Today, the top of the lower wings were wet sanded. Hopefully, the weather will warm up sufficiently so we can spray the final coat of silver Polytone on Sunday.
This is the last of the spraying! Everything will be painted then.
Dorian Walker sent me pictures of his Jenny project. They had just installed the radiator shell.
Lastly, I got a nice email from Russ Felt, who included these pictures. Russ said:
I am enjoying following your progress on the Jenny. My
father entered WWI and was sent to Kelly Field (where he took these pictures). Mother later flew in a barnstorming Jenny and she would never
fly again after that. You have reminded me of part of my Dad’s
life. Thanks - Russ Felt
Picture of Russ Felt's father during WWI
I add the following
from a biography I wrote about my Father based upon his
recollections of his military experience.
I don’t know why he never ended up flying but he probably didn’t qualify
and he never told me.
On Aug 10, 1917, with three
friends...Charlie enlisted in the Army...ending up in the Army Air Corps. He was sent to Kelly Air Field in
San Antonio ,
Pilots were trained in Curtiss Jenny (JN-4) biplanes. The airfield was just a big pasture with
hangars around it. Planes took off
in every direction.
He talked about
a centrifuge that would spin a pilot candidate in circles at high speed to see
if he could handle the forces of gravity and getting dizzy. He laughed at those who vomited as they
spun in circles, spraying everything and everyone.
He saw a JN-4 crash land upside down and
the pilot survived. On another
occasion a JN-4 landed safely on a ranch away from the airfield. By the time a
truck got there to tow the plane to the airfield, cattle had eaten the Irish
Linen (40-40 thread) from the wings.
The glue on the linen must have tasted good. Another JN-4 crashed straight down into
the ground, the pilot crawled out alive but with broken legs.
Dad never said why he did not fly. The troops lived in tent cities and Dad
reported much gambling and music.
He said the latrines were six feet long and six feet wide, open holes in
the ground. Several troops returned
home one night drunk. They had just
gone into their tents when a fire broke out. At the first yell of ‘fire’, everyone
ran and one trooper fell into the latrine up to his neck. He was pulled out, put in a shower, and
forever after was referred to as the ‘shitty’ MP.
Charlie saw Eddie Stinson, famed WWI ace and aviator fly
at ground level, then up and over hangars,
providing a great show for the troops. One of those hangars is still at Kelly
and is a museum with a Jenny and an ambulance on display. 45 days after arriving at Kelly, Dad was
sent to Austin ,
Texas for flight training but never completed
The photo of Dad in uniform was
He was then transferred to
Georgia where he was a warehouseman
and he worked with the Lewis machine gun.
He was about to receive orders to
France when the
war ended and he was ‘mustered’ out 27 March 1919.
Looks like a Handley Page 400 to me - BK
He brought home the hub and part of one
blade of the propeller blade and a friend painted a Jenny on it.
I hope you enjoyed the story. Thanks, Russ for sharing it.
More soon. Enjoy