Model Airplane News
September, 1954

Model Airplane News Cover for September, 1954 by Jo Kotula Curtiss JN-4 Jenny

Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for September, 1954
by Jo Kotula
Click to Enlarge

The Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" was biplane aircraft built by the Curtiss Aeroplane Company of Hammondsport, New York, later the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. The Curtiss JN serieswas produced as a training aircraft for the U.S. Army although the "Jenny" became the "backbone of American post-war aviation."

Benjamin Thomas' Patent No. 1,370,242 for The Curtiss JN-4 Jenny      Benjamin Thomas' Patent No. 1,424,049 for The Curtiss JN-4 Jenny

Benjamin Thomas' Patents for Components of the JN-4
Patents No. 1,370,242 and No. 1,424,049 Click to Enlarge

The design was commissioned by Glenn Curtiss from Benjamin D. Thomas, formerly of the Sopwith Aviation Company. The JN-4 is possibly North America's most famous World War I aircraft. It was widely used during World War I to train beginning pilots. It was a twin-seat (student in front of instructor) dual control biplane. Its tractor prop and maneuverability made it ideal for initial pilot training with a 90 horsepower engine giving a top speed of 75 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 6,500 feet. Most of the 6,813 built were unarmed, although some had machine guns and bomb racks for advanced training. None saw active service.

 The Curtiss JN-4 Jenny    Wing walking on  The Curtiss JN-4 Jenny     The Curtiss JN-4 Jenny inverted picture stamp

Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny"
Wingwalking and Philatelic Mistakes
Click to Enlarge

P> After World War I, hundreds were sold on the civilian market, one to Charles Lindbergh as his first aircraft. The plane's slow speed and stability made it ideal for stunt flying and aerobatic displays. Most films about the 1920s include a sequence with some form of daredevil activity involving a "Jenny" -- such as "wing-walking" as shown on the M.A.N. Cover.

 The Curtiss JN-4 Jenny inverted picture stamp

Wing Walking in a Contemporaneous Publication
From Popular Mechanics November, 1932
Click to Enlarge

They are still popular with aircraft restorers. The Curtiss JN-4 appears on a famous stamp, known as the "Inverted Jenny".The Inverted Jenny is a United States postage stamp of 1918 in which a Curtiss JN4 aircraft in the center of the design was accidentally printed upside-down. It is one of the most well-known stamps in philately.

Here is a video of the Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" in action:

Jo Kotula revisited this airplane in the "Box Art" for the Aurora kit for the Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny".

Aurora plastic model kit for the Curtiss JN-4 Jenny  box art by Jo Kotula

Aurora Plastic Model of the Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny"
Artwork by Jo Kotula
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Click Here for more information about the Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny".

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