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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Radiator Brace and New Wire Splicing Video

I wanted to get the radiator supports built so the radiator could stand alone on the fuselage without me worrying about it falling off. After studying the drawings, I decided it would be easier to make a template right from the aeroplane.

I had to plane some spruce to 3/4 in thick to begin.

Here is the rear part of the brace after the cuts were made on the bandsaw.

This is how it goes. This brace not only holds the radiator steady, but the cowling screws to the wood. That's why the wood sticks out past the longeron. Remember the furring strip? You can see it on the right. The brace has to match that profile so the cowl is smooth.

Here is where the Hisso installation is different. Normally with the OX-5 engine installed, this piece of spruce runs from the fitting straight to the radiator. However the spark plugs of the Hisso interfere with the top part of the brace and a notch has to be cut.

Smoothing out the notch with the spindle sander.

Here is the radiator end of the brace. 3/16 in was cut away for the attach fitting.

Speaking of attach fittings - the OX-5 fitting would not work so Brian Eberle made one from .063 steel that was custom to our brace.

OX-5 fitting on the left. Our Hisso fitting on the right.

See how it works now?

Here is the completed brace. It gets a coat of varnish next followed by some copper.

David Harwell, who owns Barnstormers Workshop at the Peach State airport gave me this photo yesterday from his collection. It's a great picture of a Navy Jenny on floats called an N-9 even if the landing didn't go as planned. In order to lift the floats, the N-9 had a greater wingspan than the JN4D. Unfortunately it also had less speed! Later versions of the N-9 had Hisso engines.

According to the book Jenny was No Lady this particular N-9 was the second to last one from a batch of thirty built by Curtiss in 1917. Neat stuff.

Lastly, John Gaertner has finished editing the cable splicing video we shot a few weeks ago and it is now available from his company - Blue Swallow Aircraft.

I had a chance to see the video and I sure wish I had a copy when I learned cable splicing. That was the purpose of making the video - to save people the frustration of learning it from an old book, making lots of mistakes and getting frustrated. I was fortunate enough to have Paul Dougherty show me how to do it once, but by the time I got home the details were fuzzy and I finally figured it out after many frantic phone calls were made to poor Paul. (I know you are grinning right now, Paul)

Here is a still shot from the movie.

John is also making cable splicing and wrapping jigs that you can get on his website. If anyone is interested, go to www.blueswallowaircraft and check it out.

More soon



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