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, November 22, 2010

ORA and GAAM visits

Yesterday I just returned from a four day work trip to New York. Since I had two days to sit around and wait, I headed north towards Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.

Tom Polapink, the editor of WWI Aero magazine, made arrangements for me to see the ORA Hisso powered Jenny. I was particularly interested in seeing how Cole Palen had rigged a fuel pump to the back of their Hisso.

When I got there, Bill Gordon was busy pulling several aeroplanes out of the hangar. Bill is the Chief pilot at ORA and when I asked him what he was doing, he said "pulling aeroplanes out of your way so you can see the Jenny." Boy, that was nice! I got to crawl all over the Jenny, take measurements and lots of pictures.

Above: L to R - me, Mark Mondello (ORA volunteer) and Tom Polapink

Unfortunately, the accessory case of their engine was different than ours. Their fuel pump was mounted in a different location. I was out of luck. But, I was invited to see several other Hisso's in the ORA Museum. Surely one of them would have the same accessory drive.

Nope. Each one of their three other Hisso's had a different set up. Oh, well.

Hey, who could resist a chance to make aeroplane noises?

After spending the day with Bill Gordon, Tom Polapink, Mark Mondello and ORA Museum President Mike Digiacomio, I was touched by their hospitality and generosity. They opened up the place to my disposal and for an old aeroplane nut like me, that was an awfully nice thing to do.

The next day I drove to my old hometown in Pennsylvania and went straight to the Golden Age Air Museum. It was good to see Paul Dougherty, Mike Cilurso and Mike Diamiani again. They were working on covering a Fokker Triplane and it sure was turning out nice. Anyway, Paul loaned me the molds to make the louvers in the Jenny cowling.

These molds are designed for a 50 ton press. You put the sheet metal in place, drill two holes, score a thin line and press some heavy rubber into the mold. You 'll see how they work when I get to making the cowlings this winter.

In case you are wondering, Paul used a big router bit to make the shape of the louvers in the mold.

After spending the day at the museum, we flew back to Atlanta. John Gaertner sent me pictures of the fuel gauge progress. Here are the float rods attached to the base.

We beefed up the area where the rods threaded into the base. This was a known failure point and since we were there, we added more material.

John also made a die to draw the brass float halves.

The fuel gauge needles were water jet cut from thin stock.

That's it for today. I am still amazed by the hospitality shown to me at both ORA and the GAAM. It's nice to know there are still good people out there.

More soon!



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