Aviation in Cheyenne (1920-1930s)
From 1920 to 1926, pilots braved the toughest conditions on the Transcontinental Airmail Route contending with Wyoming's high altitude, unpredictable weather and severe winds. Pilots such as Slim Lewis, Hal Collison, Frank Yager, Harry Chandler and Jack Knight became aviation legends while flying the airmail route through Cheyenne. Each pilot flew by sheer nerve and skill and each could tell stories of narrow escapes and near death experiences flying the route.
A series of five new hangars for the airmail service replaced the original Cheyenne hangar that burned in November 1924. Although they are all gone now, they were between Central and Warren Avenues directly west of the current Administration Building.
In 1925 Congress passed the Kelly Air Mail Act authorizing the Post Office to turn airmail over to civilian contractors and by July 1927, Boeing Air Transport (BAT) had taken over operations in Cheyenne. The company retained the aviation facilities and many of the airmail pilots, and they also established their main maintenance facility in the city.
In the transition, BAT discontinued the use of the DeHavilland
By 1929 B.A.Thad constructed the building currently used for airport administration. The new facility housed the main offices for ticketing, dispatch, communications, employee training and weather monitoring. In 1930 BAT constructed the hangar immediately west of the Administration Building to protect its aircraft in America as BAT, Pacific Air Transport, National Air Transport and Varney Airlines merged to form the airline powerhouse - United Air Lines. That same year United also trained eight young women to become the first airline stewardesses in the world and kept Cheyenne as it principal maintenance and training facility for
In 1933 United introduced the Boeing B-247, the first modern airliner with a single mono-wing configuration and an all-metal skin. The new plane was considerably faster than the old B-80, but could only hold ten passengers.
In 1937, as technology improved, United introduced to its fleet the Douglas DC-3, a plane that could carry up to 35 passengers.
Erected by City of Cheyenne, Cheyenne Historic Historic Preservation Board, Cheyenne Area Convention and Visitors Board, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund and Preserve America.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Postal Mail and Philately marker series.
Location. 41° 9.193′ N, 104° 49.186′ W. Marker is in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in Laramie County. Marker is on East 8th Street near Warren Avenue, on the right. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 246 East 8th Street, Cheyenne WY 82001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Aviation in Cheyenne (1930-1950s) (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Transcontinental Airmail Route* (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Early Cheyenne Reservoir (approx. 0.7 miles away); Union Pacific Steam Engine #1242
More about this marker. This marker in next to the Cheyenne Airport Terminal.
Categories. • Air & Space •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 29, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 27, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 159 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 27, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.