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

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tail Skid

I started working on the ash tailskid recently. From the original cashe of lumber we got at Atlanta Hardwoods, I had a plank planed to the rough dimentions from the tail skid drawing. Phil Mintari gave me an original Curtiss tailskid, but it was too short when compared to the drawing. It was, however, great for figuring out the shape.

After the dimentions were penciled onto the plank, the bandsaw was used for the rough cut.

And the oscillating spindle sander was used to sand to the pencil line.

Next, the markings were drawn to represent the tapers. The skid actually had an "airfoil" shape. The front and back were not symmetrical.

I did all the shaping with the hand sander and coarse grit (80 or so) paper.

Here is the trailing edge before hand sanding with 220 grit.

The leading edge was shaped in the same manner, but it had a gentle 3/4 in. radius all the way around. Below is the tail skid in place. I can fantasize, can't I? I still have the tubing structure to build yet before this picture becomes reality.

One of the enjoyable aspects of rebuilding this plane is the opportunity to meet many people. The other day, Tom Hegy stopped by the house on his way to Florida.

When I first started the Jenny project, I figured that it would take me some time to find an engine. After all, Hisso's aren't very common engines and the people who have them aren't too willing to part with them (says something about the engine). Anyway, I put a blind ad in Trade-A-Plane and Tom called me right up. He didn't have an engine, but he knew somebody who did and that was the engine we ended up getting! I thought that was a nice thing to do.
I have come to find out, Tom is truly that type of person.
I spent the afternoon with Tom and could not have had a nicer time. He still dusts crops during the Wisconsin summers (as he has done for the past 45 years) and tinkers with his own antique airplanes during the other times. I was glad he came for a visit.


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