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Stamps mark aerial postal service

The Royal Mail has issued a new set of stamps to mark the 100th anniversary of the UK's first aerial post service.

The tribute to the pioneering aviators who made postal history includes a first-class stamp marking Gustav Hamel's 15-minute flight from Hendon aerodrome to Windsor Castle in 1911 - the first of 16 aerial post flights to commemorate the coronation of King George V.

A new 68p stamp shows Hamel ready to leave Hendon while a £1.10 stamp shows airmail being delivered at Windsor.

Royal Mail spokesman Stephen Agar said: "The story behind the world's first aerial post service is truly fascinating, with Hamel braving poor weather to ensure that his cargo of commemorative postcards was delivered to the King to mark his coronation.

"As well as going down in the record books as the world's first regular airmail service, Hamel's 21-mile journey was the first step in revolutionising the way that mail is delivered across the world.

"Today, airmail is, of course, very much a core part of Royal Mail's operation, ensuring we deliver mail as quickly as possible to destinations around the world."

The Centenary of Aerial Post stamps will be issued as a miniature sheet of four stamps.

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