Canadian Wings :: The History & Heritage of the Royal Canadian Air Force

Curtiss JN-4 Canuck

During the First World War, the Royal Flying Corps began setting up flying schools in Canada starting in 1916. The RFC selected the Curtiss JN-3 Jenny as the training aircraft of choice. The type was then manufactured in Canada under license by Canadian Aeroplanes Limited and the Canadian version was given the designation JN-4 Canuck. The Canuck went on to become numerically the most important trainer of Canadian and British pilots and the design lended itself to a wide variety of training purposes including air to air gunnery, photography, and wireless radio training. RFC training schools in both Canada and the USA used the aircraft extensively.

After the war, numerous JN-4 Canucks made their way into civilian use. The Canadian government received over 50 JN-4 as part of a post-war Imperial gift but only a ten of these aircraft saw active use in the CAF of the 1920s.

aircraft specifications
CDN Reg:
US/NATO Reg.:
Manufacturer: Canadian Aeroplanes Limited
Crew / Passengers: two pilots in tandem or one pilot plus one passenger
Power Plant(s): one 90 hp Curtiss OX-2 or OX-5 piston engine
Performance: Max Speed: 74 mph (121 km/h) Cruising Speed: 60 mph ( 96.5 km/h) Service Ceiling: 11,000 ft (3,353 m)
Weights: Empty: 1,390 lb (631 kg) Gross: 1,920 lb ( 872 kg)
Dimensions: Upper Span: 43 ft 7 3/8 in (13.29 m) Lower Span: 34 ft 8 5/16 in (10.57 m) Length: 27 ft 2 1/2 in ( 8.29 m) Height: 9 ft 11 in ( 3.02 m) Wing Area: 361 sq ft (33.5 sq m)
Armament: provision for forward firing Vickers machine gun or flexible Scharff-ring mounted machine gun in rear cockpit
A view of a restored museum example of the JN-4 Canuck in RFC training colours (CF Photo)



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