Story of First Official Airmail

By-Virendra Dhundhara

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It was a fine morning at Allahabad on the 18th of February, 1911. Henri Pequet took off with a wrist watch on his right hand and an altimeter fixed to his left knee. The biplane flew to Naini at 40 mph at an altitude of 130 feet. He landed at Naini, 8 Km from Allahabad, to be greeted by the lone postmaster. Pequet flew back. The whole journey lasted 27 minutes.

The occasion coincided with Purna Kumbha, the Hindu festival held once every 12 years. Pequet had a birds eye of a million people  in the Ganges below.

One of the recipients of the first airmail was King George V of England. His secretary wrote to Windham \”The King desires me to send you his thanks for the letter he received from India, bearing the inscription \”First Aerial Post\”, which will be an interesting addition to His Majesty\’s stamp collection\”.

Henri Pequet that day introduced aviation as a Postal Tool at Allahabad. February 18, 1911 will always remain as a Red letter day not only in India but all over the World!\"\"

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