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

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sheet metal and "Wings"

I was thinking about the tachometer the other day. We have to order a cable to go from the engine to the rear cockpit and I was wondering what size cable to order. When I pulled out the tachometer drive from the engine, I noticed that one of the ears in the drive gear was broken!

The broken part went to the machine shop and a new one was made.

The new gear was pinned to the internal drive...

And inserted into the right cylinder bank.

Now...about that tach cable. Hope to order one this week.

I got to the shop early the other day and while I was waiting for John Kuck to arrive, I started laying out the 1 1/4 inch square lines on the left side cowl.

But John arrived and we began burnishing...and burnishing...and burnishing.

The area below the main access door has a flange which sits on the lower longeron. Because of this flange, we could not burnish the area with the drill press. So, we reverted to the "manual method".

A 2 inch hole was cut into a piece of plywood and we used the air drill to spin the abrasive disks.

We were able to burnish the hard to reach areas. There are only a few more rows to go.

After the productive day with John, I returned to the shop and began bending the wire around the front cockpit.

First, the 3/16 in aluminum rod was given a gentle curve. Nothing special - this was bent by hand.

I used a pair of vice grips to hold a section of the rod.

I flipped the cowling over and used a deep wooden block to help hold it against the sheet metal.

Using the hammer, the sheet metal was bend down nearly 90 degrees. Then, the pliers were moved down and the next area was hammered down. Eventually, the metal was worked around the rod.

Here is the new edge.

That was enough for one afternoon. I had to run home and pick up the kids at the school bus.

On Facebook, my friend and editor of World War I Aero magazine Tom Polapink mentioned that the 1927 movie Wings had been digitally remastered and released on BluRay. I had bought a DVD copy a few years ago, so one rainy night I decided to watch it.

Interestingly, when Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen were learning to fly, there were some great Jenny scenes. Notice the two Jenny tails in the background.

These are Hisso powered Jennies with four ailerons. Guess that makes them JN6H versions.

Remember I said I had two different Jenny cockpit cowling prints and an original Canuck pattern? Well, if you notice the movie Jenny, it had the larger cutout!

What I like about these two pictures is the method the instructors used to enter the front cockpit. The top guy stood up in the center section cutout. The instructor below entered by leaning across the cockpit and settling in that way.

After we made our sheet metal, Brian and I debated how to get in the front cockpit. We tried it a few times and came to the conclusion that one must be a bit of a contortionist! Actually, it is not that bad.

Anyway, I enjoyed seeing the movie again.

More soon



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