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Antique Biplane to Fly Mail Cross-Country 80 Years After Crash

September 8, 2008

To: NATIONAL EDITORS

Contact: David Coleman, (O) +1-202-268-2155, (C) +1-202-268- 2162, david .p.Coleman@usps.gov, or Mary Weber, (O) +1-202-268- 7722, (C) +1-202-437-1299, mary.c.weber@usps.gov, both of USPS

FARMINGDALE, N.Y., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is being released by the U.S. Postal Service:

What:

Reenactment of the first transcontinental airmail flight from Long Island to San Francisco in a restored airmail biplane after a crash in 1928.

Who:

Aviation Historian/Antique aircraft restorer and Boeing 40C Pilot Addison Pemberton

Antique aircraft restorer and 1927 Stearman C3B Pilot Larry Tobin

Antique aircraft restorer and 1930 Stearman 4E Speedmail Pilot Ben Scott

Tom Gaynor, U.S. Postal Service, 631-582-7506 email: Tom.Gaynor@usps.gov

When:

9 a.m.

Sept. 10, 2008

Where:

American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport

1230 New Highway

Farmingdale, NY 11735 (on Long Island)

Background:

A restored airmail passenger biplane that crashed in 1928 will navigate America’s first transcontinental airmail route and depart from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, NY on September 10. Mail on the six-day, 15-stop flight will fly on the nation’s oldest operating passenger airliner — a restored open cockpit Boeing 40C biplane that has interior seating for four passengers.

The Postal Office Department played a vital role in developing the nation’s commercial aviation industry. United Airlines, American Airlines and other commercial carriers first got off the ground as contract air mail carriers. To keep the mail moving by flying at night the Post Office installed radio stations, towers, beacons, searchlights and boundary markers. The Post Office also equipped planes with luminescent instruments, navigational lights, and parachute flares. Once the public recognized the mail got there safely, passenger service began. Today, the Postal Service continues as the airline industry’s largest customer and invests more than $3 billion of its $6.5 billion annual transportation costs to air transportation. First-class letters traveling coast to coast today are transported by air and take three days to deliver. In 1928, depending on the weather, delivery could take five to 10 days. Airmail delivery started in 1918 at a cost of 24-cents, or $3.43 in today’s dollars. For more information on postal aviation visit: http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/pubs/pub100/pub100_026.htm

TranscontinentalAir Mail RouteSchedule, Sept. 10-15, 2008

Due to possible weather-related or other delays, please contact George Perks at 509-979-1616 or by email at perkspatch@comcast.netto confirm on site interviews.

— Wed., Sept. 10 — Depart New York Republic Field 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bellefonte, PA late morning. Depart and arrive Cleveland, OH Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) late afternoon/early evening. Overnight stop.

— Thurs., Sept. 11 — Depart Cleveland (BKL) 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bryan, OH (OG6) late morning. Depart and arrive Chicago, IL Lansing Airport (IGQ) late afternoon. Arrive Iowa City, IA (IOW) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Fri., Sept. 12 — Depart Iowa City 9:30 a.m. Arrive Omaha, NE (OMA) late morning. Depart and arrive North Platte, NE, (LBF) late afternoon. Overnight stop.

— Sat., Sept. 13 — Depart North Platte 9:30 a.m. Arrive Cheyenne, WY (CYS), late morning. Depart and arrive mid-afternoon Rawlins, WY (RWL). Depart and arrive Rock Springs, WY (RKS) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Sun., Sept. 14 — Depart Rock Springs 9:30 a.m. Arrive Salt Lake City, UT (U42) late morning. Depart and arrive Elko, NV (EKO) late afternoon. Depart and arrive Reno, NV (RNO) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Mon., Sept. 15 — Depart Reno 9:30 a.m. Arrive Hayward, CA (HWD) late morning. Depart Hayward mid-day for San Francisco (SFO or Chrissy Field). Return to Hayward. Overnight stop.

Note: Media requests to fly in Boeing 40-C will be considered on a space available basis by contacting Addison Pemberton, 509-995- 6240. Postal officials will provide b-roll of early mail sorting and airmail flight operations and footage of todays high-tech mail sorting and transportation operations.

An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation, 146 million homes and businesses. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses, not tax dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the worlds mail.

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service

(c) 2008 U.S. Newswire. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.




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