The nickname "Jenny" was derived by slurring "JN" into "Jenny." The most notable American design of World War I, Jenny had two careers -- as a trainer and after the War as a barnstormer/air show performer.

It was one of the most loved early American aircraft, flown by nearly every famous pilot of the time. After World War I, a Jenny could be bought for as little as $50, hence its popularity with barnstormers.

Ordered by the United States in 1916 in an attempt to combat the high death rate of trainee pilots in Curtiss Pushers (for many years, Curtiss was the only outfit training military pilots in the United States), the Jenny was used to train 95% of American and Canadian pilots. The Jenny was designed, in part, by former Sopwith designer, B. Douglas Thomas, who was hired away from Sopwith by Curtiss. The Jenny was America’s first mass-produced, commercially successful aircraft as well as the most notable American design of World War I. A Jenny was used on the first official U.S. airmail route between New York and Washington in 1918.

The Jenny in our collection is an original JN-4D built by the St. Louis Airplane Co. in 1917, and was last used by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Georgia.

Specifications: Span 43’ 7”, length 27’ 4”, takeoff weight 2,130 lbs. Engine: 90 horsepower Curtiss OX-5 water-cooled V-8; maximum speed 75 mph.

Accession no. 1992G36

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