Curtiss Jenny Restoration

Welcome! We hope you enjoy following the restoration process of a 1918 Curtiss JN4D Jenny. Once completed, the aeroplane will be flown and displayed at the Candler Field Museum in Williamson GA (30 miles south of Atlanta). You can contact me below by clicking on "VIEW MY PROFILE"

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Location: Peachtree City, Georgia, United States

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wire and ferrules

Time to discuss wires! Paul Dougherty of the Golden Age Air Museum was kind enough to send a picture of the three types of wires used in the Jenny. (

The top wire is hard wire with a ferrule, used for bracing. The middle wire is woven cable wrapped with cord and varnished. It is used for control cables. Lastly, the bottom wire is cable, wrapped with wire and soldered. The flying and landing wires are built this way.

Now, the hard wire process. Lots of debate here. Originally, the wires were soldered inside and out to prevent corrosion. I suspect the entire wire was then given a coat of varnish and that was it! Every surviving wire that came with my project was really rusty. Guess there wasn't too much protection with this method.

Another method is to paint the wire inside and out with a good 2 part urethane paint. That will give very good rust protection.

I decided to use this method, although in the future I will try the soldering process for comparisons sake.

Now, to make the hard wire - the handy bending jig was used to form the loop.

I used a PPG primer to prime the ferrule and wire. Make sure the inside of the ferrule is covered. I actually dipped them and smoothed everything with a brush.

Slide the ferrule up to the bend in the loop. I found it easiest to clamp the ferrule in a vice and pull the wire through. Don't worry about scratching up the primer finish. It will be painted black later. Also, don't forget the turnbuckle fitting!

Bend the extra wire back to lock the ferrule. I cut wire to length with a wire cutter, although a cut off wheel on a dremel tool would work as well.

Here's the top of the elevator horn.

Here's a shot of all three wires in place.

More later.




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