Aeroplane Monthly 1976-04
D.Brown - Last-ditch defender
The Miles M-20 Single-seat Fighter (Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine).
In its original form the M.20/2 had the tailplane leading edge in line with the rudder hinge. The Merlin XX installation was similar to that in the Beaufighter II and Lancaster I, permitting easy interchangeability.
The M.20’s bubble canopy was ahead of its time, as was its high wing loading.
The picture shows the first M.20 as U9, camouflaged but with the original tail configuration. It is the only known photograph depicting an M.20 in flight. The fixed, spatted undercarriage eliminated the need for hydraulics.
The M.20/4 built to Specification N.1/41 for a Naval fighter, differed from its predecessor mainly in the design of its undercarriage fairings.
Another view of U-0228. It was later allocated serial number DR616, and survived until 1943.
The M.20 is seen in camouflage as AX834, with extended rear fuselage and tailplane moved aft.
Another view of AX834, with the four starboard gun ports clearly visible. The guns could be tilted for servicing. The wheel spats may well have proved to be mud traps had the M.20/2 gone into service.
The M.20 cockpit utilised standard Master parts.
AX834 after overshooting into a flooded sandpit in 1940. Note revised camouflage.
Two views of the M.20/1 wooden mock-up, which was inspected by Sir Kingsley Wood in 1939. The type was not ordered. Note the cranked wing to permit a shorter undercarriage - retractable at this early design stage.
Miles M.20 F.19/40