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, May 10, 2012

Louvers and windshield frame

 The louver reinforcement brackets were drilled and cleco'd in place today.

And so were the brackets on the main cowling louvers.

Wanting to switch tasks (rather than build all the brackets for the other side) I decided to play a little with the windshield frame. I made a windshield template out of some .016 sheet aluminum.  The sweep of the windshield was about 23 degrees.  This corresponded with the Curtiss drawing.

I grabbed some leftover 3003 aluminum .032 thick and sheared it into 1 1/2 in strips.

Then the 23 degree angle was bent in the brake.

Using a stretcher, I began working the center of the frame.

I used the shrinker on the top of the frame.

This might help you visualize it.  The side that attaches to the cowling needs to be stretched to make the curve.  That is fine, but you need to shrink the other side to take up the slack.

More shrinking and stretching work.

This is where I stopped for the day.  I didn't want to go too far because the drawings call for a .050 piece of aluminum to be used for the frame.  This is good - the thicker aluminum will have more "meat" to it and won't split so easily.  Plus there is more thickness for all the sanding that will be needed to take out the shrink/stretch marks.   I didn't have any .050 laying around so I practiced with some .032.

 This is called learning!  I was trying to get a feel for the process.

I went to Aircraft Spruce this evening so now I have a piece of .050 aluminum ready to be turned into a windshield frame.

Paint schemes - This is still in it's infancy and I'm hesitant to publish anything.  I always liked the Brower's Pound Cake Cones logo on the side of this Jenny.  From the beginning, we decided to do a barnstormers motif and this particular Jenny flew at Candler Field in Atlanta back in the 1920's.

I suspect this paint scheme was the standard Army brown sheet metal / amber dope fuselage with black lettering.  I asked Bonnie Rowe Jr. if he remembered this company, but he sort of remembered Brower's as a local mom and pop bakery.  Being the typical barnstormer, Doug Davis probably talked them into painting their logo on the side of his Jenny....for a fee of course.  He was a starving pilot and money was money.

Anyway, we thought there were plenty of military paint schemed Jennies around and we wanted to do something different.  We liked the look of the burnished cowl - very 1920's - and the blue really compliments the burnishing.

Jan Moffett is a talented local gal who designs all our posters for the museum events.  I asked her to play around with Photoshop to see what the Brower's logo would look like on the side of a blue Jenny. 

Recently, we unearthed a picture of Doug Davis in front of a Jenny with the Baby Ruth logo on the side! I remember Bonnie Rowe Jr. telling me he used to sit in the front seat of the Jenny and toss out Baby Ruth candy bars when he was a little kid.  So, here was another local paint scheme, historic and related to Atlanta.

  Jan played around with this one too.

My wife likes this scheme.  I'm still not sure about the red on the blue.

Or, we can just skip the logos all together and put the Curtiss logo somewhere in silver, maybe checkerboard the tail and fly the thing.

We are still a long way from spraying that final color coat.  I just wanted to let you see our thought process. 




Blogger Kurt Wheaton said...

Contact Nestles on that Baby Ruth paint scheme. Maybe you can take up the tradition of being paid for the advertising space!

12:45 PM  
Blogger Brian Karli said...

Hi Kurt,

Believe it or not, we contacted Nestle' about donating a box of little Baby Ruth candy bars so we could recreate the 1920's aerial drops at out Vintage Days event but they said no.

Oh, well. Didn't hurt to ask....


6:25 PM  

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