The Jenny: Background information when reading Birdmen

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Birdmen

The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies

by Lawrence Goldstone

Birdmen
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  • First Published:
    May 2014, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2015, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Jenny

Two JennysIn Birdmen, Lawrence Goldstone describes how Glenn Curtiss diversified operations and courted a variety of vendors to deliver specialized engines and airplanes. Most notable amongst these were the JN series of airplanes built to fulfill an army request that both the engine and the propeller be at the front of the plane. Up until then crashes dislocated a rear-placed engine that would then roll forward and crush the pilot. The JN series, popularly known as the Jenny, went through a series of iterations with engine and other structural changes but the JN-4, with a Curtiss engine, was by far the most popular. World War I put production into overdrive with the Army, Navy and the Canadian armed forces all signing contracts for the plane.

During the war, the Jenny was used primarily as a trainer – 95% of pilots trained on the Jenny and, because her landing ability was tricky, it was said that if you could fly a Jenny, you could fly anything at all! The plane was occasionally used to ...

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