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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Center Section, Radiator and Visitors

The other evening, we drilled holes in the center section for the upper cabane strut fittings.

Here you can see the fitting in place to double check that the holes were located in the correct spot...on the top side too...because...

...that way the drilling jig can be used.

We drilled the 5/16 in holes with a long drill bit.

All the wing hold down plates and cabane fittings were designed to use bolts with tapered heads. The taper was located on the underside of the bolt head. This allowed some adjustment during rigging. I don't have any original bolts and you can't get them at a hardware supply house. Of course you could make them, but there is another acceptable way.

You can buy spherical washers and put them under the bolt heads. That's what we did.

This works perfectly. The spherical washers come a little too think to use right out of the box, so we had to grind down the top end until the thickness we wanted was reached. One bolt goes where you can see it and the other bolt goes inside the fitting itself.

For any of you future Jenny restorers out there, here's the information about the washers:

Purchased from McMaster Carr - 18-8 Stainless Steel Self Aligning Washers, Male Half, 5/16 in. Screw Size Part Number 91944A106

Thanks to Paul Dougherty at the Golden Age Air Museum for that information! Paul is finishing up a LoRhone powered Fokker Triplane whenever he is not bothered by phone calls from me asking Jenny questions! Check it out:

Now that the cabane fittings were temporarily bolted to the center section, the cabane struts needed to be hollowed out for the bolt head (and spherical washer) to fit.

Here you can see all four cabane struts in their sockets.

Another trial fit!

The Jenny has a 16 inch stagger between the top wing and the lower wing. We measured and found out the center section was two inches too far rearward. This was frustrating because the cabane struts were built exactly to the drawing specifications. So, the struts will need different angles cut on the top and bottom. I decided to do this another day.

I really wanted to get the other side of the radiator finished instead. So a brass strip was cut and held in place.

Solder (and flux) were added using a Butane torch..

And the excess ground smooth.

That was it for one night.

On Wednesday, I got a visitor to the hangar. Jim Lachendro was on an Atlanta layover with his airline and came to see the Jenny. Jim lives in Scotland now but grew up in the States. As a kid, he was an old aeroplane nut like me and I was amazed by the same people, places and old aeroplanes we knew.

John Gaertner drove down from Virginia that day too. He wanted to film a segment for his new DVD showing the lost art of cable splicing.

When I wanted to learn how to splice cables, I was fortunate enough that Paul Dougherty showed me how to do it and he taught me some really great tricks Andrew King developed to make the splicing easier. Of course I got home and forgot half of what he said so I had to relearn it the hard way (making mistakes, reading the Brimm and Boges manual and making frantic phone calls to Paul who patiently tried to talk me through a splice from miles away.).

So John and I agreed that it sure would have been easier if a video would be available to teach people like me who wanted to know how to make the 5 Tuck Navy Splices.

John also filmed the progress we had made since his last visit six months ago. His DVD's on woodworking have been selling like hotcakes.

John also brought the fuel gauge. Doc Hood was kind enough to send me some of his hand made drawings (which would rival Glen Curtiss' engineering department itself) and we used them to make all the internal parts. But we used the original Curtiss fuel tank drawing to get the length of the float rods and the rods turned out to be an inch too long. Just like the fuel tank cradle, the drawings were probably for the JN4D2 version which was never produced but whose drawings survive. So the fuel gauge went back to John's shop for modification.

We also had a visit from Jim Renwick who lives down the road in Senoia, GA. Jim brought a long prop for us to see in the back of his pickup truck. The prop was from a Liberty powered flying boat. I forgot the type. The prop was one of two props bolted together to make a four bladed propeller back then. Pretty neat find.

Lastly, I got two responses from my request to find information about the Hisso fuel pump. Philippe Villard from France sent me two great articles on the Hisso engine. The were written in French, but that was OK. My neighbor translated them for me. It answered a few of my questions. Plus, Paul Dougherty sent me an e-maile noting that the pump in the picture looked similar to the water pump on the OX-5. He wondered if it could be adapted to the Hisso. Gotta check that out.

I appreciated the responses.

More later. Enjoy!



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