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, March 28, 2007

Fuselage Table

Well, the fuselage table top was built today. Nearly 24 ft long and 34 inches wide. I decided to taper the table along the fuselage lines to conserve space in the shop. The table is nearly 8 inches wider than the fuselage, and slightly longer.

Tomorrow, I hope to have the supports in place and the legs built. From there, I'm going to lay out the jigs for the longerons, which will be steam bent. (that process will be neat - stay tuned!)

When all four longerons are bent, then the fuselage will be assembled upside down (you'll see).



Sunday, March 25, 2007


It doesn't look like a Jenny, but the shed construction was related! See, in order to free up room in the shop for the 24 ft fuselage table, the mower, garden tools, wheelbarrow, weed eater had to go. So, a new shed was built.

Here's Graham and Geoffery in front of the shed. It's finished enough to hold the above mentioned items, but I still have to apply the vinyl siding (neighborhood covenants) and paint the trim. It's Okay, I'm still waiting for the lazer cut fittings anyway.

One good thing - extra wood was purchased to build the fuselage table, as well as a 7 ft piece of downspouting to make the steam bender. More about that later this week.



Thursday, March 22, 2007

Center section fittings

While waiting for the fittings to come back from the lazer cutter, and finishing up building a shed to free up shop space for the 24 ft fuselage table, I decided to take apart the remnants of the center section that came with the project. If you look closely at the rib, you can see how they attached the fabric with hobnails!

There were three of the four needed fittings in the old center section. Below is a picture of one fitting as it was removed and another that just came out of the bead blaster. It's a really good pattern for the one I have to make from scratch down the road. The fitting is three pieces brazed together.

When I blasted the other two fittings, I noticed the neat braze colored plating the Curtiss factory must have originally used to coat the entire fitting. I tried to save as much of it as I could by keeping the bead blast pressure low.

Here's the fitting after a coat of DP90 black paint. Sorry for the lighting issue - the part really is the same black color as all the other fittings.

I also re-made the fin to stabilizer wires because I did not like the way the first set turned out. I knew I could do a better job. These, too, were painted last night as well as a bunch of other miscellaneous fittings from the tail.

Hope to build the fuselage table this weekend.



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fuselage planning

Judging by the date on my last post, you probably thought I hadn't done much on the Jenny last week! Well, rest assured. I was not idle.

I've been spending a bunch of time sorting out the fuselage fittings - what I have and what I have to make. I poured through dozens and dozens of drawings and blueprints. Once again, Doc Hood came to my rescue. Whenever I was missing a print, he gladly made me a copy of his.

Much time was spent making drawings to give to the lazer cutting company. Many of the prints were smudged or hard to read, so I re-drew them into a more useable form. I hope the lazer is running as I speak!

Above are some of the fittings I already have. As you can see, I need quite a few more.

Plus, I wanted to take a good inventory of the original parts that came with the project. They're good for patterns, but old, derlect parts are better than no parts at all.
I'll post another blog as soon as the new fitting blanks arrive.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rudder is done!

Made the last four brace wires today. Here you can see the horns put together prior to being dissasembled for painting the finish black color.

Here's a shot of the entire rudder.

And another one.

Next step is to build the fuselage table and inventory the fittings that need to be made. We're waiting for some of the missing fittings to come back from the lazer cutter any day. There were several universal fittings behind the rear seat that were missing and it was easier to have them cut rather than do them individually on the bandsaw and grinder. Might as well use the new technology, it's available!

Till then