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, October 29, 2010

Cables, wires and varnish

All the holes were drilled in the furring strips today. Plus, the holes were countersunk for the brass screws used to hold the strips to the longerons.

Then all the furring strips were hung on a rack.

And given the first coat of varnish.

I also had time to weave the first elevator cable. This is 5/16 in cable, the largest of the three cables used in the Jenny.

If you look closely, you can see the cable running from the elevator bellcrank to the top elevator horn.

I also made the double 3/16 in. rudder cables. Notice that the two cables on each side attach to one shackle.

Also today, the wires used to attach the fabric around the wing attach points were soldered.

Here's a finished end.

The front stabilizer U-bolts needed a hold down plate brazed on, so out came the torch.

Here are the finished U-bolts ready for primer paint.

The other evening, Brian Eberle made the brackets that brace the Station 3 cross tube to the engine bearers. These will be welded in place soon, drilled and fitted.

Lastly, John Gaertner sent pictures of the fuel gauge he is making.

More soon.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Furring strips

Well, it was a busy two weeks at work and it felt good to get back to work on the Jenny.

We started the night by drilling the axle cups.

And putting the bungee straps in place. Here are the top ones.

And the bottom one.

Then we made all the furring strips on the right side of the aeroplane and most of the ones on the left.

Brian spent a lot of time on the router cutting out the notches in the furring strips. When he was finished, each strip was drilled and countersunk for some #8 brass screws.

At each wing attach fitting, the fabric is attached to a piano wire wire loop. The ends of the loop is made by winding wire around a pin.

Then one end of the wire is cut off and bent to parallel the other side.

The ends are joined together and will be soldered at a later date.

Here is loop in place. Actually, I'm going to flip this loop around and use it on the other side. I want the inside of the wire to be smooth. The wrap "bump" or where the little end is cut off and wrapped needs to be the outside and hidden by the fabric.

More soon.


Saturday, October 09, 2010

Rudder Bar wires and Furring strips

Well, the first set of inter-rudder bar wires I made were too short! Oh, well. After remeasuring (carefully this time) the second set was made.

Here is the right cable in place.

The elevator stops were installed last night. Here is the front stop.

And the rear stop. When it comes time to rig the elevators, these stops can be moved front and back to set the right elevator travel. Pretty simple...and ingenious!

The furring strips are made from spruce strips. After consulting the Curtiss drawings, the last 12 inches of the rear lower strip tapers down to 1/8 in. So, the strip was measured and marked.

Cut on the bandsaw.

And sanded to the line with the spindle sander.

The strips are notched for the floorboard support straps. I set up the router to cut 1/8 in deep and ran the strips across in the appropriate locations.

Nice fit.

Here you can see the right lower rearmost strip.

And the taper. These strips will be varnished and attached to the longerons with countersunk brass screws.

The next post will probably happen late next week. Until then...



Thursday, October 07, 2010

Cables and Wing Pins

Had some time today to complete the first rear rudder bar cable assembly.

Here's a closer look. Four weaves, four wraps and awaiting varnish.

I asked John Gaertner to make a set of wing pins for me. I sent him the only original pin I had and he made this CAD drawing.

Then he fired up the lathe and rounded the ends.

And cut the shank.

He will cut the taper and drill the holes after I verify the measurements of the front and rear spar fittings.

As usual, John's work is very nice.

More tomorrow.


Friday, October 01, 2010

Stick Stops and Rudder Guide Blocks

Since I was in cable weaving mode, there are two guide blocks that direct the rudder cables. I made them using some leftover ash from the longerons. First, angled holes were cut.

Then the block was split into two.

Cut to size and sanded.

Here is where the blocks will go. I have to buy the proper size screws yet and varnish the wood.

There are two stick stops on the control system. Using a scrap piece if tubing cut from the torque tube, some 3/4 in wide sheet steel was bent around it. Then flanges were bent.

The flanges had to be bent so that 1/8 in. gap existed between them

Here is the piece. If you notice the little white paper pattern - that is the pattern used for the sloped "wedge".

The pattern was cut from some sheet steel.

And bent using a bar.

Here's the wedge in place.

Brazing sure looks horrible but not to worry.

After some wire wheeling and bead blasting, they look great.

I know Curtiss was weight conscious (look at all the castings - ha!) but the clamps were cut out on the sides. I drilled a hole in the center of the cutout area and used the Dremel tool to carve out the rest. Then the round file and a flat file smoothed everything out.

Now you can see the wedge in place. When you pull the control stick backwards, the casting hits the wedge. If you need more elevator control, the wedge is moved backwards. If you need less elevator control, move the wedge forward. Pretty neat, eh?

Here is the front control stick with the forward elevator stop wedge.

You know, it doesn't seem like much, but these four little pieces consumed several hours of shop time. Where did the day go?

More soon,