July History Moments

Week 4- July 29, 2011: No Nats during WWII

In 1942, the Nats were planned for Chicago with Chicago Park District and Chicago Times as sponsors, to be held July 26 to August 1, but were cancelled due to restrictions on travel and gasoline, as well as many modelers going off to war. The Nats remained on hiatus for another three years. In celebration of the war’s end, the 1946 contests were deemed the “Victory Nats.”

Thank you to all of our modeling veterans for their valiant effort during this hard time. Here is a list of all the Nats, from the first (and before!) to the present.

1923: St. Louis, MO area
1924: Dayton, OH
1925: Hampstead, NY
1926: Philadelphia, PA
1927: Memphis, TN (finals)
1928-1930: Detroit, MI
1931: Dayton OH
1932: Atlantic City, NJ
1933: New York, NY
1934: Akron, OH
1935: St. Louis, MO
1936-1939: Detroit, MI
1940-1941: Chicago, IL
1942-1945: Cancelled due to WWII
1946: Wichita, KS
1947: Minneapolis and Monticello, MN
1948-1949: Naval Air Station at Olathe, KS
1950-1951: Naval Air Station at Dallas, TX
1952: Naval Air Station at Los Alamitos, CA
1953: Naval Air Station at Willow Grove, PA
1954: Naval Air Station at Glenview, IL
1955: Naval Air Station at Los Alamitos, CA
1956: Naval Air Station at Dallas, TX
1957: Naval Air Station at Willow Grove, PA
1958: Naval Air Station at Glenview, IL
1959: Naval Air Station at Los Alamitos, CA
1960: Naval Air Station at Dallas, TX
1961: Naval Air Station at Willow Grove, PA
1962: Naval Air Station at Glenview, IL
1963: Naval Air Station at Los Alamitos, CA
1964: Naval Air Station at Dallas, TX
1965: Naval Air Station at Willow Grove, PA
1966: Naval Air Station at Glenview, IL
1967: Naval Air Station at Los Alamitos, CA
1968: Naval Air Station at Olathe, KS
1969: Naval Air Station at Willow Grove, PA
1970-1972: Naval Air Station at Glenview, IL
1973: Oshkosh, WI
1974-1975: Lake Charles, LA
1976: Dayton, OH (Wright Field & Springfield)
1977: Riverside, CA
1978: First R/C Helicopter event, Lake Charles, LA
1979: Lincoln, NE
1980: Dayton, OH (Wright Field & Wilmington)
1981: Seguin, TX
1982: Lincoln, NE
1983: Westover Air Force Base, MA
1984: Reno, NV
1985: Westover Air Force Base, MA
1986: Lake Charles, LA
1987: Lincoln, NE
1988: Tidewater, VA
1989: Tri Cities, WA (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland) and Moscow, ID
1990-1991: Lawrenceville, IN
1992: Westover Air Force Base, MA
1993: Lawrenceville, IN and Johnson City, TN
1994: Lubbock, TX
1995: Tri Cities, WA; Lawrenceville, IL; Muncie, IN; Moscow, ID
1996-2012: Outdoor events in Muncie, IN; Indoor events in Johnson City, TN
2013: Outdoor events in Muncie, IN; Indoor events in Champaign, IL
2014: Outdoor events in Muncie, IN; Indoor events in Moscow, ID
2015: Outdoor events in Muncie, IN; Indoor events in Colorado Springs, CO
2016: Outdoor events in Muncie, IN; Indoor events in Rantoul, IL
2017: Most Outdoor events in Muncie, IN; Precision Aerobatics in Blytheville, AR; Indoor events in Rantoul, IL
(Last updated May 2017)

Nats advertisement, 1938 [Source: National Model Aviation Museum Archives, #0001 AMA Collection]


Week 3 - July 21, 2011: The 50,000th AMA member, Don Lockwood

Born in 1912, Donald J. (Don) Lockwood was the 50,000th member of the AMA.

He was on the Illinois Model Aero Club team at the 1925 National Air Races; they won the Mulvihill trophy. He also served as a contest director for the club for many years.  By 1928, he held five or six recorded national model airplane-flying records. In 1929, he was the youngest member of the Aero Club of Illinois, flying full-scale airplanes. In the mid-1960s, he served as their president.

Don was inducted into the Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) Hall of Fame in 1992.

For more information about Lockwood and other modelers, please visit the History Program’s biography pages at http://www.modelaircraft.org/museum/whatshere/abc.aspx.


Week 2 - July 14, 2011: First Nats in Muncie, 1996
15 years ago this month was the first year the Nats was held completely in Muncie, Indiana (albeit without Indoor Nats, still held in Johnsonville, Tennessee.) Competitions were held from July 7 through August 3. The year before, the Nats had been held in many cities, quite an undertaking for an organization of the AMA’s size. Control Line and Radio Control Scale events were held in Washington State’s Tri-Cities; Indoor Free Flight was at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho; Pattern and Pylon was at the Mid-America Air Center in Lawrenceville, Illinois; and Radio Control Electric, Outdoor Free Flight, Radio Control Soaring, and Helicopter events were in Muncie.

With the new site at Muncie completed in early 1996 (termed the “International Aeromodeling Center,” or IAC), the Nats could be held in one spot every year, with all HQ staff on-hand to support the activities of the modelers competing. Every year since, the outdoor Nats have been held here on site. Come join us this year for the 85th anniversary of the Nats!


75th Anniversary Nats logo. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Archives, #0001 AMA Collection)


Week 1 - July 7, 2011: The Navy Nats

Between 1948 and 1972, the US Navy allowed the AMA to hold Nats competitions on its’ Naval Air Stations (NASs.)
Navy Nats Naval Air Stations locations by year:

1948-1949: Olathe, Kansas
1950-1951: Dallas, Texas
1952: Los Alamitos, California
1953: Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
1954: Glenview, Illinois
1955: Los Alamitos, California
1956: Dallas, Texas
1957: Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
1958: Glenview, Illinois
1959: Los Alamitos, California
1960: Dallas, Texas
1961: Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
1962: Glenview, Illinois
1963: Los Alamitos, California
1964: Dallas, Texas
1965: Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
1966: Glenview, Illinois
1967: Los Alamitos, California
1968: Olathe, Kansas
1969: Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
1970-1972: Glenview, Illinois

This quarter-century relationship had some great moments. Here are a few mementos from that time:


1.  2.

1. Nats Program, 1948, front [Source: National Model Aviation Museum Archives, #0001 AMA Collection]
2. Nats Program, 1955, front [Source: National Model Aviation Museum Archives, #0001 AMA Collection]

3. 
4.

3.1969 Nats, Willow Grove, PA. Modelers showing off their club t-shirts. [Source: National Model Aviation Museum Archives, #0001 AMA Collection]
4. 1969 Nats, Willow Grove, PA. Building Delta Darts with kids. [Source: National Model Aviation Museum Archives, #0001 AMA Collection]

5.   6.  

5. 1971 Nats, Glenview, Illinois. Unknown young modeler launching. [Source: National Model Aviation Museum Archives, #0001 AMA Collection]
6. 1980 Nats, Dayton, Ohio. [Source: National Model Aviation Museum Archives, #0001 AMA Collection]