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

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Peach Basket brace

OK - I got this peach basket support figured out...finally!

I feel like I've spent as much time building peach baskets than the entire fuselage.

Well, not really. I tried pre-bending the supports before welding them to the peach basket. Every time I adjusted a bend, it changed some other angle and I would have to rebend that angle and the cycle went on and on. I had to guess the angles and bend line locations. Needless to say, that wasn't working.

So, I tried a different method. First, I pre bent the inside flange to 90 degrees. Secondly, I bent the outer edge up and out of the way. You'll see why in a minute. Then, I slightly bent the angle between the oval and side. For the tight bends, I used a 1/4 in piece of flat stock. It worked pretty well.

See, the problem had to do with the bend in the middle. It's a greater angle at the top and virtually no angle at the bottom (near the split). If you didn't bend the end up, it would interefere with the side as you made the center bend. I learned this the hard way. Also, I added some material to cover the bolt hole, too. This would be trimmed to size later.

When you make the center bend, I heated the bend line and pulled the steel down with a vice grips. The steel had a tendancy to arch when you bent it, so keep the flame on the bend line and keep the rest of the steel cold. This will give you a crisper bend.

The bottom flange followed the upward bend and had to be bent over.

After trimming to fit the cutout and the bolt curve, everything was clamped and ready for welding.

After the welding

And cleaned up with the bead blaster.

The rest of the flanges should follow the same method.
Here's a picture of the flanges that didn't bend very well. I admit it - I make mistakes! That's how you learn.

John Gaertner at Blue Swallow Aircraft sent this picture of the lower wing. They are getting close to completion.



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