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, March 25, 2011

King Post fitings and Ailerons

Hello again. I have not posted anything for a while but three of the four kids got the flu on the same day. To make matters worse, my wife got sick the next day and while I was taking care of all of them, I got sick too. It was awful! The dog was the only one who remained unscathed.

But, we lived and time moved on.

Last week, our museum had a benefit dance. We booked an 18 piece orchestra who specialized in 1940's swing music. The place was packed with dancers and the museum raised a bunch of money.

At the dance, two gentlemen introduced themselves to me. Ken Gulliford came all the way from South Carolina to see the Jenny. Ken is an extraordinary model builder who is nearly finished with a large scale radio controlled Jenny.

Well, since Ken and his son came all that way to see me, I had to show them the Jenny. The next morning we met at the hangar. I could not stay very long because our second son had a baseball game, but we spend a good half an hour together and Ken took a lot of detail pictures for his model. It was a wonderful visit.

Eventually, I was well enough to resume work on the Jenny so I measured the aileron hinge locations.

The slots were drilled in the same manner as before - dremel tool.

One aileron in place.

And the other one.

While I was working, Bob Lindley came by to show some of his friends the project. I needed to take a break, so I gave them the nickel tour.

Back to work - here is a picture of the aileron hinge. The next step is to drill the bolt holes that hold the hinges in the spar.

Today, I decided to tackle the front king post fittings.

I had two extra original rear king post fittings, but they do not work on the front. The angles and the plates are different. I would have to make new ones from scratch. To make matters worse, I do not have drawings for these parts.

The first step was to measure the angle of the king post in relation to the fitting.

I copied the airfoil shape of the rear fitting onto paper and transferred it to some sheet steel. After several tries, I could not get it to bend into the proper airfoil shape. I didn't want to make an expensive die for just two parts so I figured I could hammer one out by hand. I was not pleased with the results.

By dumb luck, I spotted a set of bent Piper Cub wing struts. Do you know that the rear strut is nearly identical to the airfoil shape of the Jenny king post fitting?

The sheet metal pieces I spent two hours making went in the trash.

I cut a section (that was not bent) from the Piper Cub strut and transferred the angle to the tubing.

Using the old paper pattern, the shape was made on the bench grinder.

I decided to use two extra upper wing strut plates as the base of the new front king post fittings. This how Curtiss did it and I was lucky to have a few extra plates. The airfoil piece was lined up in the center of the plate...

...and acetylene welded.

To make the cutout, three holes were drilled at the corners.

The center was routed using a Dremel Tool.

Smoothed by hand with various files.


Here is the front king post in place.

Close up view.

Not bad for a day's work. The other fitting is nearly finished too.

More soon.




Blogger Jim Landon said...

Brian, I absolutely love reading your blog and studying the photos.

Do you think you could connect me to Ken Gulliford somehow, since we're both building scale models of the Jenny?

Glad you and your family are all well. Unfortunately I came down with some flu-like affliction myself. It's tapering off.


1:32 PM  

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