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"
- Name: Brian Karli
- Location: Peachtree City, Georgia, United States
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Varnished gear struts
The langing gear struts drying in the Georgia sun.
A closer look at a front strut.
While that was drying, I drilled the fuel tank cradle straps.
Here's my pile of "parts to be painted". This should be Thursday's project.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Gear legs with copper
After they were sanded, the first copper end was installed. I found it easier to make paper patterns first and trace them on the copper before cutting it out.
Here's the finished end. It's the top of the front gear leg.
Sorry I have nothing exciting to report, but sanding isn't exciting and I did a bunch of it today!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Varnishing the Landing Gear
Brighton decided he was going to "paint" the parts. Luckily, I had not mixed up the varnish yet.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Bungee cord bracket
Here's a picture of the gear with a different pair of 26 x 4 wheels. I'm just using this set to allow me to roll the fuselage around. The other pair of wheels will be rebuilt and installed when the airplane is finished.
The last part of the gear to be fabricated is the bungee holders. I do not have an official Curtiss drawing of this part, but luckily Doc Hood made a good sketch.
This part is .070 steel cut by the water jet. The first step is to bend the ends up about 45 degrees or so.
Remember that tool I made last blog? Here is how it is used: the above mentioned 45 degree bend end is placed against the flat part of the tool and the steel is bent around the tube. (The drawing mentioned a .250 in radius which is a 1/2 in tube.)
Here it is after some forming with a hammer.
The second side is fapricated the same way. After the ends are bent downwards (to keep the bungee cords from going front and back) the piece is drilled and installed on the peach basket.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Peach Basket Airfoil Brackets
Here are the brackets after bead blasting and painting with primer.
The airfoil needed a little sanding, but for the most part, everything lined up OK.
While I was waiting for the Peach Basket to cool, I built this bending tool - just a piece of 1/2 in. tubing on flat stock. The pattern in the photo will be the bungee cord bracket. It will require some bending, so look for this tool in use soon.
Also - an update on the 3rd wing. John Gaertner started installing the rear ribs. All the internal wires have been completed.
Lastly, Phil Mintari from Texas sent me pictures of his Jenny. He moved it from his shop to the hangar so the rigging process could begin. Phil is doing a great job and I thought you might like to see this.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Gear airfoil cutout and First castings
I probably could have used the bandsaw, but I liked this method better. Even if it took longer. It worked well for cutting out the inside too.
Here's the airfoil after the cutout was removed. Of course there's a bit of sanding to do yet.
The airfoil is held onto the peach baskets with some airfoil shaped brackets. The airfoil is notched to go inside these brackets. I used a cutter on a Dermel tool.
Here is the bracket in place (to be welded later).
On a side note - the Jenny used a bunch of castings in its construction. They are very hard to find, so we decided to remake them. This has been in the works for quite some time and now the first one has been poured.
Making the mold using the pattern
Pouring the aluminium.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Fuel Tank Cradle and Firewall Pattern
I transferred all the dimentions from the Curtiss drawing onto the poster board with one exception - since the Hisso engine does not have any downthrust (as does the OX-5) I did not cut out the slots for the fuel tank cradle. The slots would be in the wrong location for this airplane.
Believe it or not, the firewall was a perfect fit. I have to pick up some galvanized sheet steel later this week to make the actual firewall. The plans call for 20 gauge (.035) steel.
I also made the two straps which hold the fuel tank. The material is 2 in. wide .090 strips. I found the dimentions on the drawings were very accurate. This was thick stuff, so bending took a bit of heat sometimes. The design calls for 3/8 in. strips of spruce and 1/4 in. strips of felt to screw to these cradles.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Landing Gear Airfoil carved
I put the peach basket brackets in place and marked the area that needed to be cut out for the bungee cords.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Shaping of the Langing Gear Airfoil
A finished strut below.
Four finished struts with the Alaska wilderness outside.