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

Monday, May 14, 2012

Well, the Curtiss drawings indicate that the window frames are .050 sheet aluminum so I got a sheet of that and started working the shrinker and stretcher. This thickness of 3003 works a lot better than the thin stuff I was using for practice.


I found that if you work in small sections,  say three or four inches at a time, the process is easier.  Shrink the top of the frame first.  Then flip it around and stretch the outside.

 All those "teeth" marks from the shrinker/stretcher came right out with the belt sander and some hand rubbing with 220 grit.

 Since the frames will not be burnished, I am debating about painting them silver or just leaving them alone.  Let me think about it.  If I leave them alone, they will be rubbed with some 400 grit to make them smoother.

 Front and back frames.

Ron gave a wing the first coat of Poly Brush.

Ron and Brian admiring their work.

 You know, sometimes you get tunnel vision.  I can attest to this fact.  We have been debating, lamenting, thinking and expending a lot of energy trying to come up with a paint scheme for the Jenny.  Should we do the Browers Cake Cones?  Baby Ruth? A paint scheme historically accurate to Atlanta?

I got an e-mail from Ken Gulliford who made me smack my forehead with my hand.  Please read this:

Not to be presumptuous but I have a solution.  I have always been a dreamer and I would frequently dream about being a pilot back in the time when Barnstorming was popular.  I would dream about what my plane would look like and it varied with whichever plane I was in love with at that time.  I have read every syllable of your narrative during the work on your Jenny and I am always intrigued by your very fertile imagination.  Why is it necessary to emulate a certain scheme when you have shown such love of reproducing an example of the early days of Barnstorming when I am certain that you have many times placed yourself in those early flyer's shoes.  It would be interesting to me and I am sure it would be to many of your followers, what your plane would look like if you time traveled back to those days.  What would you have chosen to show your individuality?  Just a thought, maybe enough to spark your thinking.  Just think , you might even have been the original Great Waldo Pepper.

Yes Ken, I was also a dreamer as a kid.  I have fond memories lying on my back in the Pennsylvania grass with a plastic model airplane outstretched towards the clouds.  My school teachers told my parents I would be a straight A student if I weren't daydreaming about airplanes all day long. You are right.  Our Jenny paint scheme has to come from our imagination.

And it will be.




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