First flight cover, also known by the acronym FFC, is mail that has been carried on an inaugural flight of an airline, route, or aircraft, normally postmarked with the date of the flight often of the arrival destination proving it was actually carried on the aircraft and may have a special flight cachet:184 and/or an arrival postmark. Because many first flight covers are essentially made as collectables they can be considered philatelic mail though others consider them to be postal history. With the advent of air travel it wasn’t long before airplanes were carrying the mail between distant points about the globe.
In the United States and Germany airmail delivery was greeted with the same national enthusiasm and fanfare as was experienced with the first trips to the moon by US astronauts. Consequently many people sent philatelic mail to themselves or friends that was carried aboard these flights in order to get a souvenir of the historic event. Covers carried aboard these flights are very popular and famous in some cases. The US Post office recognised the potential in providing first flight cover services to philatelists quite early on and in 1926 The Postal Bulletin carried extensive instructions for postmasters to ensure appropriate circulation took place and proper markings were added.
Due to the small loads carried on early first flights are scarce, in demand and expensive.:259 Following the First World War regular and special flights increased significantly to the extent that some modern flight are so commercial that thousands of covers are carried that no pilot could ever possibly sign. Thus collectors may find it difficult to cope with the quantity and diversity of first flight covers available to collect forcing them to specialise:158 though some catalogues exist to help them:262 such as the American Air Mail Catalogue.
The first official postal delivery flight between two towns took place on February 18, 1911, during the United provinces Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition in India.The young French pilot Henri Pequet carried mail from the exhibition location Allahabad to Naini which is approx. 8 km away. It took Henri Pequet and his biplane “Sommer” about 13 minutes for the distance. The carried covers were provided with the large circular bright magenta postmark “First Aerial Post, U.P. Exhibition Allahabad 1911″ and a few cards were autographed by the pilot.62 Packets carried about 6,000 cards and letters on his journey.The United Kingdom’s first and only official pre-World War I airmail flight took place in 1911 to mark the coronation of King George v flying mail between London andWindsor from September 9-15 carrying 926 pounds of mail.(Wikipedia)