Friday, April 12, 2013

Wings, Wind and Sail: A Confluence of the Ages

Today's post is a very special edition of the Jenny Project. When I first saw this photo, it spoke volumes, and I felt compelled to acquire it for the Archive. It is at the same time poignant and poetic, so instead of filling this space with my ramblings, I'll let the image speak for itself.

As the Age of Sail heads for the horizon, the Age of the Air takes wing.

The planes shown are both Curtiss Model N-9s, which were the float-plane variant of the JN-4 Jenny, and which first flew in late 1916. The paper on which this photo is printed was manufactured between 1904 and the first part of 1918, so the window of when this photo was taken is pretty narrow.

Of the 560 or so N-9s built by Curtiss and licensee Burgess Company, only one has survived, and is preserved at NASM.

Note the extreme aileron deflection!

While it's impossible to know what ship this is, windjammers were still used
into the 1920s. Combining modern steel hulls with three to five square-rigged
masts, these ships could still outperform steam on ultra-long-haul routes.

1 comment: