Cameroon '77
Saint-Exupéry on Stamps Chad '78
Central African Republic
République Centrafricaine

50th anniversary of the death of St-Ex

1994

Breguet 14

perf 13½, Scott #1063

perf 13½, Scott #1064

...The mailplane of the time [ca. 1927], the Breguet 14, flew at a cruising speed of eighty miles per hour and had an extreme range of well under 400 miles. ... The Breguet 14 was not an advanced aircraft: it was powered by a 300-horsepower engine, its propeller was wood, its cockpit open; it had no radio, no suspension, no reliable instruments, no brakes. One pilot observed that the gas gauge more accurately indicated the amount of sand in the conduits than of fuel in the tank. Saint-Exupéry commented that the compass was a fine invention in theory, but that in practice it resembled a weather vane.
On average, a Breguet 14 broke down every 15,500 miles, which worked out to about one in every five Casablanca-Dakar round-trips. The beauty of an unsophisticated airplane is that it is easy to repair: a hammer, nails, a saw, a block of wood, and glue were said to suffice in order to jerry-rig a Breguet 14 back into service. As Mermoz boasted: "We had created commercial aviation before there were any commercial planes."
Stacy Schiff: "Saint-Exupéry" (1994) pp 5-7

Cameroon '77
Saint-Exupéry on Stamps
Chad '78