Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Modelmaker builds Air Ambulance replica

Photo 1: Air Ambulance Pilot Mark Howard-Smith, Peter Williams, critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley, Dr Will Davies and Pilot Dan Kitteridge pictured at the helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome

A former Royal Navy medic has built a model of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which he hopes will become a real moneyspinner for the life-saving charity.

Peter Williams, from Frimley, spent 18 months painstakingly putting together a replica of the twin-engine MD902 Explorer complete with battery-operated rotor blades.

A leather handbag, cocktail sticks and metal from a camping seat were among the materials he used to lovingly craft the helicopter to a sixth of its normal size.

On Friday, he finally presented his work of art to the Air Ambulance pilot, doctor and paramedic at their Redhill base so that the charity can display it at fundraising exhibitions.

He said: “It all started due to further problems with my health and poor mobility. I wanted something to concentrate my mind and get the old grey mater working.

“I thought the Air Ambulance was a great subject so I visited the base and took some photos and I found the aircraft manufacturer’s manual on the Internet.

“Building the fuselage was not too bad but when it came to the top engine covers it was a nightmare. It took three attempts to get it as near as true possible and I nearly took a hammer to it.”

Peter spent 12 years in the Medical Branch of the Royal Navy and served in Korea, Malta and Portsmouth before re-training in engineering and becoming a Senior Mechanical Designer.

He also worked as a Technical Illustrator designing service handbooks for a forklift company which sparked an interest in model making.

The 80-year-old has previously built a model of the cruiser HMS Cumberland which went on display at the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth.

* If you would like to make a donation to the Air Ambulance please call 01622 833833 or go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk.

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