|EAA's airworthy Bleriot XI replica painted in the livery of Earle Ovington's airplane that made the first official air mail flights in 1911 will be a centerpiece to AirVenture 2011's commemoration of air mail's centennial.
Vintage aircraft and attractions, along with special programming, will honor the centennial of air mail service during EAA AirVenture 2011.
The commemoration will focus on the aircraft and people of the pre-World War II era when air mail pioneers laid many important foundations for
modern aviation, including aircraft, routes, and navigation aids.
Central to the commemoration will be aircraft display in the Vintage aircraft area, chiefly EAA's airworthy
Bleriot XI replica, painted to represent Earle Ovington's airplane that
made the first official air mail flights in 1911. Also confirmed is a newly restored, Hisso-powered Curtis JN-4 "Jenny" owned by Ron Alexander,
EAA 137890. This airplane will be painted to represent the airplane that completed the first regularly scheduled air mail service beginning in
May 1918 on a route between Washington, D.C., and New York City, with an intermediate stop in Philadelphia.
Additionally, EAA will have several aircraft from its AirVenture Museum collection on display, including a Pitcairn Mailwing, Swallow,
Ford Tri-Motor, Pitcairn Autogiro, and Fairchild FC-2. Alexander has indicated his Stearman C3B will be present as well. Owners of antique
aircraft that have a direct link to air mail operations who wish to participate can send an e-mail to
"One of the earliest practical uses for powered flight in its fledgling years was air mail service," said Tom Poberezny, EAA and
AirVenture chairman. "Air mail service played an integral role in advancing aviation, and this commemoration will recognize the legacy left
by those pioneers and the brave souls who were lost along the way."
Other activities and features planned around the air mail centennial include an air mail station where children and adults can write
letters and have them mailed via vintage biplane, re-enactors dressed as historic air mail pilots, Theater in the Woods programming, movies,
museum exhibits, and more.
Advance purchase admission tickets and camping for AirVenture 2011 are now available at a