Hope Takes Flight: Aviation-Themed Cards

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Hope Takes Flight: Aviation-Themed Cards

Eight brightly-coloured holiday cards are arranged on a wooden tabletop; each card features different aviation-themed images. Christmas décor is visible in the foreground and background of the image.

Make and send a personalized card to loved ones and friends wishing them health and happiness for the new year!

Canada’s first flight covers

Commissioned by the Post Office department, first flight cover cachets were released and applied to letters when a new airmail service route was inaugurated, or to highlight special events. Each one was different, and they display hints of what regions of Canada were like at that time.

The Post Office first budgeted money for air mail services in 1927, but did not begin providing cachets until 1928. Highly sought after by stamp collectors of the time, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum offers you this selection to choose from to personalize your next “airmail delivery,” and share a piece of history.

What you need

  • A print out of the first flight covers (PDFs below)
  • A print out of the aircraft illustrations (PDFs below)
  • Plain white paper or construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, pencil crayons, or markers
  • Glue

First Flight Covers Part 1 (PDF)

First Flight Covers Part 2 (PDF)

Aircraft illustrations: DHC 6 Twin Otter (PDF)

Aircraft illustrations: JN 4 Canuck (PDF)

Aircraft illustrations: Noorduyn Norseman VI (PDF)

Safety first!

Adult supervision required when handling scissors and glue.

Make it

  1. Make a horizontal fold in your plain white paper or construction paper, to create your greeting card.
  2. Use your crayons, pencil crayons, or markers to decorate the first flight covers and aircraft images you’ve printed out.
  3. Carefully cut out the aircraft images and first flight covers, and select the ones you’d like to use to decorate the front of your greeting card. You can save the others for your next card!
  4. Glue the cut-outs to the front of your card (you can add more inside too, if you’d like).
  5. Add a personalized message to the inside of your card, then mail it to a friend or family member.

Did you know?

  • In March 1939, Trans-Canada Air Lines inaugurated a daily air mail service between Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. To commemorate this event, the Post Office department released 40 different first flight covers.
  • Collectors would hear about the upcoming inaugural flights, and would pay for postage and mail themselves a letter. Upon arrival, they would not open the letter, but would keep it as part of their collection. Once used the rubber stamps became unusable; they were not replicated again. The airmail routes had been established.

Browse a historical “flypast” of Canada’s First Airmail Deliveries

Program Details

Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Program Location
At Your School