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    I thought I'd let our group here know of the passing of Eric Whittle. He was the builder and designer of several popular model engines. Eric lived in England but visited the states several times to attend NAMES and one of the West coast shows as well. One of his engines was stolen at the NAMES show while Eric was accepting an award for "best of show" in one of the early contests sponsored by SIC magazine. He set the engine down and when he turned around it was gone. I started a reward fund for the return of that engine and Eric did get it back under mysterious circumstances. A guy in Florida ended up with it and called our contact for it's return. He had stated that he was on his way home from NAMES and a couple of teenagers gave him the engine at a rest stop or some such. This guy didn't want the reward money and sent the engine out to the west coast without a return address as I remember it. I'll never forget how upset Eric was at his loss and how happy he was with the return of his "baby". Eric's v-8 model was serialized in Model Engineer magazine and has been one of the engines everyone wants to build. His talents and his demeanor will be missed. Ron Colonna
    • CommentAuthordavid
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2011
    Ron, thanks for letting us all know. There are so many engine builders who have written articles or I have met at a show, but they are just a name. Many of the members are closer to some and we need to recognize the people who inspire all of us.
    • CommentAuthorjay rich
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2011
    well i hope no more greats pass all of of and our ways as men and engines buliders hopefully will all be rembered is there a hall where we can rember these men ? or can we start one here ....jay
    We have lost a lot good people over the last few years. Eric was one of them.

    It is people like Eric that kept the model engineering side of things going thru the doldrums of the 90's & 2000's.

    It now seems that we are on the up now, as there are a lot more people coming into the hobby, unfortunately, not many 'old school' types, where taking a lump of metal and manually carving it to shape was always the way to do it. I suppose that is progress, CAD & CNC, unfortunately, I don't have the mental prowess any more to follow that route, and still look to my peers to show me the way with blocks of metal, paper plans and manual machines.

    I just hope that a few more good people come along to replace these masters from the past, who are sorely missed.

    • CommentAuthordavid
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2011
    I suspect one of the best ways to remember these craftsmen is by keeping their work alive by continuing to build it.
    Agree, the best way to preserve their memory is to build an engine based in their designs.
    Since I heard the bad news, been studying the V8 Aero engine, figuring out how to build the part, seems like the prefect engine to put my small CNC mill to work.
    Tend to shy away from glow engines due to the mess they make when they run, but I think I will be building this engine exactly as designed.
    That was sad news, sorry to hear that. My thoughts go out to his family and close friends.
    I would like to point out that Eric built all his engines on a Myford bench lathe with a mill attachment... no DRO either
    He was a master of set ups in his little lathe as well as a great bulider/designer.

    Cheers Eric, I will keep enjoying your articles and I may just build one of you engines one day.