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

Friday, April 17, 2009


It's been an interesting couple of weeks. My car broke a timing belt on the way home from work, so Jenny shop time was spent under the hood of a well used Honda. But, I got that fixed.

I've also been cutting and sanding away on the landing gear legs. I was having trouble with the alignment and I spent a frustrating couple of hours trying to figure it out. The half-finished peach baskets that came with the project were pretty nicely built, so I figured they were right.
So, I figured the front fittings were the culprit, but I built them exactly to the drawings and they measured correctly. After an hour of head-scratching, I decided to double check the measurements of the peach baskets. Sure enough, the angles of the bends were wrong! Should have looked there sooner. Oh, well.... By then, I was too tired to do anything about it.

I decided to take a break from the gear and build the turtledeck bulkheads. I cut out the first one using a saber saw.

Then I cut out two more.

But, the third one looked kind of funny. The Jenny turtledeck "flattens" as it goes rearward and the last bulkhead didn't flow with the others. So, I poured over the drawings again. As usual, the numbers were very difficult to read and I had guessed as to the radius. Take a look at this below:

What is the radius? 14 and.....13/16th? I used that measurement but the bulkhead not look right. I decided to move on and cut a different bulkhead. How about bulkhead #6? See below:

Same thing. What is the radius? Most of the dimentions were like that! What now? Would I have to just "eyeball" it and start cutting wood? I didn't want to do that. Hey, the plans are 90 years old, what did I expect.
So, I called Paul Dougherty at the Golden Age Air Museum. His father had built the turtledeck on their Jenny and I was hoping he had figured out the "smudged" numbers and written them down somewhere.
He didn't.
But he wanted to know if I wanted to borrow his paper patterns! Paul's father was faced with the same problem a few years ago, and he managed to borrowed patterns from another Jenny restorer Phil Mintari, and copy them onto paper.
Problem solved......thankfully. This is the fun of restoring an old airplane. You're part builder and part detective.
Oh, by the way. Did I mention that I have Jury Duty all next week?
Like I said - it's been an interesting few weeks.


Blogger Michael Brennan said...

Not Jury Duty; must go to Sun 'n' fun, in Lakeland!

1:17 PM  

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