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Curtiss JN4

The Curtiss JN-4 biplane is possibly North America's most famous World War I airplane. It was widely used during World War I to train beginning pilots, and was known in Canada as the "Canuck", and in the US as the "Jenny".

The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company developed the JN-4 from its 1914 model J that flew reconnaissance against Mexican revolutionaries under Pancho Villa. After Model J came the JN-2, JN-3 and JN-4. It was a twin-seat (student in front of instructor) dual control biplane developed with the best features of the Curtiss "J" and "N" models. Its "Pulley" front engine and maneuverability made it ideal for initial pilot training with a 90 hp (67 kW) Curtiss OX-5 inline engine giving a top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h) and a service ceiling of 6500 ft (1980 m).

The British used the JN-4 for their primary World War I trainer; Canadian Aeroplanes Ltd produced them in Canada. Many Royal Flying Corps pilots earned their wings on the JN-4, both in Ontario and in Texas.

Most of the 6813 built were unarmed, although some had machine guns and bomb racks for advanced training. None saw active service. 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. Some were still flying into the 1930's.

External Link

Smithsonian JN4 information