|Humber-Sommer biplane. First airmail service. British India. between Allahabad and Nainiwww.delcampe.net|
|Allahabad cover flown on the world's first aerial post in 1911/en.wikipedia.org|
Airmail (or air mail) is a mail transport service that involves sending letters, packages, etc through the aircraft. Airmail items reach the destination faster, but the cost is much more than other services. The advantage is airmail services are commonly used to reach the overseas destinations across the globe. In 1929 at Postal Union Congress in London, the Universal Postal Union adopted comprehensive rules for the airmail. As the official language of the Universal Postal Union is French, all airmail items worldwide are often marked Par avian , literally: "by airplane".
|First airmail service. British India. between Allahabad and Naini. pedia.desibantu.com|
|First airmail service. British India. between Allahabad and Naini.www.delcampe.net|
|old airmail postal stamp, british India. www.flickr.com|
You will be surprised to know that the colonial India was an experiment field for many new ideas. The important event was world's first airmail flight. It happened at a large exhibition in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India. One Sir
Fred Wiseman, organizer of the aviation display, got special permit from the Post Master general of British India to operate an airmail service in order to generate publicity for the exhibition and to raise money for charity. It was in the Holy Trinity Church the mails were collected and the very first airmail flight took off the ground with one Henri Pequet in the cockpit. He carried with him a huge bag containing as many as 6500 letters, etc a whooping number and covered a distance of just 13 km (8.1 mi) from from Allahabad to Naini - the nearest station on the Bombay-Calcutta line to the exhibition. An interesting feature is all letters bore an official frank "First Aerial Post, U.P. Exhibition, Allahabad. 1911". The short distance was covered in thirteen minutes; the aircraft used was a Humber-Sommer biplane. The plane took off the exhibition around 5.30 PM ( February 18, 1911) made couple of circles, crossed the
So, India had the honor of being the first pioneer country in the world to carry officially 6500 letters and 40 picture cards, bearing the special cancellations, showing an aircraft over the mountains surrounded by script First Aerial Post, U.P. Exhibition, Allahabad. 1911. The second place in the history of airmail flight was claimed by the UK on September 18, 1911, eight months later. The letters were carried officially by an aircraft between Hendon and Windsor - a distance of 10 km. France became the third country to officially carry the airmail letters on September 13, 1911. They achieved this feat in their Moroccan colonial cities of Casablanca and Fez. The Indian success was mainly due to the efforts of Walter Wyndham who accepted the request from the organizers of the air exhibition in the united Provinces of Agra and Ouadh. It was Fred Wiseman who specially brought six planes from England to Bombay. Special crates were used to transport the parts. Then from there to Allahabad by train. He also brought two pilots to operate the air aircrafts one Henri Pequet and the other being Keith Davies, besides two aircraft mechanics. The Champlain of the Holy Trinity church W. E. S. Holland also approached the postmaster general and expressed his desire to help Wiseman raise funds for a boys' hostel. This way the Champlain was indirectly instrumental in introducing the first air-postal system in the vast Indian subcontinent. This led to the birth of world's first airmail service on the Colonial soil of India. The total weight of the letters, etc was around 200 to 300 pounds and this included complimentary mails to many European monarchs, statesmen, officials at Westminster and people connected to aviation industry world over.