ISRAEL. ATM issues 2020
 

2020. Israeli Air Force Helicopters

Following on from the long series issued in 2019 depicting the fighter aircraft used by the Israel Air Force throughout its more than 70 years of history (see articles, published in VARIABLE 52, 53 & 55), Israel Post continues the aircraft theme in 2020 with another long series showcasing IAF helicopters, in chronological order.

  In line with the concept of the earlier annual series, the first design introduces the series, with a composition depicting the images of the first and last helicopters in the series i.e. the earliest and the most modern machines; from the small Hiller 360 to the modern gunship helicopter the Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow.

The design of all the issues and the illustrations of the first day covers are by Ra'anan Weiss & Igal Gabay.

  The rolls of labels are manufactured, on self-adhesive paper with a flexo digital imprint, by Tadbick Ltd. The size of the label is 58 x 27 mm, with perforated vertical edges. 
The postal machine prints its unique code on the stamp (00001, used by the philatelic service, in the image) and the face value (NIS 2.50) in the upper right hand corner. Data in black is thermal transfer printed
.

This first design was only obtainable, from January 1st 2020 and later on, from all aCon SPU STAMP postal kiosks. In some machines, this first design will be used throughout the year, whilst in others it will only be available for a few months, until the release of the next new design of the series.

With no changes in the main postal rates since 2018, the six values ​​programmed in the postal kiosks, on the date of issue, were NIS 2.50 (domestic postage rate) - 4.10 - 6.50 - 7.40 - 8.30 - 9.00.

The images below show the introduction dates of the new design in the ten postal kiosks in operation at different post offices across the country.


Detail of the special postmark, and pictorial first day cover  


  The Hiller 360 was the first helicopter in service with the Israel Air Force.
In 1951, Israel acquired two of these small, US-made helicopters, used primarily for communication and rescue missions. One of the Hillers crashed into a hillside in 1954 and was put out of service. The other Hiller was retired in 1959.

  This design was available, from February 4th 2020, from the back office printer used by the philatelic service (code 00001), and also from postal kiosk 00326, installed in the Rishon LeZion post office.  

Detail of the special postmark, and pictorial first day cover  
One of the main helicopter bases of the Israel Air Force is near this city, in central Israel.  


  The third design of the series depicts a Sikorsky H-34, or S-58 as it's known by the US manufacturer.
The Israeli Air Force acquired more than 30 Sikorsky S-58 transport helicopters, which were in operation between 1957 and 1969.

  As with the previous issue, this design was also available from February 4th 2020, and with two different codes, 00001 of the philatelic service, and 00220, the code of the postal kiosk installed at the Beer Sheva branch.  

Detail of the special postmark, and pictorial first day cover  
The Israeli Air Force Museum, near the city of Beer Sheva, exhibits most of the aircraft and helicopters used by the IAF.  


  Following on from the two February releases (article and VARIABLE 56), Israel Post issued two new designs in April in the series showcasing Israeli Air Force helicopters.
The Aérospatiale SA321 Super Frelon is a heavy military transport helicopter, produced by the French company Aérospatiale. In 1965 the IAF acquired 12 SA321K helicopters, with the Hebrew knickname 'Tzir'a' (Wasp), which remained in operation until 1991.

  This stamp design was available, from April 21st 2020, from two aCon units; the back office printer used by the philatelic service (code 00001), and also from postal kiosk 00930, installed in the Afula post office.  

Detail of the special postmark, and pictorial first day cover  
   


  Following the chronology of IAF helicopter procurements, the next design depicts the Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion, manufactured by the American company Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.
The Israeli Air Force acquired this troop carrying and assault helicopter in 1969, when the French Government refused to sell the Israelis anymore Super Frelons. These helicopters received the Hebrew name of 'Yas'ur' (Petrel). The 23 surviving CH-53s were refitted and updated in 2008 and are still in operation today.

  As with the previous issue, this design was also available from April 21st 2020, with two different codes, 00001 the philatelic service and 00714, the code of the postal kiosk installed at the Haifa branch.  

Detail of the special postmark, and pictorial first day cover  
   


  In 1975, the Israeli Air Force acquired the first Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, manufactured by the American company Bell Helicopter Textron.
The IAF eventually came to have more than 50 Cobra helicopters in service, some of which were on loan from the United States Navy. These helicopters received the Hebrew name 'Tzefa' (Viper), and were in service until 2013.

  The Bell AH-1F Cobra stamp design was available from June 9th 2020, with two different codes, 00001 the philatelic service and 00220, the code of the postal kiosk installed at the Beer Sheva branch.  

Detail of the special postmark, and pictorial first day cover  
   


  The seventh design in this extensive series depicts the Bell 212, a medium-sized transport helicopter manufactured by the American company Bell Helicopter.
The Israeli Air Force acquired this model in 1975, and its Hebrew nickname is 'Anafa' (Heron). Still in operation, it has been used during many rescue operations.

  As with the Bell AH-1F Cobra issue, this design was also available from June 9th 2020, from the printer used by the philatelic service (code 00001), and also from the postal kiosk 00326, installed in the Rishon LeZion post office.  

Detail of the special postmark, and pictorial first day cover  
   







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