Friday, 4 February 2011

100 years on, India Post to re-enact world’s first airmail flight

(Image courtesy of the Smithsonian National Post Museum)
100 years on, India Post to re-enact world’s first airmail flight

Reenactments are always a great way to celebrate the anniversary of an important event and what more worthy milestone than the centenary of the first air mail flight?

India to re-enact world's first airmail delivery

This anniversary is fast approaching and, contrary to popular belief, did not first occur in America but (only just) in India. The story behind it is one of great international co-operation - the idea a British one, the mail Indian and the pilot & aeroplane French - a brilliantly auspicious and appropriate start to a scheme that would come to encompass the globe. An initial distance travelled of only 5 miles may seem negligible to us today but it must be remembered that in 1911 powered flight was just 8 years old and [the weight of] 6,500 letters is not to be sniffed at. The speed at which aeronautical development progressed in those early years meant that air mail swiftly became a viable method of delivering post quickly over long distances, even by 1911. That this small, 13-mile flight benefited a local church hostel just adds to the humanity of the event.

The articles don't say whether the flight is to be undertaken in a replica of the original aircraft or just a normal India Post aeroplane (I suspect the latter) but regardless it is a more than fitting way to open the World Philatelic Exhibition and commemorate this important date - not only in the history of (aero)philately but in the history of India and communication around the world.

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