Tag Archives: jenny

Curtiss Jenny

wpid10622-C59F2981.jpgThere are many vintage aircraft that I have had the chance to photograph over the years. However, I have not had many opportunities to photograph a genuine First World War era aircraft. That was something that I was recently able to address. Sonoma Valley in Schellville has a variety of interesting aircraft as I have mentioned in the past. One of these is Frank’s beautiful Jenny. It is in pristine condition. I had previously been around when it was due to fly but a fuel leak in a line had curtailed activities that day.

wpid10618-C59F2698.jpgThis time the plan was to fly a couple of people in the aircraft. Eric Presten was the pilot for these flights and he needed to run a quick air test before taking anyone up so three flights appeared to be on the cards. I arrived at Schellville in the morning to be ready. Unfortunately, the weather was not looking too cooperative. There was a little mist and the cloud base was pretty low with the surrounding hills having their tops obscured. We got the aircraft ready as we waited for the cloud to lift which it progressively did.

wpid10614-AU0E0081.jpgEric was soon able to get up for the air test. While the conditions were better for flying, they still weren’t great for photography. However, while he was up, the cloud was burning off more and more. The result was, by the time the two flights for the guest took place, conditions were ideal. For the second ride, Eric put in an overflight of the field allowing me to get something other than ground running shots, tail end departures or head on landings. The latter two were subject to a lot of heat haze so it was great to get something a little closer in.

wpid10616-C59F2600.jpgShe truly is a lovely looking aircraft and an example of something very rare to see. I will enjoy seeing her flying again. What will be even better is getting a chance to shoot her air to air. If the opportunity for that should come up, I will be a very happy boy. In the mean time, I am very grateful to Frank and Eric for including me in this. Great guys and a great plane!

Curtiss Jenny

wpid9248-AU0E9870.jpgWhen talking about vintage aircraft, I am frequently discussing aircraft that are from the Second World War era or later.  However, one of the residents of Schellville is a Curtiss Jenny.  This is a First World War aircraft and the example here is an original.  It doesn’t get to fly very often but I was lucky to be there on a day when it was planned to take it up for a couple of sorties.  We moved it out to fuel up and then took it onto the field to launch.  (It should be noted that pushing an aircraft around the field quickly makes you appreciate where the gradients are.  What looks like nothing when you are walking suddenly becomes conspicuous when pushing an aircraft – even a relatively light older one!)

wpid9246-AU0E9866.jpgWe crewed up the Jenny and got her ready for start.  Unfortunately, fortune was not on our side.  She fired up willingly enough but a quick check of the engine compartment after start revealed a fuel leak and we shut her down.  A trip back to the hangar to troubleshoot meant that there would be no flying that day.  Once back inside, a hose was found to be split and this was the source of the fuel.  Not the sort of thing you want to find out about while flying so the sound approach of everyone was justified.  Fixing the hose was easy so, hopefully the Jenny will be flying again soon.  Now to get some good weather and availability for everyone concerned!

wpid9250-AU0E9879.jpgI also had a little video of the start up which you can see below.