Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Czech Republic 2015 Stamp Issue
Metoděj Vlach Airplane

A completely wooden monoplane of Metoděj Vlach used by him to make his first successful public flight.

The first day cover contains a drawing of the front of the airplane standing on a meadow and the handstamp shows a detail of the engine and propeller of Metoděj Vlach’s airplane.

Metoděj Vlach has a significant place in the history of Czech aviation. He was the first Czech builder of a functioning airplane of his own design, built from local materials and driven by a Czech engine. This neglected pioneer of Czech aviation was born on 6 July 1887 in Říkovice u Přerova and died on 8 February 1952 in Sezimovo Ústí.

In 1908-1922, he worked with the car makers Laurin & Klement in Mladá Boleslav. In the period before the First World War, he designed and built his own airplanes as a hobby. The available records show that he built several airplanes at that time.

The first one, a biplane on skis, was made in 1908 but it remained unfinished because Metoděj Vlach did not manage to find a suitable engine. He financed all his projects from his salary as a mechanic.

The second airplane built in 1909 was also a biplane. It was able to make short 30-50 metre jumps. The stability was not sufficient for longer flights.

The third, most successful airplane was made in 1910-1912. It was a completely wooden monoplane with a span of ten metres, weighing 720 kg. The propeller was two metres long and the maximum engine power was 28 kW.   

description and stamp images thanks to:

ISSUE DATE: 18 February 2015
STAMP SIZE: 40 x 23 mm
STAMPS PER SHEET: 50 (25 stamps of airplane / 25 Walter B6)
PRINTING PROCESS: multicoloured offset
Czech Post - Česká pošta PRODUCT NO.: 0839