Pride and place on a lounge side-table, executive desk, cabinet table, hotel or office foyer, or suspended from a bedroom ceiling, this fantastic hand-made retro-style all-metal model of the famous Curtis Jenny barnstorming biplane is guaranteed to turn heads wherever it's displayed.
A fantastic executive or man-cave gift or an awesome display piece in any teenager’s bedroom, the all metal retro-style Curtis Jenny Biplane takes us back to the pioneering days of early aviation and those magnificent men in those flying machines.
Originally built as a military trainer for US Army and Navy pilots during World War I, the two seater Curtis Jenny was one of the first new era biplanes to feature ‘dual’ controls, with the trainee up front and the instructor behind.
Whilst almost 95% of all WWI US pilots learnt their flying skills aboard this small sturdy aircraft, the Curtis Jenny really came into its own during the early post war years when hundreds of US Army pilots returned home determined to continue their flying as civilian pilots. Unfortunately the availability of affordable, commercially built aircraft was extremely limited but there were literally thousands of Curtis Jennies - jammed packed in government warehouses and littering flying fields across the country.
Upon declaring them surplus to requirements in 1919, the US government offered them to the general public both as ‘ready to fly’ and many more, still packed in their unopened cases for as little as $50!
With both private and commercial flying in the US unregulated with little or no industry controls or oversight, thousands of these Jennys were sold at bargain prices and thus began the heady days of the barnstorming era of the 1920’s that was to both introduce and popularise flying to American public and become the backbone of the fledgling US civil aviation industry.
With a complete, flight-ready Jenny going for as little as $300 and spare engines for less than $75, it meant that anyone could get into the flying business on the smell of an oily rag. Almost immediately hundreds of one-man flying schools and charter flying services sprang up across the country along with countless private airfields and landing strips.
While it was the Curtis Jenny that was to become the public's first real contact with aeroplanes and their first opportunity to take to the skies, it was the spectacular daring-do of the barnstormer pilots that was to capture the imagination of the American public and keep aviation firmly in the public eye with their wing walking and heart stopping aerial stunts.
With a flourishing Hollywood film industry enthusiastically embracing this new aerial wonder, aviation literally took to the skies with many pilots competing for government airmail contracts and others going on to found some of the biggest names in commercial and passenger aviation.
Eventually the Curtis Jenny was to be overtaken by a new range of aircraft with more reliable and better engineered engines and airframes - boasting longer ranges, faster speeds and larger payloads but it will always be widely acknowledged that it was the Curtis Jenny that first got US civil aviation off the ground.
Hand-crafted and hand painted, all tin/metal, classic aviation collectable
Wing span: 45cm
* Please note that because each model is uniquely hand made some variation in sizes might occur