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  Space Cover 84: Smithsonian Milestones of Flight

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 84: Smithsonian Milestones of Flight
Bob M
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Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-20-2010 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 84 (November 21, 2010)

Space Cover #84, Smithsonian Milestones of Flight Cover Series

In 1972, the Smithsonian Institution/National Air and Space Museum began a popular series of anniversary covers commemorating famous, and not so famous, aviation and space achievements. The 100 cover series began on October 14, 1972 with cover number 1, a cover commemorating the 25th anniversary of the first supersonic flight. Cover number 1 was appropriately canceled at Edwards, CA, and was also franked with a 1946 3-cent stamp commemorating the Smithsonian Institution. All the covers in the series were canceled at locations relating to the events, when possible, and in many cases the stamps used on the covers related to the events.

Some covers in the series were actually flown on aircraft taking part in celebrating the historic events, such as number 1 shown here. On the back of the cover is documentation stating that the cover was flown at supersonic speed at Edwards AFB, CA (and possibly by Chuck Yeager).

Two other covers from the 100 cover set are shown here: Cover number 17, commemorating the 5th anniversary of Apollo 11, and cover number 5, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first non-stop US coast to coast flight.

None of these covers came autographed, but years ago I had a few autographed, including number 1 by Chuck Yeager and number 17, autographed by Buzz Aldrin.

Early numbered covers in the 100 cover set are more difficult to find and putting together a complete set probably would be most challenging.

albatron
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From: Stuart, Florida, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 11-20-2010 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to look, I believe I have the first mach 2 flight of this series, signed by Crossfield.

Bob M
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From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
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posted 11-20-2010 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al, I have that cover, too (number 68 in the series) and back in the mid-1980's had both Crossfield and Yeager sign it. I've shown it here along with cover number 3, which commemorates the 15th anniversary of Explorer 1. These covers were useful for autographs and I did have several signed (both Yeager and Crossfield were excellent about autographing back then). It was an excellent and well-done cover series, but little noted today.

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

posted 11-21-2010 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, Bob and Al, you two opened this can of worms about MOF covers (and specifically #68 for the 25th anniversary of the D-558-II Skyrocket Mach 2 flight) for collecting autographs!

Here's my #68 with the autos of the Skyrocket pilots that I could find back in the 1990's: Scott Crossfield who performed the flight (under the stamps), and going clockwise, Pete Everest who used the Skyrocket to transition from the X-1 to the X-2 rocketplane, Bob Champine who flew the Skyrocket for NACA, Marion Carl who set the altitude record for the Skyrocket, and Stan Butchart who flew both the Skyrocket and it's mother plane for NACA.

Bob M
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Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-21-2010 01:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dennis, nice group of autographs and good use of that special cover. This isn't the place to get into autographs, but checked and saw that a large group of pilots flew either or both the Douglas D-558-1 and D-558-2 aircraft, with several I'm not familiar with, such as Walter Jones, Turner Caldwell and Bill Bridgeman. But there were several "big" names who flew them, such as Crossfield, Everest, McKay and Walker, and some not so well-known, such as Howard Lilly, Eugene May, and John Martin. Like with the X-1, looks like autographs of many of the D-558-1 and -2 pilots are very elusive.

Perhaps in another forum it would be interesting to discuss D-558-1 and -2 pilot autographs?

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

posted 11-21-2010 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Done!

Eddie Bizub
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Posts: 32
From: Kissimmee, FL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 11-22-2010 04:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Eddie Bizub   Click Here to Email Eddie Bizub     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Milestones #1 looks just like Bob's. Met Yeager a number of years ago here in Kissimmee and had him sign it...along with his book. Somewhere out there is a #1 with my Dad's name and address on it instead of the Smithsonian address. He had one and sold it many years ago.

bobslittlebro
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Posts: 94
From: Douglasville, Ga U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 11-22-2010 09:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobslittlebro   Click Here to Email bobslittlebro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great looking covers guys!

albatron
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Posts: 2103
From: Stuart, Florida, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 11-22-2010 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have no idea why I ever chime in with you two. Seriously as soon as I pulled my #68, ONLY signed by Crossfield... I realized it wasn't one of the 1st 10.

Interesting Yeager signed your Bob. Must've charged a premium.

Bob M
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Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-23-2010 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al - Dennis and Derek, and you, are the test pilot guys and, while I'm fascinated by early test pilot history, I failed to pursue their autographs and material like I should have.

I did get a fair number of Chuck Yeager autographs, though, mostly in the 1980's, but for years Yeager was a cheerful and very cooperative (free) signer. The D-558-2 cover was signed by him in the 1980's and the Smithsonian number 1 cover in 1996. It wasn't long after that that he started charging and became more ornery about signing. But for years, he was the John Glenn of test pilot autographing!

albatron
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Posts: 2103
From: Stuart, Florida, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 11-23-2010 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eddie Bizub:
My Milestones #1 looks just like Bob's. Met Yeager a number of years ago here in Kissimmee and had him sign it...
Eddie! Good to hear from you! I recall that event. The Gathering of Mustangs and Legends. Even Anders was there and signed!

albatron
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Posts: 2103
From: Stuart, Florida, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 11-23-2010 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob M:
Dennis and Derek, and you, are the test pilot guys and, while I'm fascinated by early test pilot history, I failed to pursue their autographs and material like I should have.
Dunno mate, you and Dennis individually leave Derek and I combined in the dust. But I say that with great affection as you know because I consider the three of you dear friends.

While it's not a Milestones of Flight cover, I do have a homemade D 558 cover signed by a bunch of them. I'll dig it out tonight and post it. Probably on Dennis's "nose rubbing" post.

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

posted 11-23-2010 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hehehehe - Yep, Al, I figured you probably had a blockbuster stowed away somewhere! I'm anxious to see it!

Bob M
Member

Posts: 1367
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 11-23-2010 02:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by albatron:
Dunno mate, you and Dennis individually leave Derek and I combined in the dust.
Thanks, Al, but my X-15 collection is bare bones except for autographs of the pilots, and I'd be lost about flight test history without my trusty-rusty "The X-planes" book by Miller. My thing was the NASA Lifting Body aircraft, as I started collecting right before the X-24B program started and I pursued it well. The X-24B pilots and support personnel were great, and I used that time to work on other LB material, including the three M2 aircraft, the HL-10 and the X-24A. It was a great time to collect.

By the way, two nice X-24B covers can be seen by going back to Space Cover of the Week #19.

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