FrontFrom 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 DH-4s that had loyally worked the routes for the previous seven years and replaced them with the lighter and more powerful Boeing B-40 aircraft. These planes were capable of easily flying over
the state's mountain barriers and avoiding its most brutal weather. In addition to carrying the mail, these planes were equipped with a small cabin in front of the pilot to hold up to four passengers. In 1928 these planes were augmented by the addition of a three-engined biplane airliner, the Boeing B-80. These planes were luxuriously appointed with individual reading lights, leather seats and wood paneled walls and could accommodate 18 passengers. Even with rich surroundings, early flights on these planes were loud and frequently cold. Back
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 the next seventeen years.
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.