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, December 11, 2009

Fuel Shut off Mechanism

The fuel shut off tower has some lightening holes drilled in it. The top hole is drilled at an angle so the fuel shutoff rod angles upward.

There is also a lightening hole at the top. I drilled four holes, used a Dremel tool to grind out the inside, and finished with a file.

Also, the handle was drilled for the 5/16 in. rod.

Now you can see where everything goes! The rear support has to be built yet.

Because the rod is angled, a rotateable joint must be made. This straightens the shutoff rod as it goes forward to the fuel tank valve.

To do this, we will make two circles out of solid 5/16 in. rod.

The jig is just two pieces of 5/16 tubing welded together at the top. The bottom is held tightly but the vice. With a torch, I heated the rod until it was red hot. While it was hot, I bent the rod around the jig. Simple. All you have to do is heat as you go.

Here's the solid rod out of the jig.

With a bandsaw, cut down the middle. Then, you can either heat the rod again and hammer the ends together, or just hammer them cold. The rod is thin enough to go together cold.

Now, the tricky part is to get the second loop inside the first loop. I made the second loop using the same jig, but made sure the gap at the end was split wide enough for the first ring to fit.
Here you can see the gap in the second ring. Just heat with a torch and close the gap with a pair of vice grips.

Here is a test fit after welding. I can't wait to see everything after it is blasted and painted.

I got an interesting photo in the mail today from fellow Jenny restorer Phil Mintari. Check it out:

Phil writes: This picture was taken in LA somewhere around 1924 to 1926. Notice the one Jenny has an extra set of king posts on the upper wing.
Phil is right! Guess the wing walkers wanted another set of wires to hold. I don't blame them! I also noticed that the first Jenny is Hisso powered and has a camera man cranking away in the back seat. Another subtle difference is the change from cables bracing the last set of struts to the upper wing, to what looks like stronger steel tubing faired to an airfoil shape.
Between the extra set of king posts and the steel struts, I guess these stunt pilots were worried about structural integrity. I can only imagine what the Jenny must have flown like with two wing walkers standing on the upper wing! I guess these early pilots didn't know any better because and all the airplanes flew that way, but my hat still goes off to them.


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