WW1 Planes
An encyclopediae of 1914-18 aircraft types


From Sloan to Standard

Standard J skeleton
Standard J-1 skeleton, USAF Museum

The Standard Aircraft Corporation was founded in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1916, anticipating American entry into the War, despite the isolationism policy that prevailed at that time. Standard Aircraft became one of the first supplier of planes to the U.S. Army Signal Corps, with the Sloan H (Standard H-2/H-3) as well as the Navy's H-4H floatplane. At that time the Sloan company was renamed Standard Aircraft Company. However the most prominent model became the Standard J trainer, following the lines that made the success of the Curtiss JN-4. This plane began as the SJ prototype, and later the J-1/SJ-1 production started with about 800 been delivered. However at that time engine attribution policy gave it the Hall-Scott A-7 air-cooled straight-4 engine rated for 100 hp (75 kW). There were attempts later to replace it, or go around the problem, through several variants, but without success. JRs and JR-1Bs were also built but in fewer quantities, and made the core of the American Post Office after the war.

Standard J1 with an Hispano-Suiza engine

Standard was also seduced by the prospect of deliverin the Army an American fighter, and this was the E-1. Under-powered and late in the game, only 100 were delivered and served as advanced trainers back Home, since it was preferred for standardization to keep French models for the frontline in Europe. And about fifty only of these fighters were actually armed, the others just having provision fittings for a pair of hood machine-guns, like the M-Defense. To produce more aircrafts, the Corporation created a new plant in 1918 between Elizabeth and Linden boundary. After the end of the war, the Corporation will go on under the direction of Designer Charles Healy Day and barnstormer/showman Ivan Gates, aimed at both the civilian and military markets. This became the Gates-Day Aircraft Company, later renamed again New Standard Aircraft Company in 1927. most successful models became the Gates-Day D-24 and the New Standard D-25.

Standard H2/H3 series

Standard H2, N°3 #57, front quarter view near New York
Standard H3, N°3 #57, front quarter view near New York

The Standard H-2 was an early American Army reconnaissance aircraft, first ordered in 1916 and designed by the Standard Aircraft Corporation. It derived from the Sloane H-2, an open-cockpit, three-seater tractor biplane. It was propelled by a 125 hp (90 kW) Hall-Scott A-5 engine. However only three prototypes were built for tests. This led to the next iteration of the H series, the improved H-3, which kept the engine. After succesful tests, this model gained an order of nine planes. The US Navy was soon interested by a naval variant, and ordered three H-4H floatpanes. Later two Standard H-3s were sold to Japan, while three more were built locally by the Provisional Military Balloon Research Association (PMBRA) in 1917. These late H3s had a 150 hp (110 kW) Hall-Scott L-4 engine and were used as trainers from May 1917 to March 1918, with some preventions due to their temperamental flight characteristics, borderline with dangerous.

Standard H4H floatplane USN
Standard H4H floatplane USN


Dimensions: Length 27 ft 0 in (8.23 m), Wingspan: 40 ft 1 in (12.22 m)
Weight: 2,500 lb (1,134 kg), Gross weight: 3,300 lb (1,497 kg)
Propulsion: Hall-Scott A-5 straight-6, 135 hp (101 kW), 68 US gal (57 imp gal; 260 L)
Performances: 84 mph (135 km/h; 73 kn), Endurance 6 hr, 10 minutes to 3,400 ft (1,000 m)
Armament: None.

Standard J series

The Standard J as of today

This two-seat basic trainer buuilt as a sturdy two-bay biplane was produced from 1916 to 1918. It was powered by a four-cylinder inline Hall-Scott A-7a engine. Made of wood with wire bracing, and fabric. It was seen as a stopgap waiting for the Curtiss JN-4. Made by Ealy Day as a derivative of the Sloan H series under Standard Aero Corporation. Standard, Dayton-Wright, Fisher Body and Wright-Martin, delivered 1,601 of them in one year, between June 1917 and June 1918.

The Standard J-1 compared to the Curtiss JN had a swept-back wing platform, plus triangular king posts above the upper wings. Also the front legs of the landing gear were mounted behind the lower wing. Produced in large numbers the four-cylinder Hall-Scott A-7a engine was unreliable and vibrated badly to the point that in June 1918, all J-1s were grounded. JN-4s replaced them for training. At $2,000 per aircraft it was not bankable to have them converted with the Curtiss OX-5 engine. Other contracts were canceled and most were sold as surplus or scrapped. Curtiss even bought many surplus J-1s to be convertd with new engines for resale. Civilian flying schools happily received them also for barnstorming operations, until in 1927 because of new regulation banning wooden structures in aircrafts.

The evolution started with the Sloan H series trainer from 1913, derived into the Standard H series by Standard (same plane), derived into the Standard J, the Standard J-1 for the U.S. Army, SJ-1 with more forward wheels to prevent noseovers, JR-1 advanced trainer, JR-1B mail carrier postwar (also called Standard E-4). J-1 at the USAF Museum, showing the wing sweepback


Dimensions: Length 26 ft 7 in (8.10 m), wingspan: 43 ft 11 in (13.39 m), Height: 10 ft 10 in (3.30 m), Wing area: 429 sq ft (39.9 m2)
Weight: Empty 1,350 lb (612 kg), Gross weight: 1,950 lb (885 kg)
Propulsion: Hall-Scott A-7 air-cooled straight-4 engine, 100 hp (75 kW) 31 US gal (26 imp gal; 120 L)
Performances: Top speed 68 mph (109 km/h; 59 kn), Range: 350 mi (304 nmi; 563 km), 10 minutes to 2,600 ft (790 m)
Armament: None

Standard E1 series

Standard E1
The Standard E1, a little-known American fighter of WW1.

The Plainfield manufacturer designed its last mode, the Standard E-1 as an early fighter aircraft tested in 1917. Only pursuit aircraft manufactured in the United States until that point, it was not ready on time to be sent in Europe and see action. The E-1 was an open-cockpit single-seat tractor biplane, powered by an 80 hp (60 kW) Le Rhône or 100 hp (75 kW) Gnome rotary engine, both largely available and already licence-built. Depite being lightweight, the E1 was not agile and fast enough for a 1917 fighter. The Army decided to convert the order into 128 advanced trainer, 30 powered by the 100 hp Gnome and 98 by the 80 hp LeRhone C-9 rotary engine.


Dimensions: Length: 25 ft. 3 in, Span: 41 ft. 7 in, Height: 10 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 3,746 lbs. loaded
Propulsion: Liberty 12, 400 hp,
Performances: Top speed 136 mph, 118 mph cruising, Range: 320 miles, Ceiling: 20,200 ft.
Armament: Two .30-cal. Marlin and two .30-cal. Lewis machine guns

Standard E1
Standard E1, showing its streamlined engine cowl, in a training unit after the war.

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