Curtiss JN-6

The Curtiss JN-6 was an improved version of the Curtiss JN-4H, mainly distinguished by the use of ailerons on both wings.

Curtiss JN-6HB from the right
Curtiss JN-6HB from the right

The JN-4 was the main production version of the famous Jenny trainer, and went through a number of variants, sometimes having ailerons on both wings and sometimes on the upper wing only. The final version, the JN-4H, was given a 150hp Hispano-Suiza engine, to allow it to be used as a specialist advanced trainer, and had ailerons on the upper wings only.

The JN-6 was similar to the JN-4H, but had ailerons on the upper and lower wings, connected by struts. At least one was built with the modified balanced rudder used on the prototype JN-5, but most production aircraft used the standard JN-4H rudder.

The extra ailerons and any other changes appear to have added around 250lb to the empty and loaded weight of the aircraft. The JN-6HG-2 was 10mph slower than the JN-4HG, and its service ceiling dropped from 7,500ft to 6,000ft (neither of them terribly impressive figures)

A total of 1,035 JN-6Hs were delivered to the Army, all built by Curtiss. The US Navy ended up with five, transferred from the Army.

As with the JN-4H, the -6H was produced in a number of specialised sub-variants. Some of these were the same as for the -4H, but others may only have been used with the -6H.


This was a single-control bomber trainer. 154 were delivered, one with the R-type balanced rudder tried out on the JN-5, the others with the standard JN-4H. The -6HB was produced from July 1918.


The JN-6HG-1 was a gunnery trainer armed with a single flexibly mounted gun in the rear cockpit. It had dual controls, and was probably only produced for the -6H. A total of 560 were produced, of which 34 went to the Navy and the rest to the Army. The -6HG-1 was produced from July 1918


This was a single control gunnery trainer, similar to the -4HG. It had a flexibly mounted gun for the observer in the rear cockpit, and a single fixed forward firing gun for the pilot, who sat in the forward cockpit. The 6HG-2 was produced from October 1918, and only 90 were produced.


This was a single control observation trainer. A total of 106 were produced, also starting in October 1918.


This was a single control pursuit trainer (or fighter trainer), of which 125 were produced, also starting from October 1918.


Hispano-Suiza A 150hp V-8 engine
Hispano-Suiza A 150hp V-8 engine

At least one aircraft has an Hispano-Suiza I engine installed for testing at McCook Field. 


Engine: Hispano-Suiza A
Power: 150hp
Crew: 2 (pilot and gunner)
Span: 43ft 7 3/8in
Length: 27ft 4in
Height: 9ft 10 5/8in
Empty weight: 1,886lb
Gross weight: 2,580lb
Maximum take-off weight:
Max speed: 81mph
Cruising speed: 65mph
Climb Rate:
Service ceiling: 6,000ft
Armament: One fixed Marlin machine gun, one or two flexibly mounted Lewis guns in observer’s position.
Bomb load:

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Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 August 2020), Curtiss JN-6 ,

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