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

Monday, October 19, 2009

Aileron Cable pulley

I had great intention of working all day in the shop today, but remember when I said the entire family got the flu but me? That statement isn't true anymore. I went out to the shop (with my helper below) but by noon, I left the tools were they were and headed for bed. Man, this is no fun.

"You maded another one, dad." Brighton was right. I made the second upper pulley assembly as described in the previous blog.

As for the lower piece - forget the drawing. Even the corrections I made. I learned this after my third try. The best thing to do is bend the 1 in. wide inner piece to fit the upper piece. Remember to add a washer above the pulley when you clamp everything together. It acts like a spacer otherwise the assembly gets tight and you can't move the pulley when you're done.

Remember, this has a 14 degree bend, so the front end of the ear is flush and the other stays inside. So, heat the ear....
...and bend it over with a hammer.

Voila! You can see the different angles in this photo.

Of course, the assembly needs to be filed smooth, bead blasted, etc. That comes later.

John Gaertner is solving the tricky issue of boaring the center hole for the rudder bar. He's almost there. The "leg" of the casting makes the lathe wobble, even at only 300 RPM.

The third wing is finished and work is commencing on wing #4.

All right. I'm beat. Back to bed.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Forward aileron cable pulley assembly

Sorry for the delay again. The wife and three of the four kids were sick all week so it wasn't much fun around here lately. But after I made a bunch of chicken soup and an emptied out the medicine cabinet, they became functional and that gave me a spare hour ot two for some shop time today.

I wanted to make the forward aileron cable pulley assembly.

There was a drawing for this part, so I made poster board patterns to their specifications. But, the patterns didn't work! Let me explain. The aileron cable bellcrank is a fan shaped casting underneath the rear seat. The cables have to run forward before turning and exiting the fuselage. In order to reach the upper wing, they have to "climb" at a 14 degree angle.

This two piece pulley assembly is supposed to do that.

The drawing was correct for the upper piece. It had the perfect 14 degree angle. But the lower piece did not have that. So, I scrapped the lower drawing and made my own.

The upper pattern was copied to the .100 sheet steel and cut out with the bandsaw.

Smoothed with a grinder and file.

And bent over a 1/16 in. radius bending block.

To bend the "ears" I had to get creative with the blocks!

Here's how it goes. Notice the 14 degree angle of the pulley.

That's all I had time for today. More tomorow now that the family is healthy again.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Control Sticks and Wing Hardware

A box arrived in the mail the other day with two Jenny control sticks made by John Morack in Fairbanks, Alaska. As with all of John's work, the sticks are beautiful.

I was so excited, I tried sticking them into the control stick casting. They fit perfectly.

Also, fellow Jenny restorer Phil Mintari from Texas sent me some strut plates that were leftover from his restoration, a hoop socket and some eye bolts.

Got a busy month with work and some vacation time, so this post may get sporatic for a few weeks. Hang in there! I'll post more as soon as I can.



Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Old Pictures and New Computer

Jenny restorer Chet Peek of Norman OK. sent me these neat pictures of Hisso Jennies and I liked them so much that I had to share them on the blog. Look at the rows of fuselages in the factory! I'm jealous.

Here's another great shot showing the Hisso engine installation and the larger radiator.

I may have lost some e-mails lately. My computer got the latest and greatest virus which tried to steal my banking information and the only way to remove it was to wipe out my hard drive. Since my trusty old computer was...well...old, I decided to get a new one. But, I think several of you tried to e-mail me and if I didn't respond, I apologize. Now you know the reason why.

Oh, by the way - my anti-virus software didn't catch it. I guess the thieves are getting smarter.

Enjoy the vintage pictures


Monday, October 05, 2009

Tail Skid

Worked on the tail skid today. First step was to bore a 9/16 in hole in the ash skid to accept the brass bushing.

Here's the bushing. I was able to order a 9/16 OD bushing with a 7/16 ID from MSC. The excess was cut off with a bandsaw.

Then, the brass was put on the skid and the hole drilled for the bolt.

Finally, I get to use a new casting! Here is where the tail skid bungee casting goes.

The tail skid has a rubber bumper, so a 1 in. strip was cut from some 1/4 in. rubber material.

And mounted on the skid.

Also, the top and bottom steel washers were drilled and installed. Here's a picture of the top one.

In case you're wondering - here's how everything fits together !

This was a trial fit. Now the metal pieces need to be painted black and the skid needs a final coat of varnish.

The shoe needs to be fitted, but that's for the next shop day.

Sorry for the little hiatus from the Jenny project, but I went to the Bucker fly-in at Live Oak FL. Had a great time. Flew lots of aerobatics, ate too much food and told too many stories. Mine was one of fourteen Buckers that flew to the event. It was a fine weekend.

Got a busy month coming up. Enjoy