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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Peach Basket - some good & some bad

Good news - the mail man came yesterday with a big box.

"Whats in the box, dad?"

"Oh, Jenny wing struts."

"They are dirty," replied Brighton, with the logic of a two and a half year old.

"Let me help."

Sure enough, the box was full of original Jenny wing struts that Gary Kahl of Clear Lake, Iowa pulled out of an attic. Three of the struts are useable. Unfortunately, the rest were either cracked, warped or broken. But they are good for patterns !

Check out these cool strut markings.

OK, now back to the peach baskets.

As you recall, I made the front peach basket support plate out of 1/16 in. steel. That was the easy part. I put a 90 degree bend on one end and figured, with some heat, the other two funky bends will melt right around there. Wrong! The material was too thick to "easily" bend. You couldn't tap it around like I thought. I even welded the plate to the peach basket to help hold the plate while I applied the heat and bent the steel. It did not go well. So in frustration, I left the shop without putting away the tools. It was one of those days....

I thought about it the next day. I knew I could do better. We learn from our mistakes, right? So, out came the grinder and off came the support.

I decided to make some steel patterns out of some .020 stock which could be bent practically by hand. This way, I could see where the bend lines had to be before transfering them to the thick steel.

This raised another issue. The axle is a 1 1/2 in. tube and it rides up and down in the peach basket. I measured the opening - 1 5/8 in. Perfect, right? That's a 1 1/2 in. axle and two 1/16 in plates.

Not exactly.

With the two side plates installed (with the 1/16 in. material) the axle was a really tight fit. Looks like I will have to grind out the opening a little larger. The bends in the side plates are not exact right angles (bend allowance) so I really need a 1 3/4 in opening.

Oh, the things you learn when rebuilding an aeroplane.




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