Lincoln-Standard J-1

The Standard Aircraft Company of Plainfield, New Jersey, developed a two-place trainer, similar to the JN-4D, more commonly known as the Jenny, only to have it phased out during World War I when its Hall-Scott engine developed a nasty habit of catching fire in midair. A thousand or more of these planes, all new, reposed in storage facilities when the war ended in 1918.

After the war, the Standard J-1 was sold to innumerable civilian companies who refitted the aircraft. In 1919 the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, bought a considerable number of the Standards and called their variant the Lincoln-Standard, also known as the Hisso Standard. The Lincoln-Standards were fitted with Wright-Hispano (HispanoSuiza) engines, either in a 150 or 180 hp variant, both water cooled. These engines were commonly referred to as “Hissos” and provided the plane with its Hisso-Standard name and its legendary performance.

In 1921, Lincoln-Standard acquired more of the Standards and modified them extensively. The modified models were the Tourabout and the Speedster, both equipped with the 150 hp Hisso engine, with the Tourabout able to carry three people (two in the widened front cockpit). Two other modifications were the Raceabout and the Cruiser, both of which were fitted with a 220 hp Hispano-Suiza Engine. The Lincoln-Standard became the most cherished of the aircraft in which the “gypsy” barnstormers plied their hazardous trade in the 1920s. The Lincoln-Standard was the plane of choice for revered aviator Charles Lindbergh and his barnstorming partner, Bud Gurney. Bud Gurney praised the Lincoln-Standard as much better than its contemporary, the JN-4 Jenny. According to Gurney, “I used to touch the ground with my wheels and then do a loop and land. A Hisso Standard will gain altitude while looping. No Jenny will begin to do that.” The Standards were used extensively by barnstormers before the airworthiness regulation of 1927, in which those still surviving were grounded or flown as unregistered aircraft. After this new regulation, many Standards ended their careers entertaining movie watchers in spectacular Hollywood crashes.

Many other variations came from other small companies that bought the Standard after the war. The last variation of note was adopted by Ryan Aircraft Corporation of San Diego. This model became known as the LS-5 (the Lincoln Standard five-person), a model that was developed into a four passenger, one pilot plane, with the forward cockpit widened and lengthened to accommodate four seats, two of which faced backwards. The Ryan Company took the LS-5 one step further by creating an enclosed cabin for the four passengers. The LS-5 modified by Ryan Aircraft was used extensively as a passenger liner in its Los Angeles-San Diego route. The mail plane variant was also used by the Post Office Department as a night mail plane.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

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