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

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Had a helper today. He had fun putting the wrapped and soldered wires back into place.

Brighton and I were able to get stations 5 and 6 done. The remainder of the wires have been built, but many are awaiting soldering. Hope to make that tomorow's project.

Every station in the Jenny has some sort of cross bracing, usually in the form of "X" wires. However, the front of station 4 is a little different. You can't put "X" wires there because the wires would interfere with the front seat and controls. So, to ensure that the upper longerons stay together, Curtiss used a tie rod.

I bought some 1/4 in. threaded rod from MSC. Perhaps I'm being too picky, but the thought of bare threads spanning the upper fuselage bothered me. So, I decided to put the rod inside a steel tube. This picture shows the tube after cutting to 24 in. length and fitted in place.

Then the rod was inserted.

Here's another shot showing how it goes together. I primed the tube this evening and once it's dry, I can install the two 1/4 -20 nuts on the ends.

More soon


Monday, October 27, 2008

Wires put back in place

Had two free hours this morning before I go to work, so I put a bunch of wires back into place.

Getting clost to pulling the fuselage out of the jig (again for good this time)!


Friday, October 24, 2008


Whew! The fuselage is now bolted together. I had some time to put a few wires in place, which will be the next step. It was amazing the amount of time this step consumed. Every bolt had to be cotter keyed. It was also amazing (and I had been warned - thanks Paul) that even the addition of the thin copper on all the ends would make things fit "a little tighter". This was true, so plan on that.

Here's another shot of the fuselage.

And one more.

Hope to get the wires reinstalled soon, and get things true and square.
In other Jenny news....
Paul Dougherty at the Golden Age Air Museum in Bethel, PA is getting closer to flying their Jenny. The sign painter came to the shop the other day and painted the lettering on the side. The results are fantastic! This paint scheme (as you remember) is the scheme used by the famous California barnstormer Earl S. Daugherty in the 1920' relation to Paul, but a neat coincidence. I'll keep you updated as Paul sends me progress pictures.
Also, the kids at Indian Lake High School have sent pictures of their project, which they are building in their shop class. Boy, I wish I had a shop class like that when I was in High School. We just made tool boxes.

Anyway, they have the makings of a center section, (below) which is pretty neat.
Till next update (probably late next week).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I decided to copper the end of the longerons. Some Jennies have this and some do not. I like the way it looks and the extra support (albeit little) helps with the bigger Hisso engine.

Here's the end of the longeron attached to the spider plate.

The fuselage is going back together!

Station 2 detail.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fuselage going back together

The last parts were sprayed black today.

While the parts were drying, I took four original Jenny parts and stripped the old varnish away. I haven't determined exactly where they go yet, but I think they are parts for the seat support. Either way, they turned out usable and it will be neat to install them on the airplane.

Here they are cleaned up and ready for varnish.

I started putting the fuselage back together! This is a standard universal fitting just to show you how it looks now that everything is painted and varnished.

The upper fuselage is going back together first. Hope to have more done tomorow.



Thursday, October 09, 2008

Fittings & Spider Plate

The lower spider plate is now finished. The last rivet on the doubler was shot last evening.

Here's the finished Spider plate. Hope to paint it tomorow morning before work.

Also, I wet sanded the remaining fittings. Some, like the spar carry through tubes didn't come out the way I had liked the first time, so they were resanded.

The engine bearers were given their first coat of varnish. The bearers are a little different than the original OX-5 bearer shown on the right.

If you put a Hisso engine in a stock Jenny, the last set of Hisso spark plugs hit the upper longerons. So, the engine has to be raised about 1/2 in. Look closely at the Old Rhinebeck Jenny sometime. It's Hisso is installed this way.

Till early next week....


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fittings painted

We've had some really nice flying weather lately and I took the opportunity to put some black PPG urethane on most of the fittings.

Here are a bunch of universal fittings drying on the rack.

I still have a few more to go, but the bulk of them were finished today. One or two have to be repainted where I missed a spot, but it's nice to see black on the fittings. Soon, reassembly can begin.

Since the weather was so nice, I took a long weekend and went to the 2008 Bucker fly-in. My Bucker Jungmann is second on the left. We had nearly ten percent of the Bucker fleet in one location and it was a great event.

More soon