Pensioner crafts Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance replica

  • 30 November 2013
  • From the section England
Pilot Mark Howard-Smith, Peter Williams, critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley, Dr Will Davies and pilot Dan Kitteridge
Image caption The charity will display the helicopter at fundraising events

A former Royal Navy medic has built a model of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance to help raise money for the charity that operates it.

Peter Williams, 80, from Frimley in Surrey, spent 18 months crafting the replica of the twin-engine MD902 Explorer.

Made of components including a handbag and cocktail sticks, the replica also features battery-operated rotor blades.

The charity will display it at fundraising events at its Redhill base.

Mr Williams spent 12 years with the Royal Navy before re-training and becoming a mechanical designer.

He also worked as a technical illustrator, designing service handbooks.

He said he decided to build the helicopter after he was struck with health problems and poor mobility.

"I wanted something to concentrate my mind and get the old grey matter working," he said.

"So I visited the base and took some photos and I found the aircraft manufacturer's manual on the internet."

He added: "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 as possible and I nearly took a hammer to it."

Mr Williams previously built a model of the warship HMS Cumberland, which went on display at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.

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