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Standard J

Biplane Trainer Aircraft


The Standard J-1 spent much of its career playing second-fiddle to the Curtiss Jenny and was a product of the American effort of World War 1.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Standard J Biplane Trainer Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 8/24/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
Trainer aircraft types typically maintain service lives longer than their combat-minded brethren for these designs typically center on reliability and long-term use / abuse in the hands of student pilots. During World War 1 (1914-1918), the United States utilized several biplane models for the role of bringing up the next generation of military flyer. One of the series available became the Standard "J", a two-bay, twin-seat, single engine biplane which saw production reach over 1,600 units. The J did not fare as well as the competing Curtiss JN-1 "Jenny" (detailed elsewhere on this site) but saw extended service in private hands after the war - some through modifications of the base design.

The J was born from the earlier "Sloan H" family of biplanes engineered by Charles Day. This design was then carried under the Standard Aero Corporation brand label and became the focus of U.S. military efforts as its eventual involvement in World War 1 continued to grow. After a first-flight occurring in 1916, the evolved "J-1", with its four-cylinder Hall-Scott engine in the nose, was taken on by the U.S. Army. In time, competitors Dayton-Wright, Fisher, and Wright-Martin all got in on the production run of the J-1.

The J-series biplanes followed conventional design philosophies of the time. The student and instructor were seated in tandem open-air cockpits with basic instruments set ahead of them on a wood panel. Wire-bracing was used for reinforcement of the wood members and canvas skinning was prevalent. The wing mainplanes were of unequal span (the upper unit wider than the lower) and two bays were made from the parallel strutworks. The undercarriage included two wheeled main legs and a wooden tail skid. The primary engine fit was the Hall-Scott A-7 air-cooled straight-4 engine developing 100 horsepower and driving a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose. The fuel stores were held in the forward section of the aircraft, set between the forward cockpit and the engine compartment.

Performance-wide, the J-series could hope to reach a maximum speed of 68 miles per hour and range out to 350 miles. Reaching 2,600 feet took some ten minutes.

The SJ-1 was a variant which introduced another pair of wheels set forward to help prevent "nose over" accidents. The JR-1 was designated an advanced trainer platform for the Army.

In practice, the J series was doomed by its relatively unreliable engine fit which was known to shake the aircraft to the extreme. The popularity of the "Jenny" soon surpassed the desire to purchase more J biplane trainers and, by mid-June of 1918, the Army fleet was purposely grounded as the Jenny line took over the role en mass.

In the post-war period, the J series was purchased from surplus, many still unused, and operated as mail carriers (JR-1B / E-4), barnstormers, student trainers, and privately-owned aircraft. Several interesting developments of the time included the "Lincoln Standard L.S.5" which incorporated a seating for four and the "Ryan Standard" which brought about an enclosed passenger cabin.

The J-series was never exported.


YEAR: 1917
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Standard Aircraft Company / Dayton-Wright / Fisher Body / Wright-Martin - USA
LENGTH: 26.57 ft (8.1 m)
WIDTH: 43.96 ft (13.4 m)
HEIGHT: 10.83 ft (3.3 m)
EMPTY WEIGHT: 1,356 lb (615 kg)
MTOW: 1,951 lb (885 kg)
POWER: 1 x Hall-Scott A-7 air-cooled engine developing 100 horsepower and driving two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.
SPEED: 68 mph (109 kph; 59 kts)
CEILING: 5,807 feet (1,770 m; 1.1 miles)
RANGE: 351 miles (565 km; 305 nm)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 260 ft/min (79 m/min)
OPERATORS: United States (retired)

Variants / Models

• J - Base Series Designation
• J-1 - U.S. Army trainer model
• SJ-1 - U.S. Army advanced pilot trainer.
• JR-1 - Mailcarrier variant
• JR-1B / E-4 - Mailcarrier variant
• Night Mail - Curtiss conversion of 1922 to mailplane carrier; six examples completed.
• L.S.5 - Licoln Standard J-1 with seating for four in open-air cockpit.
• Nicholas-Beazley-Standard - J-1 modification by Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company.
• Standard / Standard SJ - Civilian trainer by Sikorsky.

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (68mph).

Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Standard J-1's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (1,605)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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