Mark Smith (R/C modeling pioneer)

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Mark Smith with "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"

Mark Smith (c. 1950 – 2011 ) was a pioneer in radio-controlled (R/C) model aviation. The son of Rod Smith, an early inventor of R/C equipment, Mark began building hand-launch gliders in the 6th or 7th grade. In his teens he followed his father's footsteps into R/C gliders. He later went on to designing R/C gliders like his 100-inch-wingspan Windfree[1] along with the 72-inch-wingspan Wanderer which were the best-sellers for decades. In the early 1970s he built radio-controlled seagulls for the 1972 movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ Soaring, Volume 61 ("The Windfree was designed and built by Mark Smith in 1970. This original prototype was used by Smith to capture first place at the US Nationals League of Silent Flight Tournament and other contests.")
  2. ^ Murray, Jerry. Getting into radio-controlled sports, p.106 (1979)
  3. ^ (18 November 1973). Seagull Shots Done With Plastic Gliders, Sarasota Herald-Tribune (UPI)
  4. ^ RC modeler's handbook of gliders & sailplanes, p. 16 (1976) ("They found Mark Smith, 1972 national R/C glider champion, who undertook to build a foam and fiberglass seagull...")