Collection Item Summary:
Upon entry into the First World War, the U.S. Army Air Service ordered a large quantity of the highly successful Curtiss JN-4D primary trainer. To ensure that their needs would be met, the Air Service also placed an order with the Standard Aircraft Company for their J-1 trainer. Approximately 1,600 J-1s were built before production was curtailed when the Curtiss JN-4D became available in adequate numbers.
After the war, Standard J-1s and Curtiss JN-4Ds became available in great numbers at low prices. Along with several other manufacturers, the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation of Lincoln, Nebraska, acquired a number of surplus Standard J-1s. They powered them with a 150-horsepower Hispano-Suiza engine, and offered them for sale as the Lincoln-Standard H.S. In 1921, they expanded the line to include four other models of the J-1, with varying seating capacity of up to four passengers and pilot. The NASM aircraft is believed to be one of the three-seat models sold during the early 1920s.
Collection Item Long Description:
Upon entry into the First World War, the U.S. Army Air Service ordered a large quantity of the highly successful Curtiss JN-4D primary training aircraft. Although Curtiss was able to produce JN-4D airframes at an acceptable rate, the supply of the Curtiss OX-5 engine, which powered the airplane, lagged behind. To ensure that their needs would be met, the Air Service also ordered a large quantity of the Standard J-1 two-seat, primary training aircraft to supplement its requisition of the Curtiss JN-4D trainer. The J-1 was designed and manufactured by the Standard Aircraft Corporation of Elizabeth, N. J., which also had a factory in Plainfield, N.J. (This was formerly the Standard Aero Corporation of New York with manufacturing facilities in Plainfield.) Approximately 1,600 J-1s were built before production was curtailed when the OX-5 engine shortage was resolved and the Curtiss JN-4D became available in adequate numbers. The J-1's fire-prone 90-horsepower Hall-Scott A-7 engine also contributed to the Air Service's decision to drop the J-1 as a primary trainer.
Standard Aircraft revised the J-1 with changes in the shape of the wings and tail surfaces, and by replacing the Hall-Scott with the more powerful and reliable 150-horsepower Hispano-Suiza engine. (The Hispano-Suiza engines typically used in these aircraft were a license-built version of the Hispano-Suiza, manufactured in the United States by the Simplex Division of the Wright-Martin Company, and later by Wright Aeronautical Corporation.) This version of the J-1 was designated the JR-1B, but few of these reworked airplanes were sold.
After the war, Standard J-1s and Curtiss JN-4Ds became available in great numbers at an inexpensive price to civilian pilots. The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company purchased more than 1,000 war surplus Standard J-1s, equipped them with its own 90-horsepower OX-5 engine, and designated them the Standard-Curtiss J-1. The Cox Klemin Aircraft Corporation of College Point, N.Y., also acquired surplus Standard J-1s, and fitted them with a 160-horsepower Mercedes engine that offered enhanced performance. These aircraft sold for approximately $3,500.
Similarly, the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation of Lincoln, Nebraska, acquired a number of surplus Standard J-1s, powered them with the 150-horsepower Hispano-Suiza engine, and offered them as the Lincoln-Standard H.S. The following year, 1921, Nebraska Aircraft expanded its line to include four other models of the J-1, with varying seating capacity of up to four passengers and pilot. They were the Tourabout and the Speedster, both powered by the 150-horsepower Hispano-Suiza engine, and the Raceabout and the Cruiser, equipped with a 220-horsepower Hispano-Suiza. The three-seat Tourabout, which provided space for two passengers in the front cockpit who were secured by a single safety belt, initially sold for $3,985. This modification of the Standard J-1 was approximately 200 pounds heavier than the original 90-horsepower Hall-Scott-powered design, but it flew 20 mph faster, had a ceiling 3,000 feet higher, and a greater rate of climb. By 1922, with the civilian market now saturated, prices of these war surplus aircraft were reduced drastically. The Nebraska Aircraft Corporation, reorganized that year as the Lincoln-Standard Corporation, offered the airplane for only $1,995.
The Curtiss Jennies and the Standards, as these aircraft were generically referred to, were popular with barnstormers and exhibition pilots of the 1920s. They were also employed in more productive roles such as aerial mapping and photography, ranch and forest patrolling, and passenger transport.
The Lincoln-Standard in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection was purchased from the Robertson Aircraft Company of St. Louis, Missouri, by the Hunter brothers of Sparta, Ilinois, in June 1924. Robertson sent Harlan A. “Bud” Gurney, friend and barnstorming partner of Charles Lindbergh, to Sparta to teach the four Hunter brothers how to fly the airplane. Gurney also taught the Hunters to perform stunts in the airplane, and joined them in their Hunter Flying Circus. The Hunter Brothers called the airplane “Old Hisso," after the nickname for the Hispano Suiza-engine. After acquiring further aircraft, “Old Hisso” was sold by the Hunters.
Ken Hunter and his brother John set a world flight endurance record of 553 hours, 41 minutes, 30 seconds flying a Stinson Detroiter on July 4, 1930, at Sky Harbor Airport at Northbrook, Illinois. The aircraft was refueled by another Stinson Detroiter flown by Albert and Walter Hunter, brothers of Ken and John Hunter.
Ken Hunter later re-purchased the Lincoln-Standard "Old Hisso" and restored it to flying condition. In 1964, Ken Hunter, then chief pilot of Kerr-McGee Oil Industries, arranged the donation of the airplane by Kerr-McGee to the National Air and Space Museum. This aircraft is a three-seat version of the Lincoln-Standard, believed to be one of the Tourabout or Speedster models sold during the early 1920s. It was powered by a 150-horsepower Wright-Martin license-built Hispano-Suiza.