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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

After much contemplation, I pulled the copper fuel lines out of the airplane.  I was having the old "original versus safety" debate in my mind and decided it was best to not take any chances.  The Jenny originally used copper fuel lines. I installed them for that reason but several people predicted all the problems I would have - copper lines gets brittle, they cracks, all your fuel pours out and you catch fire.  I resisted their advise.  After all, I put copper lines in a Stearman 25 years ago and they are still working fine.  But after thinking about it, I changed my mind.  We are talking fuel lines here. In this case, safety must take precedence over originality.  Aluminum lines might not be original, but they are a lot safer.  So, out came the copper lines.

Using some 3003 tubing, new lines were made.

I still have a few more lines to make (between the gascolator and the fuel tank) but you get the idea.

I went and bought the fittings to complete the job.  That will be next week's work.

In the mean time, I was reading the Hisso manual and realized that I was wrong.

Ah ha!  he water coming out of the jacket does not go into the copper tee and into the radiator.  So, where is this intake side of the water pump they are talking about?

 Found it.  All this time I thought this blue fitting was a drain.  It really is the water jacket return port.

So now I have to run a line from the jacket to this port, eliminate the copper tee and make a one piece water line.  Hope to accomplish that this weekend.

Till then, enjoy


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Water pipes

Last night, the elbows were soldered to the new flanges.

It looks convoluted, but this is the water system return to the radiator. The hoses go from the left cylinder bank to the right radiator entrance and the right cylinder bank to the left radiator entrance.  The left line had a copper tube that receives return water from the carb jacket.

We also soldered the lower water pump elbows.

And hooked up the water tube.

All these fittings need gaskets, something I plan to make next time I'm at the shop.  Till then...



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Water pump fittings

Not a lot of progress this week.  I promised the wife that I would finally cut down the diseased pine trees in the front yard and cleaning all that up has taken a huge amount of time.

But the water pump flanges were finally completed by a local machine shop!

 The elbow and flange direct the water out of the pump. Eventually, the elbow will be silver soldered to the flange. But for right now, I just wanted to make sure it fit well.

The water attached to the cylinder water jacket via a piece of heater hose.  This will be secured by a clamp later.  Again, this was a trial fit.

After the water jacket fills up, the water exits the cylinders at the top and flows to the radiator.  The radiator was designed for the OX-5 so to make it work for the Hisso, the water lines need to cross.

I did not like how the water feed line to the pump touched the bracing wires, so....

I moved the line below the wires to see if that worked better.  Nope.  It still touched the wires.  So, I accept this fact and I will put some sort of anti-chafe material between the hose and the wires. 

About those trees...

 Cutting down trees is easy.  It is the clean up that takes all the time. Luckily, I have four healthy, strong boys who do work with only a small amount of complaining.

Lastly, I took a break from chopping wood to meet members of EAA Chapter 6. 

We talked Jennies and old restoration techniques for nearly two hours.  The EAA chapter is from Newnan, GA.

Now, back to yard work. Once the trees are cut up and hauled away, the grass will be tilled, new soil added and grass seed planted.  The wife has been extremely patient with this Jenny thing, so taking a week to do yard work is a small price to pay.

More soon.  Enjoy


Thursday, February 07, 2013

Rigging the Center Section

Just a quick update - we pit the center section rigging jig in place and added the cross wires in the front and the drag wires in the back. We should have everything cotter keyed and safety wired soon.

 Oh, yea.  Brian soldered yet another wire last night!  

 Peter Petrov sent me these Jenny photos for everyone to enjoy:

Here is another Jenny with the reversed exhaust stack. These airplanes really were flying billboards.

More next week. Til then...


Monday, February 04, 2013

Center section and Step

Now that the varnish is dry, the step shim was glued in place and the step laced in place with some rib stitch cord.

There are also four wood screws holding the lower edge to the shim and longeron. 

The last part of the step will be a piece of diamond tread  which covers the exposed longeron. I will make this piece later.

Brian Eberly soldered four more wires while I was working on the step.  We then turned out attention to the center section.

We have to finish tightening all the nuts and installing cotter keys yet, but this was a big psychological step!

Here are some more of Dave Trojan's photos.

This is one way to transport a spare propeller.  Good idea!

Perhaps a 1920's modeling career was launched with this photo.....

Very few people had seen an aeroplane in 1920.  It was a big deal when an aviator came to town.

But sometimes the aviator went home differently than how he arrived.