Almost 3,000 early U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Army pilots are estimated to have learned to fly on the Curtiss N-9 floatplane. That iconic aircraft was initiated as a private venture by the Curtiss firm as a seaplane variant of the famed JN-4B “Jenny” landplane trainer then in production.1
The N-9 was an enlarged Jenny biplane with a lengthened center section, increased wingspans, and a revised control system dictated by the large, central float and wingtip floats that were added in the seaplane configuration. The N-9 had the Curtiss OXX-6 engine of 100 horsepower, which soon was found to be barely adequate for the aircraft. The biplane had tandem seating for the student and instructor.