Ken is well known to most model engine builders and was kind enough to send me the enclosed patchwork of pictures of engines Ken has built from scratch. I am in awe of the number of different engines and the workmanship. The following is an extract of the note that came with the pictures:
"I have been an aeromodeller since 1952 at the age of 12 and almost all of my flying has been with engines. In the 60's I flew class A and 1/2 A team racing using Oliver Tigers and Cubs then moving on to the Moki TR6. We were good in practice but useless in competition. I gave up after only a couple of years when my pilot sadly died of a heart attack at a very young age. However for about 20 years until about 2007 I was a well known active builder of vintage repro engines, purely for my own use as a hobbyist. Most of my engines ended up powering vintage free flight models.
In total I built around 50 individual engines of exactly 40 different designs. If necessary I made my own patterns, melted the metal and poured my own castings. For a couple of engines I made steel permold dies and produced my own castings from them. I made every part of the engines but I could not chrome plate [because it was too hazardous] and I had no cylindrical grinding facilities. All work was done in my home workshop using a Myford Super 7b, a mill-drill and drill press, a Delapena honing machine and a tilting furnace for the castings.
I was one of the original members of the "Motor Boys International" a small group of engine enthusiasts who were all about researching vintage engines and recreating them, sometimes as communal builds. The group was/is internet based with about a dozen members at its peak, from the UK, USA, Canada, and Australia. Our web site was Ron Chernich's MEN site (www.modelenginenews.org), sadly now static due to Ron's illness.
Since moving to France 4 years ago I have no workshop nor any interest in having one. I do not do engines any more but instead I have taken up drinking beer wine and coffee outside our local bars with new friends."