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25. 03. 2020

Thematic Philately:
Unusual Moths

Unusual Moths
Author: Vladimir Kachan (Belarus)
Source: www.postoveznamky.sk
Published: 10. 01. 2017 23:02

Thematically highly specialised article on moths which served as an inspiration for (bio)engineers in construction month-like airplanes and other transportation machines.


In nature is known about 150 000 different species of moths. Moths have dull colours. When they stop flying their fore-wings form a “roof” over the hind wings. Most moths are active at night.

Moth is a town in Jhansi district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (Picture 1). The place was earlier called “Monastery” (in Hindi) and during British rule in India the name changed to “Moth” due to their British accept.

Unusual Moths
 
Picture 1: Stationery card of India with the cancellation of Moth town 1929.


Some features of moths were used in bioengineering.

British aircraft designer Geoffrey de Havilland was an avid lepidopterist and described the way in which the aircraft’s wings could be folded back against the fuselage for storage as being like a moth. Moths fold their wings back along their bodies when at rest, and de Havilland arranged for his DH.60 to do the same, so you could tow it on the road behind a car, and keep it in an ordinary garage. During the 1920s the de Havilland Aircraft Company developed a line of light aircrafts for the civilian postwar market intended to be affordable and easy to fly. These aircrafts were called after various types of moths: Cirrus Moth, Hermes Moth, Genet Moth, Gypsy Moth (Picture 2) and later Gypsy Moth (Picture 3), Giant Moth, Tiger Moth (Picture 4), Hawk Moth (Picture 5), Puss Moth (Picture 6), Swallow Moth, Fox Moth (Picture 7), Leopard Moth (Picture 8), Hornet Moth (Picture 9), Moth Minor, Moth Major.

Unusual Moths   Neobvyklé nočné motýle (mory)
 
Picture 2: The postage stamp of Romania 1964 with moth Lymantria dispar = Gypsy Moth and the postage stamp Hungary 1978 with the biplane DH.60 Gipsy Moth (both spellings Gipsy and Gypsy are correct).


Unusual moths
 
Picture 3: The postage stamp of Norfolk Island 1980 with float-plane DH.60 Gypsy Moth.


Unusual moths   Unusual moths

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Picture 4: The postage stamp of Fiji 1969 with the moth Asota woodfordi = Tiger Moth, the postage stamp of Djibouti 1978 with the air-plane Tiger Moth, and the special cancel of Great Britain 1976 with the airplane Tiger Moth DH.82.


Unusual moths   Unusual moths
 
Picture 5: The postage stamp of Samoa 1972 with the moth Chromis erotus = Hawk Moth and the postage stamp of India 1979 with the airplane DH.75 Hawk Moth.


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Picture 6: The postage stamp of Guinea 2002 with the moth Cerura vinula = Puss Moth and the postage stamp of Isle of Man 2003 with the airplane Puss Moth.


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Picture 7: The moth Macrothylacia rubi = Fox Moth and the postage stamp of the Australian Antarctic Territory 1973 with the airplane DH Fox Moth.


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Picture 8: The souvenir sheet of Grenada 2000 with the moth Hypercompe scribonia = Giant Leopard Moth and the postage stamp of Ceylon 1963 with the airplane DH.85 Leopard Moth.


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Picture 9: The moth Sesia apiformis = Hornet Moth and the postage stamp of Mozambique 1987 with the airplane DH.87 Hornet Moth.


In the USA was used a special cachet in the time of the first overland flight of Sir Alan J. Cobham and Lady Gladys Cobham in the DH Moth airplane from New York to Washington in December 2-3, 1926 (Picture 10).

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Picture 10: The USA stationery cover with the special cachet for the Cobham First United States Overland Flight by D. H. "MOTH" airplane on posted on the start day 2nd December 1926.


In India was used violet flight cachet with stylised moth in June 1927 for De Havilland Moth flight over Calcutta by Ft. Lt. W.H. Vetch (Picture 11). Black moth cachet was used by the Indian post for letters carried aboard the De Havilland Gipsy Moth piloted by Hubert Standford Brood which won the 1926 King’s Cup annual British cross-country race (Picture 12). In July 1927 Indian post used cachet for DH Moth flight Calcutta – Shillong (Picture 13).

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Picture 11: The stationery card of India with the DH. Moth flight 1927.


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Picture 12: The cover of India 1927 with the black moth cachet.


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Picture 13: The Indian cover posted on 17th July 1927 with the cachet of DH. Moth flight.


In honour of the first official air mail from St. John’s, Newfoundland to North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, by Gypsy Moth airplane in August 1931 was used special cancel in Newfoundland (Picture 14).

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Picture 14: The registered cover with the canel of Gypsy Moth flight in August 1931.


Gipsy Moth is a ketch that Sir Francis Chichester commissioned specifically to sail single-handed around the globe, racing against the times set by the clipper ships of the 19th century. The name originated from the de Havilland Gipsy Moth aircraft in which Chichester completed pioneering work in aerial navigation techniques (Picture 15).

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Picture 15: The postage stamp of Great Britain 1967 with the Gipsy Moth yacht.


A flight to the Mars had been a dream for the mankind for a long time. In the 1970’s, researches first began to develop concepts for airplanes that could fly on Mars in order to solve the problem of navigating machines on the planet’s surface. A group of researchers at the Ohio Aerospace Institute have been examining flight techniques developed by terrestrial insects in order to tackle the problems involved with Martian flight. The focus of their research is the Entomopter, a robot that achieves flight by mimicking insects rather than using fixed wings. The Manduca sexta moth (Picture 16) is an excellent flyer which has the ability to hover. The wings of moth beat 180 out of phase. Therefore it was used as model for creation of Entomopter (Picture 17) and future flights to the Mars.

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Picture 16: The postage stamp of Salvador 2003 with the moth Manduca sexta.


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Picture 17: The Belgian cancel of 1981 with the model of the Entomopter in a moth form.



Concluding remarks


The author used the most interesting facts about moths in bio-engineering with an illustration of article by different types of philatelic material to demonstrate the importance of moths in our lives. The author would be always glad to help philatelists in the creation of their philatelic exhibit on butterflies and moths by e-mail: vladimirkachan@mail.ru.

Vladimir Kachan (Belarus)

Vladimir Kachan - Vice-chairman of the Union of Philatelists of Belarus - is a thematic philatelist and succeful exhibitor of the thematic exhibit devoted to butterflies and moths "World of Butterflies and Moths" for which he received Large Vermeil medals at the PORTUGAL 2010 and PHILANIPPON 2011 World Philatelic Exhibitions. He dedicates to finding new information and context and to philatelic research on philatelic materials. V. Kachan published his philatelic knowledge and findings in almost 50 articles devoted to butterflies in philately which appeared in thematic philatelic journals around the world. In 2011 he published a book "World of Butterflies and Moths" which reproduces his successful thematic exhibit. More information on V. Kachan´s activities could be found in the article for FEPA News 2014: Book on the Philatelic Exhibit "WORLD OF BUTTERFLIES and MOTHS".

Vladimir Kachan is looking for friends-philatelists for exchange philatelic knowledge and philatelic materials with butterflies and moths. He has in duplicates very many philatelic materials of the world with butterflies and other insects - postal stationeries, FDCs, special cancels, meter marks, mint stamps, also many information. He can help in the creation or improvement of a butterfly (insect) philatelic exhibit.


Neobvyklé nočné motýle (mory)



Contact on the author of the article: Vladimir Kachan (Belarus)



Author: Vladimir Kachan (Belarus)

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