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

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Painting fittings and PA Jenny pilot

John Kuck came to the hangar yesterday and got the first wing ready to spray.  He took an iron over the tapes to smooth out any imperfections.  While he was doing that, I sprayed just about every piece of wing and tail hardware with black urethane.


You can make fun of me, but anything with the word cyanide in the ingredients scares me.  So does Methyl Ethyl Ketone, which I use to clean the gun.  This fresh air breathing machine works well - no fumes and I sprayed for an hour or two.


In my youth, I sprayed urethane with a respirator and got pretty sick.  I don't do that anymore.

Enough boring pictures of fittings getting painted by some guy in a space suit. If you like Jennies, you will like this:

When I was home in Pennsylvania visiting the parents, I stopped by the PA State Archives in Harrisburg.  I heard that an elderly local photographer had donated 6000 prints from the 1920's until today.  He liked airplanes and photographed the early pilots in the Harrisburg area.  I was shocked by the find!  I saw pictures of early TWA Ford Trimotors, Pitcarin Autogyros, Kreider Reisner Challengers, Curtiss Falcons...all at the Harrisburg airport. Here are links to this fantastic collection:

http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/mg/mg281.htm

http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bah/dam/mg/ys/m281ys.htm

Here is what I found - a photograph of a Jenny at the Dauphin Flying Field in May, 1919.


The pilot is Walter Shaffer (on the right),  a Harrisburg native who had just returned from WWI, bought a Jenny and started barnstorming.  


It was Walter Shaffer (in the front cockpit) who took photographer Samuel Kuhnert aloft with his camera. Many of the early pictures in his collection were taken this day.


Of course, Walter didn't miss an opportunity to sell a few rides too...


Walter Shaffer's history is fascinating in itself.  He learned to fly at the Essington PA seaplane base before the war, joined the Lafayette Flying Corps in France and shot down two German planes before being shot down himself.  After barnstorming Pennsylvania, he joined Pitcarin Airways in Atlanta, GA and flew the mail.  He retired from Eastern Airlines in the 1950's and passed away at age 83 in February 1974.

I wish I could have met him.

More soon.  Enjoy

Brian

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