servos recovered from a deceased airframe. That will turn a nice-looking 11-inch, three-blade propeller.
One challenge is the distinctively shaped spinner. My ParkZone
Bf 109 is close. I’d better order another from my hobby shop.
As for skills, I’ll need to laminate outlines, solder, and cover—
nothing too exotic on this project.
M. 20 Project Breakdown
The following partial outline shows my approach to this project.
Of course, this is only one of many ways to handle it.
a. Locate motor, ESC, servos,
covering, 1/32 balsa
b. Pick up hinges, wheels,
c. Order spinner, short kit
a. Laminate outlines
1. Make up forms
• Trace tail outlines on paper
• Spray mount to foam board
• Cut on scroll saw
2. Soak wood
• Cut balsa strips
• Fill tub with water/
• Soak 24 hours
3. Laminate and cure
b. Build frameworks over
c. Sheet fin and horizontal
a. Build left side over plans
b. Build right side
• Mount battery tray, wing
bolt pad, and wing pin pad
• Install formers then side
c. Build hatch
• Install formers, leaving a
gap between hatch former and
• Slide hatch rails into place
(this order is important!)
d. Install stringers (skip a
couple on one side until the
controls are rigged)
V. Control surfaces
You can see that this is a simple exercise that can be done on a
notepad or in Excel. In only a couple of minutes, a few conflicts
have been identified. For instance, closing up the fuselage with
stringers will complicate installing the controls later. With a little
more time, the entire build can be outlined.
I often hear stories from other builders about stalled projects.
I suspect that workflow planning could have kept many of them
moving to the finish line.
From here, this series will take a slight turn. During the next
four articles, I’ll tackle the construction of the M. 20. I’ll focus
on particular techniques rather than the normal step-by-step
instructions. These techniques will apply to any balsa build.
Manzano Laser Works
Graphic Clipboard Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com.
45 Model Aviation JUNE 2015 www.ModelAviation.com