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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Worked on the turtledeck this afternoon. The picture below shows how the turtledeck sits on the upper longeron universal fitting. This is how the Jennies were originally built. Notice the gap. It is sealed by a strip of thin sheet metal. I think this looks awful, so I made a concession to originality.

The turtledeck was removed from the fuselage.

And 1/8 in. slots were cut for the fittings.

This looks much better! I hope you agree.

The side strips were made for the turtledeck today as well. These strips are interesting - the strip not only curves to match the fuselage, but the strip twists! Therefore, you can not make one singular bevel.

I solved this by cutting some extra pieces and sanding the proper angle. Remember, you have eight different angles!

Each angle transferred to the strip. Basically, I marked the point where the angle ended. The end of the strip is pointed.

Then with the belt sander, I sanded to the line. You can envision the sander getting more and more horizontal as it moves down the strip, can't you?

Then the strip was glued in place. You can see how the point of the strip mated with the side strip of the turtledeck.

I sanded both the left and the right strips but I only had enough clamps for the right side. I'll glue the other side later.

The other day, I got a nice e-mail from John Witt from Edmonds, WA, (north side of Seattle - about 10 miles from the Boeing Everett plant). John wrote:

Hi Brian,

I've been reading your blog for many months and wanted to say thanks for taking the trouble to write your saga.

I have been building a Proctor Models Jenny since last August and now have it finished (more or less) and flying. The first scale model competition will happen over Memorial weekend. My Jenny is a U-Control model, not RC, and she's a great, slow and graceful flyer. Your web site provided many details to add to the kit, letting me see how the real plane was done. The model has generally the same structure as your plane, though mine is an OX-5 version. Also, many more details have been added (like the cowl straps) since the pictures were taken, and Cap't Eddie now has a helmet and goggles!

This model doesn't have the cockpit detail done yet, but otherwise is pretty much complete. I have nearly an hour of flight time on it now. It is electric powered and is a very realistic flyer. Like a real Jenny, she likes to have some power all the way to touch down. The drag is so high it slows down very rapidly when you cut the power (1 bent axle!). Here's a link to some of the first flight pictures, taken by friend Brian Taylor who's also building a Proctor Jenny for RC.

Best of luck with your Jenny, and congratulations on the beautiful fabrication work, I'll be with you in spirit.


John Witt

Had a good weekend at the Bucker fly-in. The weather kept a lot of people grounded although you can't tell it from this picture.

More Jenny work soon!



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