These spats have been sanded to shape, filled
with putty, and sealed with varnish.
At the other end, the torque rod is connected
to the servo with an arm from an aluminum
tube, a short control rod, and an EZ
A sharpened screw marks
the location on the sheeting
for the wing bolt hole.
The landing gear is built by gluing a stack
of balsa and plywood layers together with a
music wire strut in the center pocket.
control rod at
the other end
with a Du-Bro
aileron end, drill
a hole through
the LE of the
aileron for the
to fit into. A
little scrap wood
can be used to
form a receiver
for the wire.
The result is a completely hidden linkage with almost no
The M. 20’s wing is attached at the front with a wing pin.
The wing pin is made from a 1/4-inch piece of hardwood dowel
that is glued into a hole drilled through the LE and into the
center ribs. The pin fits into a reinforced hole in the former in
the front of the wing pocket.
The back of the wing is attached with a 1/4 x 20 nylon screw
that runs through the wing from the bottom, up through a pad
in the fuselage, and into a nylon nut. Roughen one side of the
nut with 60-grit sandpaper and epoxy it to the top of the wing
Put a little grease on the screw and thread it into the nut
while the epoxy cures. This ensures that the nut is lined
up and it keeps the threads free of epoxy. Turn that screw
periodically as the epoxy sets up.
The correct spot for the hole through the wing can be found
by replacing the screw with a sharpened 1/4-20 stud. Put the
fuselage on the wing and the wing pin in its hole. Line up the
back of the wing with the wing pocket. Press the back of the
wing gently into the sharpened stud. Drill the through hole
where the mark was left in the sheeting.
The oversized spats covering the M. 20’s landing gear really
define this airplane. Miles only built two M.20s and they could
easily be distinguished by the shape of their spats. The Royal
Air Force received the huge style shown here, while the Royal
Navy’s Fleet Air Arm got a trimmed-down version.
construction of the
spats by bending
the wire strut as
shown on the
plans. Next, pin
the center layer of
balsa to the plans.
Glue five shaped
layers of wood to
one side of the
center layer. After
it is cured, unpin
the assembly and
epoxy the wire
strut into the pocket in the center layer. Next, stack up the
appearance to a
shapely spat that
only needs a little
filler. Plaster or
works well for this.
Sand the filled spat with 120-grit sandpaper, followed by 220-
grit sandpaper. Seal with water-based polyurethane or another
Make an axle from music wire or carbon-fiber tube and run
it through the holes in the spat to trap a 3-inch lightweight
wheel, and the landing gear is done.
Until Next Time
Now that the airframe is complete, we can move on to
covering. The next time we meet we’ll test out an updated
spin on silk and dope.
M. 20 build log
Manzano Laser Works
Building the M. 20 Tail Group
Building the M. 20 Fuselage
32 Model Aviation SEP TEMBER 2015 www.ModelAviation.com