Reginald Denny (1891-1967)

The "Denny Jr."

also seen as the "Denny Junior", "Dennyplane Jr." and "Denny Plane Jr."


Prototype "Denny Jr." powered by a "Sky Charger" engine

Photo: Jim Dunkin - Click Image to Enlarge

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The "Sky Charger" was the first engine that Reginald Denny used to power his Denny Jr.s and they were advertised in "teasers" for four months in the magazine ads, Jan, Feb, March and April - 1937. Following the development of the Dennymite engine by Walter Righter. They seem to have faded into obscurity

denny_sky_charger_06A_200.jpg denny_sky_charger_07A_200.jpg

Sky Charger #8

Photo: Jim Dunkin - Click Images to Enlarge

The example in the pictures is engine #8 and was taken by a collector from one of the Dennyplanes that were hanging on the ceiling of Denny's hobby shop.


"Denny Jr."s in Reginald Denny's Hobby Shop

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Reginald Denny and John Barrymore, c.1937


Roy Wilson and his 'new' 1936 "Denny Jr."

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Roy presents his 1936 "Denny Jr." with an original 1939 Dennymite motor. The motor was given to Roy with an engraved aluminum sign, which Roy has beautifully mounted on the side of the plane. The plane weighs in at 56 ounces and Roy stated he would like to have the wing loading 2 ounces per square foot lighter. The plane may not be the best soaring plane, but Roy is confident that it will be a terrific flyer. The aluminum cowl was a unique feature at the time.

The "Lit'l Dennyplane Jr."


"Lit'l Dennyplane Jr."

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"Lit'l Dennyplane Jr."

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Building a "Lit'l Dennyplane Jr."

by W. "Bill" E. Eunson [edited by Russ Naughton]

Reginald Denny appeared in many of the motion pictures filmed in the 20s, 30s and 40s. He was quite debonair and appeared with many famous actresses of the same era. He was also famous for his interest in model aircraft and was noted for giving complete and fully tested '"Dennyplane"' model airplanes to some of the young and upcoming movie stars.


Freddy Bartholomew with his "Denny Jr."

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Freddy Bartholomew received just such a model as a Christmas present and showed up with it at the Pacific Coast Championships in the summer of 1937.

This eleven year old MGM movie star had high hopes of winning until an over-enthusiastic photographer stepped into the path of his model as it was taking off. The wing and nose section were badly damaged and beyond repair.


Jane Withers with her "Dennyplane"

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Jane Withers holding one of the beautifully built "Denny Jr."s that appeared in the movie Holy Terror. Jackie Cooper was another young star who received one of the six-foot models as a gift from Reginald Denny.


Jane Withers with her "Dennyplane"

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There were two, maybe three different "Denny Jr." designs. They all had six-foot wingspans and radial cowls. I chose the later model with the one-piece wing, which was the more popular model. "Dennyplane"s were noted for folding their wings in a loop. The original models used solid sheet tail surfaces which I also changed to the more conventional built-up construction to save weight in the tail section. My model is the The "Lit'l Dennyplane Jr." two-thirds size (48" wingspan) which builds fairly fast. The basic box fuselage with bulkheads and stringers shouldn't present any problems to the average modeler. The lower longerons tuck in a little tighter at the firewall. This will give the engine installation a small amount of downthrust. The wing and tail group just about fall together once you get all the parts cut out.

In keeping with the tradition of the original Dennyplane's, I covered mine with white silk and clear Butyrate dope. A few drops of Tri-Cresyl Phosphate (T.C.P.) to your dope dope will help prevent warps in the flying surfaces.

Dave Brown Products markets a fine plasticizer called Flex-all which also works well in Butyrate dope. The Denny emblems on the rudder are from an original set of kit decals that I found while doing the research for my model.

I listed the sources for the radial cowls on the plans. Any one of them will fit with very little alteration. I did not show an engine installation on the plans. My original model has an OS.10 engine and a mini airborne RC system in it.

If kept light, one of the new Cox .074 Queen Bee engines or even electric power would make an ideal powerplant for sport flying. The generous amount of wing area and the wide spread landing gear makes it a pleasure to fly, even for the novice.

When I show up at the local flying fields with my "Denny Jr.", most of the guided sphere kit builders ask, "What's that?". A few take a closer look at and start off with, "I remember back when..." . Oh well, you know the rest of the story - once you get a couple of old timers talking about the good old days.

I wish to thank two very good friends, Bill Ladner and Frank Estrada, for their assistance in researching the Dennyplane models and the loan of their very old photographs.

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