Website of the Antique Airplane Association and the Airpower Museum Last Update: Jun 21 2019

Historic Jenny to Attend Air Mail Days Fly-In at Blakesburg

One of the rarest and most historic airplanes in
the United States, Frank Schelling’s 1918 Hisso powered JN-4H Jenny,
is scheduled to attend the Antique Airplane Association’s Annual
Invitational Fly-In at Antique Airfield in Blakesburg, Iowa, August 27
to Sept. 1, 2008.

“While there are several Jenny’s flying out there powered by OX-5
engines, Schelling’s Hisso powered Jenny is one of only two flying in
the world,” said Brent Taylor, Executive Director of the Antique
Airplane Association. “Since the theme of this year’s fly-in is ‘Air
Mail Days’ where we will recreate and celebrate the 90th anniversary
of scheduled airmail service in the United States, the Hisso powered
Jenny is the key to authenticity for this event.”

In the early months of 1918, the first regularly scheduled air mail
service was funded by Congress and the first route was between New
York City and Washington, D.C. U.S. Army Major Reuben H. Fleet was
picked to manage the flights. However, Fleet knew that the best
airplanes available could not fly even half the distance
required. Fleet ordered the Curtiss Company to replace the 90hp OX-5
engines in the Army’s Jennys with more powerful 150hp Hispano-Suiza
engines. He also added hoppers in the front seat for mailbags and
extra fuel tanks. The first airmail airplane in the United States was
the Hisso powered Jenny.

Frank Schelling’s Jenny was built in 1918. He spent over 32 years
restoring it. Every fitting, every stitch, every bolt was researched
for authenticity. The airplane has been the recipient of many awards
including the 2006 Grand Champion award for the Rolls-Royce Aviation
Heritage Invitational. Schelling keeps the Jenny at the Schellville
Aerodrome near Sonoma, CA.

“Of the 30 plus different airmail configured aircraft we’ve
invited,” said Taylor, “eleven have confirmed their participation
including the only flyable Boeing model 40, four ‘Square Tail’
Stearman’s, two Straightwing Waco’s and others. We expect, as the
dates for this event draw closer, we will see many more authentically
configured airmail aircraft join this growing list. We have made
special arrangements with the U.S. Postal Service to carry mail in
these early air mail airplanes. However, without a doubt, the key
aircraft in this entourage of airmail planes will be the Hisso powered
Jenny. It will be a rare sight, indeed, to see a Jenny, once again,
carry the mail.”

Commemorative air mail flights will occur Wednesday through Saturday
of the fly-in, with a different cache printed on the envelopes for
each day. Each air mail cover will receive an official USPS outgoing
cancellation stamp right at Antique Airfield. The covers will be
available for purchase each day in the APM gift shop.

The AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in is a private event open only to
members of the Antique Airplane Association, their guests and members
of affiliated type clubs. However, anyone with a sincere interest in
antique airplanes, and the AAA’s programs to “Keep The Antiques
Flying”, is welcome to join.

The Antique Airplane Association, Inc. is a member-focused
organization dedicated to the preservation and operation of pre-1956
aircraft. Antique Airfield is located on the Chicago sectional chart
(airport identifier IA27) 60 NM SE of Des Moines, Iowa. For more
information, contact the Antique Airplane Association at 22271
Bluegrass Rd. Ottumwa, Iowa, 52501, or, or call 641-938-2773. The AAA website