The Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" is a series of biplane aircraft built by the Curtiss Aeroplane Company of Hammondsport, New York, later the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. The Curtiss JN series (the common nickname was derived from "JN") was produced as a training aircraft for the U.S. Army although the "Jenny" became the "backbone of American post-war aviation."
The 1st Aero Squadron of the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps received eight JN-2s at San Diego in July 1915. The squadron was transferred to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in August to work with the Field Artillery School, during which one JN-2 crashed with a fatality. The pilots of the squadron met with its commander, Capt. Benjamin Foulois, to advise that the JN-2 was unsafe because of low power, shoddy construction, lack of stability, and overly sensitive tail rudders. Foulois and his executive officer Capt. Thomas D. Milling disagreed, and flights continued until a second JN-2 crashed on September 5. The JN-2 was grounded until October 14, when it was modified to become a JN-3, two new models of which the squadron received in early September. In March 1916 the eight JN-3s were deployed to Mexico for aerial observation during the Pancho Villa Expedition of 1916–1917.
The Curtiss 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. The Canadian version was the JN-4 (Can), also known as the "Canuck", and was built with a control stick instead of the Deperdussin control wheel used in the regular JN-4 model, as well as usually having a somewhat more rounded rudder outline than the American version. The U.S. version was called "Jenny". 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 (67 kW) Curtiss OX-5 V8 engine giving a top speed of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h) and a service ceiling of 6,500 feet (2,000 m). The Curtiss factory in Buffalo, NY was the largest airplane factory in the world.