New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

2018 Ross Dependency Aircraft

(No reviews yet) Write a Review

This stamp issue offered an overview of the crucial contribution made by air transport to the operations at Scott Base and Antarctica, and how it has evolved over the years.

Issue information

Throughout New Zealand’s Antarctic presence, aircraft have provided transport both to and across the icy continent. Land and sea-based alternatives are highly time consuming or unsafe. Much of Antarctica’s surface is covered by crevassed ice, and coastal areas by seasonal sea ice.

The basic principles of Antarctic aircraft operations haven’t changed much in their 60-year history. Fundamentally, they rely on the collective capability of the aircraft type and their crews to reach areas not easily accessible by other modes of transport. Whilst technological advances assist in navigation, aircraft reliability and weather forecasting, Antarctica remains a demanding and unpredictable environment in which to operate.

Without aircraft for transport, the important scientific research localities of Antarctica would be practically inaccessible.

Miniature Sheet and First Day Covers

The miniature sheet and miniature sheet first day cover depicted aerial views of the ice, while the first day cover showed a view of Scott Base.

Presentation Pack

You could learn more about the important role of New Zealand’s aviation capability in Antarctica, the history and how it continues to support our presence on the ice.

Limited Edition

This limited edition was the ultimate collector's item for this issue. You could see the full set of stamps in even more depth and detail and read more about the important role of aviation in Antarctica and the aircraft used, with commentary from aviator and pilot John Evans.

Ross Dependency Postage in New Zealand

Ross Dependency stamps are not valid for postage in New Zealand. Click here to find out more.

Product Listing for 2017 Historic Huts of the Ross Dependency

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'RNZAF - Auster T7C' gummed stamp.

This stamp was a homage to the Auster T7C (pictured: an Auster WE600), a British designed and built aircraft developed in 1945 as an observation aircraft. The Auster, operated by the RNZAF Antarctic Flight as NZ1707, was powered by the wartime de Havilland Gipsy engine, and fitted with snow skis and extensive communication equipment. The design featured excellent visibility, a low flying speed and short take off capability, making it well suited for the Trans-Antarctic Expedition as the observation and reconnaissance aircraft. The Auster survived its deployment and post Antarctica service with the RNZAF, and now resides as a permanent static display at the Airforce Museum of New Zealand, Christchurch.

Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'RNZAF – DHC-2 Beaver' gummed stamp.

The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver was designed as a bush aircraft to access remote North America, on floats, wheels or snow skis, and is powered by the wartime Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp radial engine. Operated by the RNZAF Antarctic Flight as NZ6001, the Beaver was the primary expedition aircraft for the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, laying depots of supplies and dog teams. Following the Trans-Antarctic Expedition, the Beaver continued its support of the then established New Zealand Antarctic Research Programme, now as NZ6010. In early 1960, Beaver NZ6010 crashed whilst negotiating whiteout on the Beardmore Glacier, fortunately without loss of life following a heroic rescue by the Auster. The badly damaged aircraft was not recovered.

Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'RNZAF - C130 Hercules' gummed stamp.

The Lockheed C130 Hercules is one of the most successful cargo aircraft manufactured, with a production run spanning over 60 years. The Royal New Zealand Air Force has operated the C130 ‘H’ series since 1965. In that same year, it started supporting New Zealand’s Antarctic programme, a faultless period of service surpassing any other aircraft type on the continent. The C130 is well suited to providing the airlink from New Zealand to Antarctica, given its designed capability to operate on unprepared runway surfaces, and transport both bulk cargo and personnel.

Single Stamp

Single $2.40 'RNZAF - B757' gummed stamp.

The Boeing 757 is the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s strategic airlift aircraft, with its origins as a commercial airliner. The B757 is known for its high power-to-weight ratio and excellent take off performance compared with similar sized aircraft. It supports the intercontinental link from Christchurch, New Zealand, with its ability to move large numbers of personnel in relative comfort, subsequently allowing more focused movement of cargo on the C-17 and C-130 aircraft. The B757 is one of a few commercial airliner aircraft routinely landing on an ice runway.

Single Stamp

Single $3.00 'Southern Lakes Helicopters - AS350-B3 Squirrel' gummed stamp.

The AS350-B3 helicopter, within the Squirrel series, is a French built aircraft with a single turbine engine known for its excellent performance and resilient rigid rotor system. The Squirrel has a long and proven history of operating in the most extreme of environments around the world, particularly in mountainous locations. The B3 model, operated by the contracted operator Southern Lakes Helicopters, is highly active during the operational season, supporting the establishment of camps, personnel movements, aerial monitoring and surveillance, and search and rescue duties. The contracted helicopters supporting the New Zealand programme are transported to Antarctica seasonally by the C-17 aircraft.

Single Stamp

Single $3.60 'Kenn Borek Air - DCH-6 Twin Otter' gummed stamp.

The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter is a Canadian built bush aircraft, with its origins developed from the DHC-2 Beaver and its slightly larger counterpart the DHC-3 Otter, also well versed to Antarctic operations. The Twin Otter is powered by two Pratt and Whitney PT-6 turbine engines and features a large cabin capacity for movement of provisions and personnel into the interior of Antarctica. The Twin Otter has supported New Zealand’s Antarctic programme on lease arrangements with other Antarctic programmes, and contracts with its Canadian operator Kenn Borek Air. The Twin Otter’s position annually from the Northern Hemisphere for the summer season through South America and across the Antarctic continent, via the South Pole to Ross Island.

Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled gummed miniature sheet. $12.60
First Day Cover First day cover with six gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $13.10
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with gummed miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $13.10
Presentation Pack

This presentation pack included a set of gummed stamps, a miniature sheet, and a first day cover. Inside you learned more about the history of New Zealand’s aviation activities in Antarctica, and how it has evolved over the decades.

Still available to purchase. Click here.

Limited Edition

With this limited edition you learned more about the history of aviation in Antarctica, and how it supports our presence on the ice. Our contributor, John Evans is actively involved with the Beaver Preservation Trust, operating a Beaver aircraft decorated as the Trans-Antarctic Expedition NZ6001 Beaver. As an engineer, he has worked in Antarctica with the New Zealand Antarctic programme, supporting conservation activities on historic sites with the Antarctic Heritage Trust, and more recently, with Antarctica New Zealand on their overland traverse capability, supporting deep field science projects on the Ross Ice Shelf.

Still available to purchase. Click here.


Technical information

Date of issue: 7 November 2018
Number of stamps: Six gummed
Denominations: $1.20 x 3, $2.40, $3.00 & $3.60
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Alan Hollows, New Zealand Post, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 50mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 14
Special blocks: Plate/Imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 6 November 2019. First day covers remained on sale until 14 January 2019.