Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Project From The Past.... A 3D Printed JN4D Jenny Aircraft

This week at the Tinker's Workshop I have been working on a project that has combined two of my interests at the same time.  One as most of all of you already know is 3D printing and the other is airplanes.  I thought it would be fun to create a model of the famous World War One trainer the JN4D Jenny.  So with this posting I thought I would give you a look at how the project is coming along so far.  The first thing that is called for as is with most of my projects is research on what I plan on making. 

 I started by tracking down some photos of the famous plane that I will recreate using my 3D printer. 

I wanted to make a biplane model and I always liked the look of this famous plane and so the project was born. These photos are a good start but did not give me enough info to layout the computer model to design the model.

I was lucky enough to come across this image online to get me started with this project.  The JN4D plans here were designed to make a balsa wood rubber band flying plane.  I do not have that in mind for this project.  I am going for a larger model completely printed using my 3D printer. (That's the plan anyway). The balsa plans would build a 24 inch wingspan flying model  and my plane will have a 36 inch wingspan and will have more detail in it than would be put into a flying model. So more research was called for. 

I found some photos of a replica Jenny that were taken at the Museum of Flight in Seattle Washington. A beautiful example of a Jenny to say the least.  With this photo and a couple more shown below I was able to get a better idea of how my model should look. 

My model will look very similar to what you see in these photos. (I hope). I do not plan on covering the model with a skin so that all of the internals of the plane can easily be seen and enjoyed. 

Along with my research I have been finding out some interesting facts about the Jenny.  The upper wing is 36 feet long and the lower wing was only 28 feet long.  The plane only cruised around 60-65 mph with a top speed being only 75 mph.  Not surprising with all of the wires and struts causing all of the drag on the plane.  The landing gear for the plane used a tail skid at the rear and the main landing wheels were 26 inches in diameter. It was a primary trainer during WW1 and was supposed to be easy to fly.  Would be fun to take a ride in one that's for sure.

So with the photos and the research I have collected this week, here is how my model looks so far in my computer.  It's starting to look like the real thing anyway and that's a start. 

All that you see in my computer model can be printed using my 3D printer.  The wingspan as I said earlier will be 36 inches and the total length of the model will be around 22 1/2 inches.  This calculates out to 1:14.5 scale. I thought I would either hang it from my ceiling in my computer room either that or on one of the walls.  Will make a nice display in both cases.

I am liking how the detail is coming together in the computer design. I still will have to work out the landing gear, seat mounts, propeller, engine, etc, etc.  So I have a ways to go.  But at least the project looks possible at this point.  I'll keep you posted as I finalize the computer model and start working on printing out parts. 
  I'm not sure about the color for the plane just yet.  What you see here as far as color goes is only set up this way so that I can make sense of all of the parts in the final computer model assembly.  I thought possibly that the planes fuselage would be in red with white wings.  It's and idea anyway.  I'll just have to play around with a couple of ideas before I start making parts. Stay tuned for further developments.

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