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Mark Stevens 1

offline Member Offline
Name: Mark Stevens
County/State: Conwy
Country: United Kingdom

More about me:

Born in Aldershot so that should give you a bit of a clue that I come from an Army background.

My Father started out in 7 R.H.A (Para) before moving to R.E.M.E. He became very qualified in all aspects of aircraft and maintenance to the extent that he actually ended up flying them and spending much time seconded to the Army Air Corps. He also spent much time at the R.A.E. in Farnborough and was there when the Lynx Helicopter was being developed and first shown to the public. My Father flew both fixed wing & Helicopters.

For me, I remember from about 5 years old, my Father was building balsa and tissue covered rubber powered models which he used to launch from the upstairs bedroom windows with me watching beside him. Just 6 years later I would be building my own from classic KeilKraft kits. 

In 1976, (aged 13)  Whilst living in Cyprus, I got my hands on my first model with an AM 1.5 Diesel engine fitted - a free flight glider type with a de-thermaliser device fitted on the tailplane. (The previous owner had been posted back to the UK so passed on the model to my Father for me) My first introduction to IC engines and diesels....I still have what is left of that engine today, I also have another older one in Mint Condition and 2 PAW .19 Diesels. Great Engines when they are set up right.

I was also fortunate to be able to try one of the very few R/C Helicopters around at the time (rare in Cyprus then indeed) The owner was one of the guys trying to start up a model flying club - flying fields were no problem as there were plenty of them within the base. I enjoyed my few short hops with that R/C Heli under very watchful eyes and No Gyros back then at that time !!  ...something that was definitely going to bounce back a few short years later. 

In the meantime I continued building numerous KeilKraft Kits along with my friends at that time and having good fun with them.

Moved back to the UK late 1977 and after getting sorted from 2 house moves - Dad decided to give up the Army house and buy his own ready for when he left the Army. I got back to business with the model building but now doing control line models - The original AM diesel that I had went into a control line combat / stunt plane called BIG OTTO (American Kit - see my photos) - The next was a KeilKraft Demon which I had for Xmas in 1978 - That was fitted with an Enya .09 (Also in my photos with the BIG OTTO)

In 1980, I actually purchased my first R/C set on 10/05/80...The licence had just been scrapped from 01/05/80. The first model I had actually built for R/C back in 1980 was a boat but it was not the first model that my new radio went into. The boat was built but not fully fitted or finished and went on the shelf for later.

I got my hands on a nice 2nd hand Mardave car with a Veco .19 fitted - radio went in that and I had a lot of fun. I also had a few bodyshells which I painted up (by hand) in custom schemes. The car and all 3 shells sold straight away when I decided to it.

My first plane arrived on the scene after that - a Piper Cub L4H - I built it  from the free plans either from Radio Modeller or RCM&E at the time. I had a new PAW .19 Diesel then and it was a perfect fit for this plane. 

So began my introduction to R/C Flying with my own radio and great fun it was too.

Sold the Piper Cub and then went on from there building a few more planes and then in 1983 - got my own first helicopter (no gyro but a fully aerobatic machine at the same time - that is my profile pic)

Since then I have also built a slope soarer (flown at the Great Orme in Llandudno) and various other R/C Models including more planes, cars, boats a tank and a large (.40 powered) hovercraft.

I have now gone back to what I enjoy most though - Helicopters. I started with 1 and then 10 years later I got my 2nd. Since 2010 I have gone from 2 to 8 helicopters lol :) 5 of those are Vintage nitro machines which I really do enjoy flying. The oher is still a fun sport machine and the remaining 2 are small current electric powered ones - fun but i prefer Nitro machines any day .

I'm 50 now but have 40 years model building experience behind me, including designing and building my own planes.

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Last online: 22/04/2020 10:55:27

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Has home isolation prompted you to start trad' building?
Q: The effects of Coronavirus

 Yes - for the first time
 Yes - but Ive bashed balsa before
 No - Ive existing projects on the bench
 No - Im strictly an ARTF person

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