Aviation Collectables (AV600) Series

Squadrons and Aircraft of the Royal Air Force
A 600 Series Limited Edition Cover


We are pleased to announce a new series produced by Aviation Collectables, with a slightly different spin to it while still aimed at raising fund for service related charities. Hopefully customers will approve of our new covers and the thought put in behind it and the introduction of a different style and format.

The most noticeable change that customers will note is that the artist, for this series we are using an artist named Ross Wardle, who for a great many years produced artwork for the Matchbox kits, including their aircraft, motorcycles and tanks. In recent years he has been producing artwork for 50 Years of Formula 1, having built some of his Matchbox kits in my early years and being an ardent fan it seemed only logical to turn some of his stunning aircraft artwork into commemorative covers.

The format for the series is full cover artwork with the aircraft subject taking pride of place, while the cover design is quite understated with the Squadron number, aircraft manufacturer and type shown clearly in the top left hand corner with the customary address label in the bottom right corner. Each cover will be serviced as normal with stamp and postmark in the top right hand corner, while signatories will be encouraged to sign underneath the aircraft with their signature block overprinted on the covers. 

The covers will be strictly limited edition to not more than 1,000 covers and in most cases the number will be around 600 to 750 examples consisting of four signed variants, which will be numbered and certified in the usual manner on the envelope flap. Each cover will cost 10 each and in some cases will bear more than one signature. We are afraid that no unsigned covers will be issued.

There are no flight details on the covers, as they are not flown, however we will be wherever possible sticking to BFPO postmarks on the covers, unless a foreign country issues a stamp which has a very good relevance to the aircraft or squadron shown. The first cover release, that of 582 Squadron bears our BFPS handstamp for the 60th Anniversary of the Formation of the Pathfinder Force. For those interested, it is the first piece of artwork that I commissioned (for myself) from the artist and '60-M' was the aircraft in which Captain Swales VC DFC won his Victoria Cross, but before that it was one of the 582 Squadron Lancasters that my grandfather had flown in as a rear gunner, before he was shot down in '60-N' and taken POW in September 1944.

The cover are not numbered, merely being indexed by the squadron number, so we shall be referring to the covers as AV600-{squadron number} - the AV standing for AViation Collectables (AC had all ready been used) and the 600 as we refer to the new series as the 600 series - as RAF squadrons ranged between No 1 Squadron through to No 695 Squadron (I discounted/forgot 1435 Squadron !) Although we do not intend in doing every RAF squadron that existed the series will comprise a wide selection of the aircraft used by the Royal Air Force associated with a Squadron that flew them. The Mosquito, Stirling and Mosquito will feature in the not too distant future and the Vulcan, Lightning, Tornado and Harrier will be included later on in the series.

We hope the beauty of the series will be that collectors can pick and chose the covers they wish to collect so those with a particular interest in World War II aircraft can avoid the jets and vice versa as you chose. We are currently producing covers which squadrons, associations and suchlike have requested us to do, but customers are more than welcome to make requests in regard to what they would like to see included in the series.

We shall endeavour to continue obtaining the most relevant and appropriate signatures for our covers, while maintaining the high quality and workmanship that our customers have grown to, quite rightly, expect from us. As with all our covers we hope to be able to make quite sizeable donation to deserving charities and we hope that our customers will continue to support us in this new venture.

Stephen Hill
Project Co-Ordinator

Footnote: In regard to certain production requirements - it would appear that some Squadrons would appear twice in this new Series as No 74 Squadron is appearing as a Spitfire and Lightning and No 617 Squadron as a Lancaster and Vulcan. Due to this factor of some squadrons now approaching their 100th Anniversaries in 1912 - the series has been classed as 600 Series and 600 Series (2) (with the (2) appearing on the reverse of the cover). The series is classed as follows the core 600 Series concentrates on WWII aircraft and before, where the 600 Series (2) is the post war jet age aircraft. So simply put the series is split into props and jets. 

600 Series Covers

No 582 Squadron PFF
Avro Lancaster

No 109 Squadron PFF
DeHavilland Mosquito

No 74 (F) Squadron
Supermarine Spitfire

No 617 Squadron
Avro Lancaster

No 7 Squadron
Short Stirling

No 35 Squadron PFF
Handley Page Halifax

No 112 Squadron
Curtis Kittyhawk

No 120 Squadron
Consolidated Liberator

No 210 Squadron
Consolidated Catalina

600 Series (2)

No 56 (F) Squadron
EE / BAC Lightning 

No 74 (F) Squadron
EE / BAC Lightning

No 111 (F) Squadron
EE / BAC Lightning 

* special issues *

British Airways
BAe Concorde