AIRMAIL CREATES AN INDUSTRY:
Interestingly enough, some of the internal debate
over the use of radio in mail aircraft came from a discussion
over its purpose. Were airborne radios, if they could be made
more reliable, to be used by pilots merely to inform their
superiors of their location? Or to help transmit weather information
to the pilots, helping them avoid potentially deadly storms.
Finally, perhaps radios were more important as a method of
communication between field operations, and not needed at
all inside the aircraft.
August 20, 1920, the Post Office Department ordered radio
stations installed at each of the planned transcontinental
airmail fields. When possible, the service used already installed
stations operated by the Navy. Field and division managers
used radio to track aircraft and share weather information.
The postal service even used it to forward messages considered
too "urgent" for telegram or letter. But radios
did not make their way into mail airplanes until 1925.
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