Beginning Of India’s Aviation, 1912 Print

An old 1912 print shows the beginning of British India’s aviation, a biplane in Peshawar. This print is a page from The Times Od India supplement of April 17, 1912 (see second image). The close-up shows a very interesting if not rare view of a biplane descending in Peshawar (then in undivided India). Taken by an amateur photographer like the others that are shown. Not many know that British India was once the cradle of early aviation demonstrations.

Since flying aircraft was an altogether new field of transport in the early 1900s. Officially the first flight took off in 1903 piloted by one of the Wright brothers. The first airmail flight took place in Allahabad in 1911. There seems to be some ambiguity regarding the first noncommercial flight in India. But the most plausible case is that of Giacomo D’Angelis. An Italian who ran a flourishing confectionery business and owned the finest hotel in Madras: Hotel D’Angelis at Mount Road. Giacomo D’Angelis fabricated a biplane entirely from his own design.

The fabrication was with the help of Simpson’s a motor vehicles manufacturer. He flew his duly assembled flying machine on March 26, 1910. Taking off from Island Grounds, adjacent to Fort St George in Madras (Chennai). This is actually believed to be the first noncommercial flight in India. However, there are claims of Biplane flight demonstrations taking place in Calcutta, Allahabad, Peshawar, Karachi, etc. Although these are said to have taken place from December 1910 onwards and not before that. This definitely indicates the beginning of British India’s aviation. Click on the photo for better view.

Read more Madras aviation – in peace & war., and 100 Years Ago :: Flying in India.

Did you know – the largest crowd that assembled to watch a flying display before World War I was a gathering of almost 750,000 Indians who watched Henri Jullerot fly a Bristol military biplane in Calcutta on Jan. 6, 1911.

From the collection – M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Untitled 1964 (#18)., Chowpatty Seaface From Malabar Hill – Old Photo 1960., Esplanade Road & Tram Mumbai, Old Postcard 1905., Vintage Book 1881 – Everyday Life In India.

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.