Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Not a Pusher

The Upper Wing Span of the 1917 Curtiss Jenny JN-4D

None of the other planes on the Personal Courage Wing where the World War I displays were put flew before the Curtiss Jenny. When you start the tour on the second floor you travel counter-clockwise. The Jenny is the elegant display you’ll see before you leave.
This morning one of the restoration volunteers put it right.
“We do a lousy job here at the Museum of showing how things are built.”
He’s happy now to see the 1917 Curtiss Jenny JN-4D in her entirety. Naked as she is. No skin. Only the craftsmanship of a bunch of boat builders. The upper wing spans were original, the remaining crafted by hand to match.
I had no idea the Museum of Flight is entirely funded through private donors. An incredible feat given the extent of their existence and space for displays.
Leonard's good pal Frank Koral came by today as they were finishing up. Wrapping the turnbuckles with wire for safety sake.
Leonard King, lead foreman on the original restoration
“The museum is here forever,” he said.
He went on to explain how the Jenny is at the heart of it.
Then he told me it was the design of the Curtiss Jenny that brought the engines to the front of the plane.
“She’s not a pusher,” he told me.
Not a pusher, and not a pushover.
Make sure you visit the second floor of the Personal Courage Wing at the Museum of Flight if you go.
They saved the best for last (in my opinion)!

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