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Old Dec 18, 2014, 01:01 AM
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Scale Build Off 4: 45" Miles M.20 (the sequel)

RCDan and I entered last year's SBO3 with a fresh design. Life got in the way when we got to the building phase, but I'm going to dust this project off and take another run at it for SBO4.

Here is some recycled info from the previous thread describing this aircraft:


"[T]he Miles M.20. Only two copies of this odd little airplane were built, one for the RAF and one for the Royal Navy. Responding to fighter losses during the Battle of Britain, the original design challenge presented to Miles was to produce a simple, wooden light fighter that could be churned out in larger numbers than the Spits and Hurris.

The performance of the M.20 was respectable, but interest in the type wained with the conclusion off the Battle of Britain.

I stumbled across a photo online and thought that it was a prototype of the Tempest. After looking more closely, the proportions appeared to be perfect for RC. Dan and I were both interested in a warbird with fixed gear. Lastly, it just seems weird enough to grab some attention at the field."
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Last edited by Longhorne; Dec 30, 2014 at 12:18 AM.
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 08:14 AM
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The "pro" in procrastination
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Hey Paul,

Great to see this one resurrected.

Steve
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 09:24 AM
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I am back for another go round. This was one of my favs from SBO3

Jim
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 12:49 PM
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Count me as subscribed

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Old Dec 18, 2014, 10:38 PM
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So glad she gets another chance Definitely following!

raipe
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Old Dec 19, 2014, 07:10 AM
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Oh no, not again!
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+1

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Old Dec 19, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Thanks very much, all! Happy to be a part of this SBO with so many cool projects underway.

Bear with me for just a little more review from the previous thread. That one covered the CAD design work in detail. If interested, that thread can be found here:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2067288

In this thread, I'll just offer the finished CAD project so that we can see where we are heading.

Next stop: gluing stuff!
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Old Dec 19, 2014, 11:23 AM
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Or current resident
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Signing on to see round two of this one!
Where is ole dan-o anyway?
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Old Dec 19, 2014, 11:38 AM
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Subscribed! This looks like a sweet build.

Joe
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Old Dec 19, 2014, 02:28 PM
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So I'M meant to be in control?
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Old Dec 19, 2014, 04:02 PM
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Hey Paul,

Good to see this one getting built, I was really looking forward to it last time around.
Definitely a cool bird, and different..... just how I like them.

Later,
Dean
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 12:50 AM
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Well, I suspect that ol' Dan will show up sooner or later

As promised, here is some new progress. Not much new here, but for the uninitiated here is the process.

The laminations for the tail group outlines were done a couple of weeks ago.

The forms were made from a sheet of foam core posterboard that was laying around. Copies of the the tail parts were mounted with 3M spray adhesive. After the outlines were cut out, a little tape around the edge kept glue from sticking to the form.

Balsa strips were soaked in water with a splash of ammonia for a day or two. After they softened a bit, they were wrapped around the forms with a little wood glue. After sitting pinned to the forms for a couple of weeks, they didn't spring off of the forms even a little bit.

The proto shortkit arrived from Charlie earlier this week. Been a year since my shop had the happy smell of burnt balsa!

Paul
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 08:21 AM
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Hey Paul. Last time I tried to laminate some balsa wet everytime I tried to apply glue it just beaded up and turned into a rubbery mess. The glue I was using IIRC was Elmers Carpenter glue. Ended up applying the wood around the forms and letting them dry first. Then took them off, added the glue, and put them back on. Worked just fine. Could I have had too much ammonia in the brew that caused this?

Jim
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 10:19 AM
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Hi Jim,

Yes--you hit it right on the head!

Ammonia and aliphatic glues don't play well together. I found this out the hard way, too. Not a problem at the couple of percent range, but when I threw a little ammonia in and didn't mix well I got the rubbery blobs at one end of the strips and the tame result at the other.

I've heard mixed reports regarding whether the ammonia is needed. I spent some time thinking about that, and my theory is that the ammonia is not softening the wood through chemical action. I think that what it does do is work as a surfactant that allows water to soak into the wood more quickly. It also smells better at low levels than soggy balsa

Curious to hear other opinions.

Paul
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Old Dec 20, 2014, 10:34 AM
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Slip the surly bonds...
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I'm following this build with interest. There are so few WWII monoplane fighters with fixed UC (some Japanese, Martin-Baker MB2 & 3 etc.)

I've made lots of laminated tips using both 1/32 and 1/16th balsa (often with a 0.4mm ply strip in the mix) and never used ammonia, just hot water. You do get the odd breakage or two, but I find it helps greatly to pre-bend each strip round a suitable thing like a baked bean tin (choose your own vegetable). If you hold one end on the tin and use your thumb to force the wet balsa strip round the curve of the tin it hardly ever breaks, for some reason!

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