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, April 07, 2009

Rear Gear leg

Well, here's the last few days progress:

The seat rails and supports were removed from the fuselage. Each piece was sanded and given another coat of varnish.

The bottom of the seats were also varnished.

It's amazing - you don't realize how many little pieces there are until you have to wet sand each one! Also, the tops of the floorboards were given their second coat.

OK - now for the fun part. The lower end of the gear leg fits into the peach basket with several different bends. I have only one set of airfoil shaped rear gear legs, so I didn't want to ruin them by making the wrong cuts. I spent a long time pouring over the Curtiss drawings and making practice pieces. I couldn't figure it out and I was scared to start cutting without a game plan.
I finally called Paul Dougherty and with his help, the entire thing began to make sense.
The peach basket has several angles to it. Below, you can see how the gear leg slides down the bottom of the peach basket. Easy, right? Should slide right in there.
Nope. The peach basket flange curves! From this picture below, you can see how the peach basket flange is bent at a 31 degree angle.
You can see the gear leg angle here, too. Now do you see why I'm taking my time with this?

And there is one more angle. The square end has to be cut to match the bottom, and transitioned into the airfoil shape above. I marked the angle and cut it (with extra) with the bandsaw. I didn't go all the way to the airfoil shape. I cut higher and higher, may be an inch or two, each time I made a trial fit.
As the leg progressed to the first curve, the front has to be sanded to match the angle. This was done by making a pencil line, sanding off a little bit, and re-fitting. Once again, I was cautious and did not take away too much material each time.
As of today, I have the gear leg sanded to the half-way point.

John Gaertner started on the second lower wing today.

I also heard from Ed Rogers at Indian Lake High School. Looks like the kids have the rudder and elevators built for their project Jenny.

In case you're curious why my rudder is wood and this one is tubing - they are building the Canadian version of the Jenny - which had tail feathers made from steel rather than spruce.

Hope to sand and cut more tomorow.


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