On June 22, 1946, US Airmail was carried by jet for the first time. The flight was part of an event to showcase how GE’s aviation products could positively impact people’s lives and the future.
Jacqueline Cochran was born Bessie Lee Pittman on May 11, 1906, in Pensacola, Florida. The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, she held more speed, altitude, and distance records than any other pilot, male or female, in the world.
On May 8, 1911, the US Navy purchased its first airplane. This date is celebrated as the birth of US naval aviation.
On April 16, 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She had a brief, but significant aviation career, becoming a pioneer and inspiration for countless female flyers.
On January 19, 2006, the New Horizons interplanetary space probe was launched on a mission that included studying Pluto. The mission was inspired in part a postage stamp!
The first US Airmail coil stamp was issued on January 15, 1948, in Washington, DC. Only a few more coil stamps would be issued over the next 30 years, but the DC-4 SkyMaster would appear on more than a dozen postal items.
On January 9, 1793, Jean-Pierre Blanchard carried the first letter by hot air balloon in America. The letter came from President George Washington, an avid balloon enthusiast.
On December 17, 1925, the seven-week court-martial of World War I aviation pioneer Billy Mitchell came to an end. He was charged for his public criticism of the military in its rejection of the importance of air power.