David Adam e-mailed me the other day about some ferrules for his Travel Air restoration. We got talking and he told me about Sam Mason (famous aerobatic pilot) building a Ranger powered Jenny with a Travelair fuselage and Jenny wings.
It didn't fly so well, so they called a buddy of theirs to come check it out? This guy was Frank Clarke, another famous pilot and premier movie pilot before WWII.
Talk about famous aviation names!
They kept the faux Jenny at the Van Nuys airport.
Anyway, this is the story from David's website. I hope you like it. If you have time, check out David's site, especially if you like Travel Airs! http://davidadamflyingcircus.com
Sammy Mason's Jenny (Sort of) - NX2939
Sammy Mason, just after WWII, had one of the most innovative airshows ever. He had numerous aircraft that toured with his Hollywood Hawks, any one of them could be the subject of a book.
One of the interesting airplanes he built for his wing walking act was a Jenny, sort of. He told me that he started with a Travel Air fuselage, Jenny wings and a Ranger firewall forward off of a Fairchild. The airplane flew with the troupe for awhile and along the way ended up with a 220 Continental.
After it's airshow days, the wings ended up belonging to Ernie Freeman. Ernie's son Roger is a WWI aircraft builder in Texas. I don't know whatever became of the rest of the ship.
The following pictures are courtesy of the Mike Mason collection.
This is the original configuration with Fairchild firewall forward. Warren King is hanging on!
Here is a shot of one of the final version with the 220 Continental. Notice the Travel Air angled forward fuselage frame and distinctive firewall. If you compare this photo with the following, you can see the specially made cabane struts to mate the Jenny wings to the Travel Air fuselage. Standing there are airshow's early whose who: Sammy Mason, Francis Keri, Roy Cusick and Bill Bushman.
The wings came from Ross Hardley off of this airplane. Notice the OX5 with a ground adjustable prop.
Warren King was an incredible showman. Notice that while he has a harness, there is no "Rack" like is commonly used today. Warren is simply standing there.
Roy and Warren putting on a show.
Thanks, David for that neat piece of Jenny lore. While digging through my Jenny pictures, I found a picture of this particular machine. I always thought it was Frank Tallman's Jenny, but now I know differently. (Photo shared by Paul Dougherty's a few years ago from his Jenny picture collection)
Hope to work on the Jenny today, but the wife is under the weather and the kids are home from school. We'll see!