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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Fly Boy Jon asked about the neat pair of rotary pinking shears we have been using.  I can honestly say these work one hundred times better than regular pinking shears! 

The tool is called "The Perfect Pinker" manufactured by the Florian Co.

You can buy them here:

Last nigh, the turtledeck was given the last coat of poly brush and the center section got two spray coats as well.  Then Brian ironed over the edges of the tapes to make a nice, crisp edge.

Then I poly brushed them to the longeron.

We also finished taping the first wing.

More soon!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tapes on fuselage

Had a few spare hours last evening, so I started making all the reinforcing patches for the fuselage.  Using the rotary pinking tool, the patches were cut from the pre-shrunk fabric we made. 

Then the patches were poly brushed in place.

Around the tail, too.  The patches will have their edges cleaned up later.

And the top longerons got some tape.  Next step is to iron over the flap and poly brush it to the top of the longeron.  I didn't do that last night because I wanted the poly brush to be good and dry before touching anything with an iron!

More soon.  Enjoy


Friday, August 24, 2012


 While I was away at work, Ron finished spraying the final coat of  silver Poly Spray on the stabilizer.

Someone recommended joining the International Biplane  Association page on Facebook, so I did.  I saw two pretty neat Jenny photos:

This one was captioned "pretty risque' for the time".  I bet it was.....!

 Also a great photo of Dave Fox and Cole Palen with their Jenny at Old Rhinebeck.

More soon.  Enjoy


Monday, August 20, 2012

Fuselage covering

One thing about a Jenny - it's a big airplane!  Even stripped down, the fuselage is too heavy and bulky to move around easily.  We discussed making a big rotisserie but we came up with another method that works. The front is held by an engine hoist and strong rope. The back rests on a saw horse.  Moving it in and out of the hangar is a two person job.  One person holds the tail.  One person moves the hoist.

Last evening, the fuselage was given its first coat of Poly Brush.  We are using clear Poly Brush so you don't see the pink tinting on the inside of the fuselage.

I just thought this was a neat vantage point......

After it got dark, we moved inside and started taping the upper left wing.



This morning I went to the shop and bead blasted the rest of the wing fittings.  You can see some of the original pink plating on some of the fittings.

After an application of DP90 primer......

It never ceases to amaze me how much metal is on a wooden airplane!

Of course all these metal pieces need to be painted gloss black yet, but that is for another day. Till then...enjoy


Friday, August 17, 2012

Center section and fittings

Good day at the shop this afternoon.  I got most of the tapes poly brushed to the center section.

Did the top first...

... And the bottom.  The only thing left to do is leading edge and trailing edge tapes.  Then the Center Section will be ready for more Poly Brush.

While the center section was drying (and I got kinda tired of all this fabric work) I began bead blasting the wing strut hold down plates.  You can see the original rusty ones on the top and the bead blasted ones on the bottom.

Then the parts were given a two-part epoxy primer.  I used DP90 paint.

Lastly, John Gaertner sent me the links to some old movies showing Hisso powered Jennies:

This one shows the first airmail flight:

And if you were wondering what it was like as an Army cadet back then:

More soon.  Enjoy


Thursday, August 16, 2012


Taped the front and back of the turtledeck this morning. It is now ready for another coat of Poly Brush (sprayed)

 Also prepared the center section for the tapes. Got two coats of Poly Brush applied where the tapes will go.

Remember the templates we made before taking the airplane apart?  This one marks where the elevator cables exit the fuselage.

The slots we cut will eventually look like this.

More soon


Monday, August 13, 2012

Stabilizer covering

Ron is proud to report that the stabilizer is ready for the final silver coat!


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Center Section

In my absence, Brian Eberle got the Center Section rib stitched.

This should be the last rib stitching on the plane!  I ought to go back and count the stitches....Nah.  I don't want to know.



Monday, August 06, 2012

Visitor from France

I forgot to mention that I had a visitor the other day - my friend Francois Devin  happened to have an Atlanta layover and came to see the Jenny.

Francois is a Captain for Air France but flies a neat Bucker Jungmeister for fun on the west side of Paris.


Covering the Center Section

Finished gluing the fabric to the sides of the center section today.  Got a coat of Poly Brush on it too.  Now happily drying.

Also taped the turtledeck. The white edge will be ironed over later.

This is the rudder cable exit.

Got a busy couple of days ahead, so expect an update sometime around the middle of next week.



Friday, August 03, 2012


Ron and Brian gave the stabilizer a good look over, trying to find any imperfections and correct them before spraying the Poly Spray. 

Everything looked good, so on went the silver spray.

Two coats of Poly Spray - time to wet sand.

While Ron was spraying, Brian and I put some Poly Brush in the areas that will get a 2 inch tape.

We also finished trimming the fuselage edges and gave the fabric a final shrink to 350 degrees.


Brian said it reminded him of a big canoe.

A thunderstorm arose outside which curtailed the spraying so we decided to start covering the center section.  First, the wires were given a final coat of linseed oil and the turnbuckles were secured with safety wire.

We started by Poly Tacking the bottom of the top...if that makes sense.  Since this is part of the upper wing, we wanted the seam to be on the top.  After the glue dried, the edge was trimmed flush.

Then wrap the fabric over the top, around the trailing edge and back forward.  With a chalk line, mark about 1 inch up from the leading edge.  Why a chalk line rather than a pencil line?  You will see in a minute.

You  want to use a chalk line because can see the blue line when you wrap the fabric over the leading edge.  This is your glue line. After applying a bead of poly tack, here is a neat trick to make a clean, crisp edge.

First, paint some poly tack on top of the blue line.  This will encapsulate the fibers and the edges will not fray when you cut them off.

If you run the edge of the razor along the line, you will cut through both layers of fabric.  That would be terrible.  So here is a better way.

Put the edge of the razor along the line.  Hold it firmly and pull the loose end of the fabric.  It makes a really nice edge!

We started gluing the sides, but that was enough for one night and we called it a day.

More soon.  Enjoy