Curtiss Model J
Curtiss J Tractor, Signal Corps No. 30, Rockwell Field, California
Role Biplane
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane Company
Designer Benjamin D. Thomas
First flight 12 March 1914
Introduction 1914
Number built 2

The Curtiss Model J (along with the Curtiss Model N) was a prototype tractor configuration aircraft that became the basis for the Curtiss Jenny series of aircraft.


The Curtiss J was designed by Benjamin D. Thomas. Glenn Curtiss hired Thomas from the Sopwith Aviation Company while on a trip to London, England. He started designing the Model J while overseas, and is also credited with helping design the Model N and the Model H "America".[1][2] The first flight tests were performed without fuselage covering.[3] In February 1914, after a series of accidents with pusher aircraft, the U.S. Army held a meeting in San Diego expressing interest in tractor design aircraft such as the Model J[4][5]


The Model J had the engine mounted on the nose of the aircraft with a tractor propeller and was covered with clear doped linen or cotton, with tandem seating and conventional landing gear with a tailskid.[6] The biplane wings were built without dihedral and the upper wing was considerably greater in span than the lower and fitted with ailerons.[7] The Curtiss Model J S.C. No. 30 became the testing prototype for the JN, earning the title as the first "Jenny".

Operational history

The first prototype was rolled out on 12 March 1914. It was delivered to the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps on 28 July. At the time the entire United States military air fleet consisted of 23 aircraft.[8]

1914 October 8, SN30 flown by Capt. H. Le R. Muller reached a record altitude of 17,441 ft [10]


Specifications (Curtiss Model J)

Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947[13]

General characteristics


See also

Related development


  1. ^ Peter M. Bowers. Curtiss aircraft, 1907-1947.
  2. ^ Bill Yenne. The Pictorial History of American Aircraft.
  3. ^ Aircraft in profile, Volume 2. Doubleday.
  4. ^ Norman Polmar; Dana Bell (2004). One hundred years of world military aircraft. ISBN 9781591146865.
  5. ^ John C. Fredriksen. The United States Air Force: A Chronology.
  6. ^ Andrew W. Waters. All the U.S. Air Force airplanes, 1907-1983.
  7. ^ Grover Cleveland Loeing. Military aeroplanes: an explanatory consideration of their characteristics.
  8. ^ Air Force History Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. The United States Army Air Arm, April 1861 to April 1917, Air Force Historical Study No. 98.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Anthony Robinson. The Illustrated encyclopedia of aviation, Volume 6.
  10. ^ Cornélis De Witt Willcox. The International military digest annual, Volume 2.
  11. ^ Aerospace Industries Association of America. Aircraft yearbook.
  12. ^ Flying. 62–63. ((cite journal)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Bowers 1979, p. 65.