Friday, 19 May 2017

The Other Wooden Wonder

Although the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito is remembered as "The Wooden Wonder," there was another plane that almost claimed the title before it.

The Miles M.20 was originally conceived as a low-cost, single-engine, wooden monoplane fighter and to be based on the already in production Miles "Master" trainer. In June 1939, a mockup was displayed to the British Air Ministry, but due to low interest at the time, the project was shelved.  

One year later, with World War Two well under way, a revised Mark II of the design was presented then built and first flown that September. Despite showing good maneuverability and acceptable performance, the first prototype was written off in a crash on February 1941. The cause was determined to be the brakes locking upon landing.

A second prototype was offered as a seaborne, catapult launched fighter for coastal and merchant marine ships. First flying in April 1941, the second prototype produced mixed results, despite the weight saving and structural improvements. Hawker Aircraft's entry of Sea Hurricane Mk IA was seen as the more favorable choice and the Miles M.20 program came to a close, the last prototype scrapped in November 1943.

In World of Warplanes, the Miles M.20 is a premium, tier V British Fighter. Other than sharing armament with it's same nation peers, performance and flight characteristics are more akin to Japanese fighters. Low operational altitude, weak climb and very good maneuverability, but with British camouflage and roundels.

Although not a strong, favorite aircraft among some in the community, the Miles M.20 is still a very capable plane, once it's limitations are learned and used to their full advantages....

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