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Micro Aviation B-20 Bantam


The B-10, too heavy for Class 1 microlight operation, was refined into the lighter B-20 with a new wing and tailplane section, less drag and a lighter engine. Refinements to the B10 design included pull-on sailcloth and fabricated ribs, resulting in the B20 designation. Appearing much trimmer and performing as well, if not better, than the heavier and more elaborate B-10 Bantam. First flown on 23 December, the B-20 was designed specifically to a lower empty weight in order to meet the microlight philosophy of a very basic flying machine. The result was a Bantam with somewhat better performance than the B-10 and the only penalty being a smaller fuel tank with consequently less endurance. The geared Rotax fitted to the B-20 is much quieter than the belt driven version fitted to the B-10, one B-10 owner has already made the conversion to a geared engine.
Designed by the Max Clear and John Smith design team at Te Kowhai, the B-20 has replaced the B-10 on the production line. The first production B-20 (s/n 0015) was delivered south by pilot Otto Gram to the South Island's West Coast in early February. After a production run of 17 were built during 1985, the B-20 itself was superseded by the B-22. Two were exported to Australia. There were minor differences, the most significant being the "flaperons" which enhanced an already excellent take-off performance with a reduced approach speed. Conventional 3-axis controls.


Whereas the B 10 was an individually constructed (or at least individually finished) aircraft, the B 20 was the built as the start of the assembly line at Micro Aviation at Te Kowhai.

The B 20 had the same basic airframe as the B 10 but with a differently shaped pod and without the drooped wingtips.  It had a tapered wing and a different airfoil to the B 10.  It also had pre-sewn covers for the flying surfaces (whereas the B 10 had ceconite fabric glued to the airframe).  Original examples had a Rotax 447 engine.  15 Bantam B 20s were made at Te Kowhai before production geared up with Micro Aviation producing the two seat Bantam B 22.


Engine: Rotax 447, 40 hp.
Wing span: 8.69m.
Length: 5.15m.
Empty wt: 114 kg.
MAUW: 250 kg.
Max cruise: 93 kph.
Range: 170 km.


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