Curtiss JN-4D “Jenny”

The Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” (the common nickname being derived from “JN” ) was originally produced as a training aircraft for the U.S. Army during World War I. A majority of the U.S. pilots being sent to combat in Europe were trained on this type of aircraft. After the conclusion of the war, the “Jenny” became the backbone of the post war civil aviation. Thousands of these surplus airplanes were sold at bargain prices to private owners which became central to the barnstorming era that spurred the awakening of America to civil aviation through much of the 1920s.

The Curtiss JN-4D, Serial Number 4072, on display was built by the Liberty Iron Works of Sacramento, California in 1916. Originally founded in 1895 as the Globe Iron Works, it was reorganized as the Liberty Iron Works  when the United States entered World War I in 1917.  In September, 1917, the company received an Army contract to build 300 Curtiss JN-4Ds, but eventually only 100 were built as the contract was cancelled due to the ending of the war in November, 1918.

Most of the aircraft built by Liberty were delivered to nearby Mather Field, California for pilot training.  However, JN-4D serial number 4072, fourth from the last aircraft built by Liberty, was shipped to Love Field in 1918.  After the war it was sold to a civilian owner with the registration NC 3769. (That registration, minus the “C”,  now belongs to another aircraft).

This aircraft underwent a meticulous two-decade restoration by Phil Mintari of Ingram, Texas, his sons, and family friends. Although it has not yet flown, it has been awarded a Certificate of Airworthiness from the Federal Aviation Administration.

 


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