In 1935, one hundred years to the day after the first clipper ship had sailed into San Francisco Harbor, a new "China Clipper" marked a milestone in the delivery of U.S. mail. As thousands watched in awe, she headed west from San Francisco, flying just above the unfinished Golden Gate Bridge. A cheer went up as she set off on the first transpacific airmail flight with a cargo of 110,000 letters. The Martin M-130, christened "China Clipper," was a seaplane designed specifically for long-distance passenger and mail transport. Her body was made almost entirely of aluminum and her wings were high. Her journey would be eight thousand miles long, and special island bases had to be prepared to accommodate her landing needs. But, the task complete, the "China Clipper" opened a new era in mail transport and joined the ranks in an exciting new century of improved communications.
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