The cover was roughly opened, and since slightly repaired, in the area of the stamp, but the stamp itself is undamaged and F-VF, tied to the cover by two light strikes of the cancellation. The catalog states "Experimental flight by Army Pilots Max Miller and E.W. Gardner in Army planes. Miller was forced down several times... Gardner... was also forced down several times.." It sounds like a rough trip, but both planes made it to Chicago and then back to New York. The 1990 AAMS price supplement values any leg of this flight at $150. The 2020 Scott value of the used stamp is $30 and $55 on most common cover -- this is much scarcer!
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49.00

241734
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AAMC Crash Cover #290106, 1929 January 6: Fort Crook Nebraska (now near/at Offutt Air Force Base, Bellevue), 12:48 AM; Boeing Air Transport, Boeing 40 aircraft; CAM-18 San Francisco to Chicago. The pane of pilot Norman Potter struck a tree as he was landing. The pilot was injured, but survived. The plane was destroyed by fire. 235 pounds of mail, burned and charred, was salvaged and forwarded from Omaha with 2-line cachet in purple. The mail was forwarded, usually in a official post office "penalty" envelope, with an included explanatory note from the Omaha post office (and/or [?] sometimes a Chicago post office note for mail they handled). This example is extremely nice and attractive with the violet handstamp, the stamps okay and away from the burned area, with the Omaha notice, and with the original "penalty" envelope. It is not often that all the components are present. The AAMC lists the crash cover and the notice with two different prices ($65 each); I do not know if those prices are additive, but I have assumed they are not. This example is remarkably complete and in remarkably nice quality, thus it deserves some premium.
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79.00

241324
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U.S. Scott #C12 x6 (4-block and pair) [5 cent Globe and Wings, Perf 11 x 11 Flat Plate] (Fine, F-VF) on 1930 FAM Route 10 (actually listed in the catalog for FAM 6 carried under contract for FAM 10) first flight cover leg "ST. THOMAS / V.I. / #1 duplex" (U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS) to FRENCH GUIANA. AAMS FAM #F6-42a (5th edition, 1981); 581 pieces of mail carried on this leg. Originated and canceled 4 October 1930 at "PHILADELPHIA / GERMANTOWN STA.", via Miami, to ST. THOMAS where it was held for the 11 November flight -- and then RE-CANCELED at ST. THOMAS. Arrived "CAYENNE / GUYANE-FRANCAISE"; the arrival occurred on 12 November, but the mail was not backstamped until 20 November pending instructions from Pairs (according to AAMS 5th edition). The origination of the service was planned for 21 October, but was delayed due to a revolution in Brazil (the endpoint of the service). From Cayenne, instructions routed the cover back to Germantown instead of onward to Brazil, but there are no further postmarks. Two different airmail labels: international blue label covering an ornate domestic label. Very interesting and attractive. Early first flight covers involving St. Thomas are unusual -- this was just 12 years after the Danes sold DWI to the U.S.
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36.00

241325
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U.S. Scott #C9 [1927 20 cent Planes and Map] and C10 [1927 10 cent Lindbergh] (VF, F-VF) on 1931 FAM Routes 5 and 6 first flight cover leg "ST. THOMAS / V.I. / #1 duplex" (U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS) to MATURIN, VENEZUELA. AAMS FAM #F6-79 (5th edition, 1981). Originated and canceled 10 February 1931 at ST. THOMAS and with 11 November violet handstamp. Large and ornate, violet arrival undated handstamp on reverse. Attractive violet handstamped cachet picturing a plane in flight and outline of South America, with the text "COMPLETING THE LINDBERGH CIRCLE". (Lindbergh was involved in pioneering the Central and Northern South America routes.) Very interesting and attractive. Early first flight covers involving St. Thomas are unusual -- this was just 13 years after the Danes sold DWI to the U.S. A scarcer flight cover.
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39.00

241735
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ATOMIC BOMB TEST: Operation Crossroads; first test, Bikini Atoll; Bomb "Gilda" (MK III); Test Name: "Able". Plane: B-29 Superfortress, named "Daves Dream", number on plane 7354. (Plane name formerly "Big Stink", THIS WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHIC AIRCRAFT THAT FLEW ON THE NAGASAKI ATOMIC BOMB MISSION; from this plane the pictures were taken of the Nagasaki bomb drop.) Cover is a small-size airmail envelope with blue-printed cachet artist redition of a bomb test, with additional typewritten text. Mailed by William Larkin, Saff Cmdr. JTF-1, on the USS Albermarle. With additional typewritten text: "I hereby certify that this letter was flowin in B-29 #4427354 on the Atomic Bomb Drop July 1, 1946" and pen-signed John R. Sutherland ... Bomb Commander". Sutherland was the Air Force technical representative for the project as well as the bomb commander for "Able Mission". [A U.S. Air Force biography of Sutherland is encluded with this cover.] This cover is missing the back flap, but there were no markings on the reverse. Enclosed is a note from the sender Mr. Larkin, as well as a newspaper clipping related to his career in the nuclear field. Closely related, signed, philatelic items from this early atomic test are scarce. On December 13, 2017, Rumsey Auctions sold lot 245 for $800; it is a different type of item (from an Army Ground Unit that were there to experience the effects of the test) -- however, it indicates the scarcity and value of this material. The only significant Atomic Test item that I have been able to offer in 46 years.
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800.00

242141
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Scott #C35 [1947 15c NYC, Statue of Liberty airmail] (VF) on October 2 1957, FIRST POLAR FLIGHT cover flown (FAM-27) by TWA from Los Angeles to Rome, over the North Pole. AAMC #F27-141 with green cachet. 3027 pieces of mail carried. While has only a modest catalog value, this North Pole overflight cover is seldom offered compared to those flown by SAS, which sell at a much higher price level.
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8.00

242140
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Scott #C53 [1959 7c Alaska Statehood airmail] (two, VF) on March 20/21, 1959, DOUBLE FIRST FLIGHT cover flown (AM-2) by TWA from San Francisco to New York and back. TWA was the first to make this cross-country direct jet (Boeing 707) flight with no stops. AAMC #J-48f/49f. While normal envelopes on this flight are not unusual, this is an exceptional mailpiece made by TWA that flew BOTH DIRECTIONS and served as a promotional item for TWO. It is a large sheet, folded in half and then in thirds, with two of the third-panels serving as the address panels. It was re-folded, to put the other panel facing out, for the return trip. I have not previously seen this item, or even anything quite like it.
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24.00

732066
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U.S. Challenger Space Shuttle Flight 1983 Cover in Folder: 1983 Cacheted unaddressed cover franked by Scott #1909, the $9.35 Eagle, carried on the Eighth Flight of the Challenger Space Shuttle for 81 orbits of the Earth, August 30 - September 5, 1983. In the original souvenir folder showing spectacular photos of Challenger and an infrared image of the heating pattern of the wing during re-entry! A vital piece of Space topic postal history! These sold for $50-75 before the Challenger disaster, but this is not my specialty, thus I can offer at a low price. The pristine folder and cover. (If you wish to have in an original mailing envelope that was sent to an original purchaser, it may be available at the same price; just ask.) Shipping cost is additional for this item.
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24.00

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