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Bleriot Queen and
Henri Pequet's Sommerstyle
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HISTORIC AIRPLANES: Earle Ovington's Bleriot Queen and Henri Pequet's Sommerstyle Biplane

Ovington's Bleriot Queen
On May 17, 1911, Earle Ovington, an enthusiastic aviator, flew his 70-horse power Blériot monoplane over Belmont Field, soaring as high as 2,000 feet at one point. At the end of his display, he flew from the field, racing, and beating, a Long Island Railroad express train.

Later that year, he made postal history. On September 23, 1911, Earle H. Ovington pledged an oath as the first U.S. airmail pilot before climbing in his Bleriot monoplane, powered by an Indian Rotary motor, and stuffed letters and postcards between his legs. Ovington took off from the aviation meet at the Nassau Boulevard air meet in Garden City, New York and flew the short hop to Mineola, Long Island.

Did you know?Circling overhead, Ovington dropped his mail sack at the signal of Mineola's postmaster. The mailbag exploded when it hit the ground, mail scattering everywhere. Ovington made similar trips almost every day of the week-long meet.

Henri Pequet's Sommer-style aircraft
French pilot Henri Pequet, accompanied by a pair of mechanics, arrived in India with a crated airplane. The team was representing the Humber Motor Company of England at the Allahabad, India, Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition. Humber, which had earlier manufactured single-winged airplanes based on a Blériot design, had now produced what they called a Roger Sommer craft. The Sommer biplane, a modified Farman biplane (one of the aircraft Fred Wiseman's team had based their craft on), had a 50 horsepower, seven cylinder, Gnome rotary engine.

Click here to see envelopes carried on these flights.

Ovington receives mail Ovington's airplane
Ovington flying over tent 1911 1911 airmail station
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) Ovington receives mail

(top right) Ovington's airplane

(bottom left) Ovington flying over tent 1911

(bottom right) 1911 airmail station
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