Website of the Antique Airplane Association and the Airpower Museum Last Update: Oct 09 2017

Geneseo Biplane Rally and Air Mail Flight Re-enactment

The 1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum announced its planned
re-enactment of the Commemoration of the 90th Anniversary of the First
Regularly Scheduled U.S. Air Mail. On Wednesday, July 9th and
Thursday, July 10th, 2008 mail will be flown from the Geneseo , New
York Airport during the week of the Group’s annual week-long “Olde
Aerodrome Days” Biplane Rally. This event precedes the 29th
consecutive Geneseo Airshow, “The Greatest Show On Turf”, listed among
North America’s top 10 Airshows.

Three scheduled flights departing Geneseo (Aerodrome Station No.1
14454 ) at approximately 11:00 A.M. both days (weather permitting)
will arrive in Rochester, New York ( Aerodrome Station No. 2 14692 )
, Niagara Falls, No.3 14302 , and Buffalo, No. 4 14240), where
Post Office officials, local media and dignitaries will greet the
arriving aircraft. From these respective sites, canceled mail will
then be placed on board these vintage biplane’s and sent to Geneseo
for distribution. No less than three, but as many as six, classic
aircraft that actually flew C.A.M. Routes in the 1920’s and 30’s have
acknowledged their planned appearance at this event. They include
Stearman Models 4E and C-3B. Pitcairn PA-6 and PA-8 “Mail Wings” and
possibly a Ford Tri-Motor and a DeHavilland DH-4. The probability of
these planes being escorted with other biplanes of similar vintage
carrying photo-journalists should present some unique photo
opportunities to visitors at the landing sites.

A special cancellation has been designed by Aviation Artist and Event
Co-ordinator, Frank H. Schaufler, that has been approved by the
U.S. Post Office Department. It is an oval format approximately 1.5 x
2.25 inches encircling wings used by the aircraft of C.A.M. Route 4 in
April, 1926 and flown by Maury Graham, Jimmy James, and Fred Kelly.
Instead of the words “Contract” and “Route 4” on the wing tips, the
dates 1918 and 2008 have been substituted. The words U.S. Air Mail
are reproduced identically to how they appeared on the original logo.
There are a total of eight individual cancellations. Four for each
date and four for each participating city. All cancellations have a
different numbered Aeroplane Station and contain the words
“Commemorating the 90th Anniversary” above “U.S. Air Mail”. Beneath
the wings are the date and city of departure. Around the bottom of
the oval are the other three locations printed in the same type font
used on the original May 15, 1918 cancellations.

In addition, a special souvenir cachet has also been designed by Frank
Schaufler and will be available for sale through the 1941 Historical
Aircraft Group Museum’s store or web site. The cover itself is based
on the Transcontinental map series used between February 13, 1926 and
January 25, 1927. Instead of the US map the artist has substituted a
section of Western New York State where the events will be held. It
shows Lakes Erie and Ontario as well as the northern tips of some of
the Finger Lakes. Arrows departing from Geneseo to their three
destinations are also depicted. In place of the DH-4’s on the
original stamp are two of the biplane’s that will actually be flying
the mail this July. They are a Stearman Model 4E “Speed Mail”
belonging to Todd Stuart from Key West ,Florida, and the world’s only
flying 1931 Pitcairn PA-8 “Mail Wing” owned by the Nemacolin Woodlands
Vintage Aircraft Collection in Pennsylvania. The words “United States
Air Mail” have been faithfully reproduced from the original 1926 art
work.

At present a limited-edition of 1000 sets of four are planned to be
sold to collectors through the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum’s
website, 1941hag.org. These will carry the Museum’s
return address on the ones leaving Geneseo and it’s TO: address on the
remaining three-quarters from the other sites so every set will have
all four Aerodrome Stations and cancellations. These sets will also
carry a photographic stamp-like label of the Pitcairn taken at the
2007 Biplane Rally by photo-journalist Seth Goltzer. These are being
listed as $25.00 for the set of four plus $2.95 S&H. The four set
commemoratives can be pre-sold or reserved by calling HAG headquarters
at (585)-243-2100. All proceeds from the above covers go to the 1941
Historical Aircraft Group Museum, a 501 c (3) not for profit
organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of
historical aircraft. An additional limited run of souvenir covers
without stamps, return addresses, labels or cancellations will be
available as single envelopes to anyone wishing to purchase them
through the Museum for $3.00 each.

Plans to produce an exclusive Collector’s Edition, similar to the one
Schaufler designed in 1978 for the 60th Anniversary of this event, are
being discussed as well. This will be a two-sided, matted and framed
version that will contain, not only the four canceled covers, but also
each reverse side will have a printed facsimile of the original C-3
.24 cent Curtiss Jenny stamp used on the 1918 Inaugural flights, a
current .42 cent stamp which will have a back-stamp cancellation from
the destination. The backs of these covers will also carry signatures
of the participating pilots of each flight, Post Office official,
cachet aviation artist and label photographer. The front panel will
also include a signed and numbered limited edition of fifty
commemorative plaques signed by the artist, and a full-color Pitcairn
photo of the label and signed by the photographer. The rear panel
will include an enlargement of the Geneseo cancellation and artist’s
Hallmark vignette.

This may be one of only two sites commemorating this event this year
using actual mail planes that flew the C.A.M. Routes. The other known
location will be at Blakesburg, Iowa and held the week before Labor
Day during the Antique Airplane Association’s annual Fly-In.