Ben Eielson's "Jenny"
In the fall of 2007, members of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Chapter 1129, helped to lower Ben Eielson’s Curtiss JN-4D (Jenny) from the ceiling of the Fairbanks International Airport. She had hung there since 1981, but with wings that belonged to another type of biplane, a Swallow. Practically from the day she was put on display in the airport, aviation historians and pilots alike cringed at this inconsistency and desired to have the true wings placed onto the historic fuselage. Through the efforts of dozens of Fairbanks community members, the necessary money and know-how came together to make this dream a reality.
On October 28, 2013, the Jenny was again raised above the baggage terminal at FAI. Her newly built wings reach the full 44-feet span originally intended and her fabric covering sports a new yellow paint job. Thanks go to the EAA members and volunteers who spent thousands of hours researching and crafting, by hand, the Jenny’s wings. Led by Roger Weggel, UAF Assistant Professor of Aviation Maintenance Technology, every detail was documented and executed with skill and precision.
Now UAMN staff begin the process of creating a set of interpretive panels, to share the history of the pilot and the plane, that helped bring aviation to Interior Alaska.