The Jenny is one of America's most famous airplanes. Early versions of the Curtiss biplane were serving the U.S. Army before America's entry into World War I, flying in Mexico on the trail of Pancho Villa in 1916.
The JN-4 version was an extremely popular trainer plane. Scores of American and other Allied pilots learned the skills they would need to "fight the Hun" in this cantankerous training ship. Unable to keep up with the demand for Jennys on their own, the Curtiss design was produced by six other manufacturers.
While never seeing combat, a handful of Jennys were equipped with machine guns and bomb racks for advanced training courses.
A total of 10,900 Jennys were built, including 2,900 in Canada. Britain, France, Spain and Australia received 1,930 of the Curtiss aircraft. Over 500 Jennys even served with the United States Navy and N-9s.
At the end of the war, hundreds of these aircraft were designated surplus -- some still in their unopened packing crates! The Jenny's second life had begun as Americans of the 1920s used the readily available craft as "Barnstormers." The Jenny was used to sell the many Americans "their first airplane ride." While others were used in wild flying stunts and appeared in scores of movies.
The Museum of Flight's Jenny was built as an Army plane at the Springfield Aircraft Company in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1917. It was a jumbled mass of battered parts and pieces when Paul and Lucy Whittier of Friday Harbor, Washington purchased it in 1982. The Jenny was lovingly restored from plans and rebuilt using the materials and methods of the era. The project took over 9,500 man-hours to complete.
Help us preserve this historic artifact for future generations. Click here to find out about the Museum's Adopt-A-Plane program.