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First Airplane to land in Mountain Home, Arkansas

The attached photographs are early aviation photos from Mountain Home, Arkansas.

In the early days of aviation, pilots, also known as barnstormers, flew their airplanes to rural communities and took passengers up for a fee.  It was a way to promote aviation, and at the same time make a few dollars for the pilots.

Most of the barnstorming took place during the 1920s.  The airplanes were tail-wheel design, also known as tail-draggers.  That particular design was conducive for landing on unimproved airstrips.  Many pilots simply landed in a hay field, or any other clearing that was long enough to allow for take-offs.

The first pilot to land in Mountain Home, Arkansas was pilot B.M. Lexhorn of Kansas City, President of Lightning Aviation Co.  The date of his arrival in Mountain Home isn’t known, but in all probability was sometime during the early 1920s.

The airplane in the photo appears to this writer to be a Curtiss JN-4, also known as a Jenny.  According to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum website, “Large numbers of relatively inexpensive war surplus Jennys were available in the United States after 1918. Its affordability, ease of operation, and versatility made the Jenny the signature airplane of the barnstorming era.”

Another photograph shows Uncle Mart Holland, the first man in Mountain Home to take a ride on an airplane. Both photographs are circa 1922.  Note that the pilot and passenger sit in tandem.

Another piece of interesting Arkansas history.