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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wires and King Post fitting

We have now begun building wires - lots of them. Brian Eberle built five last night. Here is a picture of the double flying wires.

At the top.

Also spent some time working on the king post fittings. The flat stock as to be curved to accept a connecting rod and a turnbuckle end.

We did this by taking some flat stock the thickness of the turnbuckle end and round stock the diameter of the rod, heating the fitting with the torch and tapping with a ball peen hammer.

The fitting is held in place by a piece of tubing which fits into a slot in the king post. I got some 5/16 tubing and peened over the end.

Here is the completed end. This tube will be inserted into the fitting and the other side peened in place. I'll show some pictures of this later.

Well, instead of posting picture after picture of the fifty two wires we have to build, I thought I'd post some other Jenny stuff.

Phil and Patricia Mintari in Texas sent pictures of their Jenny. Should be flying soon!

I'm proud to say Ken Gulliford has successfully flown his Jenny model.

Ken wrote:

Test flight done today, 20 April, not much flying just a short crow-hop as the wind was really blowing. Plane is missing a few details like cowl straps, windscreens, pilots that will be added tonight and tomorrow before the initial debut. As you can readily guess, I really enjoy doing this. I broke both bamboo tip supports on taxing and landing. They were very old, dry and brittle, at this time I don't know what to use to replace them but I will think of something.
The pics were done by my model partner Peyre Pringle, his aerial shots are outstanding.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Upper wings installed

Sorry for not posting in awhile. The family and I spent a week in Florida on vacation. We had a good time but now we are home and back to the usual routine.

Part of this rigging process is making sure the wings were straight. Bill Hammond, who spent many years turning wrenches and flying at Old Rhinebeck came by to lend a hand. Bay by bay we trammeled the wing square, adjusting the turnbuckles accordingly.

Here is one end of the trammel.

Before long, the upper wings were in place!

Now we have fifty wires to build...or better hundred wrapped and soldered ends.

It was such a nice day that Ron rolled out the early Stearman and went flying. Brighton volunteered to clean the hangar floor.

"Aren't their child labor laws, dad?"

Kevin Conner from Tulsa OK stopped by to see the Jenny. He was on an Atlanta layover (he is a corporate pilot) and drove south through the Atlanta rush hour traffic just to see the project. Kevin and I have been corresponding for years and as soon as he finished his Hatz biplane, he is going to build a Jenny. I know he will succeed because he has been collecting bits and parts of a Jenny and already has quite a collection.

Ken Gulliford e-mailed me while I was on vacation and sent pictures of his Jenny model. Sure looks nice.

More soon


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Upper wing

After dinner, the kids were complaining that they were bored, so I asked them to help me in the shop. Two of the four kids volunteered.
"What are we going to do?" they asked.
"Something really cool," I said.
"Can I bring my i-pod?"
I forgot how kids think these days. They don't go anywhere without an "i-something".

I told them that they were going to witness a historic event. We were going to install the upper wing on the Jenny and they were going to be a part of it.
"Why is this so historic?"
"The wings have never been put on the fuselage before."
"You're weird, dad."

Geoffrey (left) and Graham (right) volunteered to lift the wing root.

Ron held the tip. After the pins were installed, Ron crawled up the ladder and the struts were installed.

Ah, success!

We paused for a family photo after the plumb lines were taped to the upper leading edge of the wing. We were pretty close to the 16 inch stagger.

A view from the balcony.

That's it for tonight. Hope to have the other upper wing installed soon. Till then...



Friday, April 01, 2011

Aileron trailing edge fittings

Spent most of today drilling the rest of the aileron hinges and I am proud to say...they are finished! Both ailerons are firmly attached to the rear spar. I've posted enough aileron hinge fitting pictures already so we will move on.

I had nearly a complete set of original aileron trailing edge hardware. They were bent up quite a bit, but a little work with some duck billed pliers, a hammer and a piece of tubing got them straightened out. Here is the outer fitting.

This is the center fitting. These fittings brace the trailing edge. There will be hard wire between these fittings and the back of the aileron horn. Trust me...and give me some time. It will make sense soon.

Here is the inner fitting.

Sometimes, when you're really making progress and metal is being cut, wood being shaved and paint goes flying across the air, your tools get deposited wherever they were used. The shop was looking that way recently, so I took some time to clean up and reorganize for the next flurry of building activity.

Till then - enjoy