Notes from the Past

Pioneer Airmail Flights - Part VI

Aviation Events and More Early Mail 2

Great Britain was also active in aviation during the early years.  On August 17, 1910, the first Aeroplane Mail flight in Great Britain was made from Blackpool to Southport - about seven miles away.  The flight was abandoned at that point due to bad weather.  The cards carried were posted in London on August 26.  C. Grahame White was the pilot.  This flight preceded the Coronation Aerial Post on September 9 - 16 between London and Windsor.  In October, 1911, cards were carried between Freshfield and Southport.  Also during the month, parcel post was flown between Northhampton and Hendon.  A Northhampton firm arranged to deliver boots to customers along with a souvenir certificate noting that delivery had been made by air.

Souvenir cards were prepared for the International Air Meeting at Budapest, Hungary, held June 5 - 15, 1910.  India's First Official Air Mail Flight occurred February 18, 1911.  Luxembourg held an Aviation Meeting at Mondorf les Bains June 5 - 12, 1910, with souvenir cards.  In Morocco on September 11, 1911, an experimental flight between Casablanca and Fez via Rabat was sponsored by the newspaper La Petit Journal.  The flight was not completed until September 20.  Covers received a special cachet.  Norway joined the parade on October 2, 1911, when newspapers were dropped from a plane during a flying meet at Trondheim.  The papers were addressed and finders were requested to deposit them in the nearest letter box.  Uruguay commemorated an Experimental Flight from Colonia to Buenos Aires on December 18, 1910, with specially cacheted covers.

Italy joined other European powers in pioneer aviation activity.  Demonstration flights by Glenn Curtiss on September 10 and 20, 1909, were commemorated by special cards and cancels.  In November, there was an Aviation Exposition at Milan.  1910 saw an Aviation Meeting at Florence starting in March, following by similar meetings in Verone and Bologna in May.  An experimental flight from Milan to the Simplon valley was made in September.  This proceeded an Aviation Meeting at Milan in September.  1911 continued with Aviation Meetings at Florence in May, Zaule Airdrome near Trieste in July, and Rimini in August.  Special cancels were prepared for these events.  A Military Aviation Meeting was held in Bologna in September.  On October 30 and 31, 1911, experimental flights were made between Milan and Turin.  These flights carried mail bearing special cancels.

Posted September 15, 2000

Editor's Note:  This series will draw on Donald B. Holmes' Air Mail -- an illustrated history 1793-1981 which is an exceptional piece of philatelic literature and The American Air Mail Catalogue Vol. 1 published by the American Air Mail Society.

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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