From the first experimental, U.S. Air Mail flight in 1911, the Air Mail Service experienced controversy and was the focus of extraordinary public attention. Initially, airplanes traveled at the same speed as trains but with a higher risk of death and injury. The planes were weak and the terrain rough.

Background on Air Mail
Read about Air Mail's Background

Air Mail pilots undertook great risks to complete their flights. It was an uphill battle, and not without great cost -- both financial and human. Of the first ten air mail pilots, just three survived. In the wake of the mail, however, came a revolution in aircraft design, increased speeds, greater reliability, and improved mail service. In the end, despite the weather, despite the night, and despite the cold, "the mail got through".

Tighten your seat-belt and get ready to relive the Air Mail adventure.

And remember: you are the pilot.

The Air Mail Photo Gallery awaits you at the end, so make sure you make it all the way to San Francisco - your final destination!