1911 Aerial Post, 1/2d Postcard, Red/Brown, addressed to Clapton London
1911 First UK aerial post 1/2d postcard, red/brown illustration addressed to Clapton London, no message on reverse.
The first flight travelled between Hendon and Windsor on September 9th piloted by Gustav Hamel. The service was scheduled to run from the 11th to 15th with one return trip on the 16th, however adverse weather conditions caused delays so the service ran until the 26th.
Postal stationery was made available for the public to purchase in a multiple of colours and carried on the flights. Special mail boxes were established in London, Hendon, and Windsor where the items were posted and franked with one of six special handstamps. Four of these handstamps were used on mail posted in London (dies 1-4) and two at Hendon (dies 5 & 6). The die number can be found at the bottom of each handstamp. Around 40 companies took advantage of the event by printing adverts on the reverse of the postcards, and in some cases overprinted the illustration on the front.
Four pilots were chosen (Gustav Hamel, E F Driver, C H Greswell, and Claude Hubert) however Hubert broke both his legs after a crash at take-off and took no further part. The planes used were two Bleriot monoplanes and one Farman biplane. Gustav Hamel flew the first flight taking off from Hendon at 5.13pm on September 9th 1911 with the 21 mile journey to Windsor taking around 15 minutes.
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