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  X-Planes Priority Mail and Express Mail stamps

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Author Topic:   X-Planes Priority Mail and Express Mail stamps
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-26-2005 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the U.S. Postal Service:

quote:
The new $4.05 Priority Mail and $14.40 Express Mail stamps commemorate X-Planes, a series of experimental vehicles involving the U.S. military, NASA and companies such as Bell Aircraft, Boeing, Northrop and Lockheed Martin. From the first X-Plane flight in 1946 to the present, a variety of vehicles - manned and unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles, gliders and spacecraft - has helped extend the nation's reach into space.

Art Director Phil Jordan of Falls Church, Va., selected two computer-generated images of the X-15 from NASA studies. The colors show various scales of pressures and temperatures - blue is the lowest and red is the highest. The Priority Mail stamp shows the X-15 rotated upward to reveal the most surface area. The Express Mail stamp shows the colors against a meshed grid to illustrate how air is forced around and behind the plane. The two designs have text under the image reading, "Computer-generated aerodynamic study of an X-Plane."

Extraordinary technological advances following World War II prompted many different X-Plane concepts, including the X-1, a rocket-powered plane. On Oct. 14, 1947, with Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager at the controls, it became the first plane to intentionally travel faster than Mach 1.0, the speed of sound. In 1956, the X-2 became the first plane to reach an altitude of more than 100,000 feet (nearly 19 miles) and set a new speed record of Mach 2.87.

One of the best known - and the fastest and highest-flying, winged vehicle - was the X-15. By the late 1960s, it had flown at speeds exceeding 4,500 miles per hour and reached an altitude of more than 60 miles. Eight X-15 pilots earned astronaut wings for achieving an altitude of 50 miles or more as a result of their flights in this plane.


Information on the issue dates will be provided at a later date.

micropooz
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Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 12-26-2005 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
FINALLY - not one X-15 stamp, but two from the USPS!!! Yayyy!!

karlitko
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posted 12-26-2005 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for karlitko   Click Here to Email karlitko     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not like this stamp much. To be honest, I think they chose the worst picture they could...

I know tons of beautiful photos and nice art paintings of X-15. I doubt such computer visualization of pressure and temperature was done in the age of X-15. Also the legend of "Computer-generated aerodynamic study of an X-plane" is quite smattering.

Karel

Astro Bill
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posted 12-26-2005 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree Karel, but we have to accept what we are given. They could have placed the Washington Monument or the Statue of Liberty on these stamps. At least they have a SPACE theme. This is a Christmas present from the USPS to space collectors.

karlitko
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posted 12-26-2005 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for karlitko   Click Here to Email karlitko     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course, it is better than nothing but I always regret that such things do not make people more enthusiastic in the subject...

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-26-2005 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Without knowing anything else about the selection process and keeping in mind that the stamps are meant to represent all X Planes (and not just the X-15), my guess is that they were looking for images that would embody the aerodynamic research that the entire program was founded upon as well as something colorful enough to appeal to a mass audience. These images come across almost as abstract art for those unfamiliar with the science behind them.

Apollo-Soyuz
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Posts: 868
From: Shady Side, Md
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 12-26-2005 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I feel the USUS should issue a first class stamp (39 cents) to commemorate the space program. It is hard to believe that the 20th anniversary of Challenger is approaching on January 28, 2006. I think a series of stamps commemorating the Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Magellan, Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rovers-Spirit and Oppurtunity and other programs should be commemorated with stamps. There is no reason I can see for this not to be done. Other countries commemorate space events.

------------------
John Macco
Vice President
Space Unit
Shady Side, Md.

micropooz
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Posts: 1239
From: Washington, DC, USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 12-26-2005 04:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think Robert is right. They are trying to play up the research benefits of the X-planes and not necessarily the history.

And Karel is right too in that there were no computer generated false-color enhancements of the aerodynamic flow fields around the X-15 back in its time. Any computer correlations of X-15 data back then probably came out as line plots from an analog computer or sheets of numbers from a digital computer at the time.

The fact that someone has put in the effort to go back and model the X-15 aerodynamics with current-day flowfield visualization techniques (e.g. - the false-color stuff shown on the stamps) shows that the X-15's data is still important to researchers 40 years later. And that appears to be the message that the USPS is trying to send with these stamps.

Ben
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Posts: 1843
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 12-26-2005 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I like the stamps, I think they should either a) have used two different X planes if representing the whole fleet, or b) titled these as X-15 stamps (at least a mention of it at the bottom).

spaceman1953
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Posts: 933
From: South Bend, IN United States of America
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 01-02-2006 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was excited until I saw the designs....but, oh well, you take what you get to get a space issue.

Besides, since these are so "ugly" maybe more people will put theirs in the Dumpsters for me to pick up !

Happy New Year !

GB

Mark Zimmer
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posted 01-09-2006 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Zimmer   Click Here to Email Mark Zimmer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the contrary, I think these are so eye-catching and bold in their color scheme that they may well get more people to look closely at what they are, and maybe even get them thinking about the X program....

GliderGuider
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posted 03-20-2006 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GliderGuider   Click Here to Email GliderGuider     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having just found these stamps, I agree that we should have more to commemorate the X-15 program but am mildly shocked to see that no comment to date has recognized the significance of these images.

One of the most important results of the X-15 program was to refine and validate CFD models and simulations for hypersonic flight. This was the transaction from learning by flying to learning by computer modeling.

Without that shift in technology it would not have been possible to fly the Space Shuttle, which had to cover the complete flight envelope from Mach 28 to Mach 0.7 for the first time on its first reentry.

NASA Langley was a key contributor to advancing simulation technology for both the X-15 and the Shuttle. In my opinion these stamps' images from Langley are very nice and appropriate commemorations of that advancement.

Of course it won't be long before I'll start pitching for additional X-15 commemorative stamps for 50th anniversary dates.

MScherzi
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Posts: 80
From: California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 03-24-2006 04:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MScherzi   Click Here to Email MScherzi     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I used a few of the Priority Mail ones this week. I think they look better in person than on screen or in print.

I use space stamps for almost all of my outgoing space mail, and they never fail to get a comment from the clerks at the counter.

Take care,

Matt

RMH
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posted 04-09-2006 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For anyone interested:
Artcraft covers features test pilot Pete Knight on their cachet for this stamp issue. You can buy them sericed or unserviced. Cachet looks pretty nice. web site is www.washpress.com and their phone number is 1-877-966-0001.

eurospace
Member

Posts: 2275
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 09-03-2007 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These two stamps at $14.40 and $4.05 will be taken out of sale effective 30 September 2007.

Thus - if you still want to buy any, hurry up and place your order with USPS.

------------------
Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany

International Director (Europe), Space Unit
Vice President, Weltraum Philatelie e. V.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

Apollo-Soyuz
Member

Posts: 868
From: Shady Side, Md
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 09-03-2007 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Express mail stamp was $14.40 before last rate increase.

------------------
John Macco
Vice President
Space Unit
Shady Side, Md.

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