National Aeromodeling Historic Site 2006 -

George J. Maloof Memorial Airpark "Rattlesnake Park"

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The plaque reads:

National Aeromodeling Historic Landmark Recognized and Dedicated by the Academy of Model Aeronautics

Established in 1955, this premier flying site, affectionately known as "Rattlesnake Park," is the year-round home to the Albuquerque Radio Control Club.

This site hosted the early development of commercial proportional radio control systems, as well as early twin-engine R/C flight. The park continues as one of the busiest in the Albuquerque park system. For over 50 years, the Albuquerque Radio Control Club has hosted annual year-round sport and competitive flying events enjoyed by the entire community.

Dedicated on September 2, 2006.

In the early 1950's, the Albuquerque Radio Control Club (ARCC), approached the city of Albuquerque about the possibility of creating a model airplane flying field stating that the Sandia Laboratory was using radio-controlled aircraft for experiments. The city agreed and allocated land on the west side of town.

The original flying field featured a 300’ X 300’ asphalt runway with shade structures located on both the East and West sides of the runway for morning and evening flying. Due to flight pattern problems the West side structure soon was removed. Besides the structure interference, the modelers also faced problems with rattlesnakes and resulted in the nickname “Rattlesnake Park.”

Over the years the use of the field increased and by the 1970s, the paved runways were in need of enlargement and repair. The club approached the city about the updates to the park and the issue was presented to the voters. While the voters approved a bond for the project, unfortunately the repairs were not made. Club members therefore went directly to the city’s Mayor and a prominent local family, the Maloofs, for help. The result was $150,000 worth of improvements and included extending the North / South runway and paving a new cross runway, building a radio impound area, and installing picnic tables, BBQ pits and bathrooms. An additional donation made by the Maloof brothers resulted in the name being changed to the George J. Maloof Memorial Airpark.

While the site had been improved, in 2004 it was further enhanced with the addition of three helicopter pads and an additional shade structure.

Over the years the club sites their involvement with the community as being instrumental to the success of the field.