September History Moments

Week 5 - September 29, 2011: Sound

Sound is such an important issue that in 1991 the AMA dedicated a whole book towards the issue. Why? The best explanation is a quote from a 1973-1974 study by the Western Associated Modelers – Noise Level Committee that is looked at in depth in the book.

“For the past decade, noise pollution in our environment has been making its way to the top rungs of our society’s ‘problem ladder.’ Man has been ingeniously constructing machinery to advance him further into an automated environment, while at the same time tending to ignore the increase in the attendant noise output. Not long ago, noise was simply accepted as a way of life by the model builder. About four years ago, however, the public at large began to overlook the socially redeeming aspects of our hobby/sport and has been following an increasing tendency to place magnified emphasis on the noise factor. The public’s lowered tolerance of noise disturbance is becoming an ever more significant factor relative to the availability of flying sites. Moreover, modelers in increasing numbers are wanting quieter sites for their own health and comfort.”

AMA, Sound and Model Aeronautics. Academy of Model Aeronautics: Reston, VA, 1991.

The cover of  Sound and Model Aeronautics, published by the Academy of Model Aeronautics: Reston, VA, 1991.

p.s. The book is still for sale if you are interested in learning more about this issue and its effect on model aviation.


Week 4: September 22, 2011: Insurance 

“Model airplane flying isn’t dangerous, but accidents can happen.”(1)

True enough - which is why the AMA has been offering insurance coverage since 1940. At first, this coverage was voluntary and required the member to pay an extra $1.00 in addition to the dues. As of January 1, 1956 the coverage became part of the membership benefits, and the coverage extended from competition only to any time the airplane flew. If you desired more or specialized insurance, you could always call Herber Smith Morris who advertised insurance services in Model Aviation frequently.

(1) “Organizing A Contest,” Model Aviation, vol XIX, no.6, June 1956, pg 9.

1.  “Academy Insurance Program for Gas Flyers Well Underway!” The headline in Model Aviation for the April 1940 issue. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“Academy Insurance Program for Gas Flyers Well Underway,” Model Aviation, Vol. IV, No. 4, April 1940, pg. 1.])  2.  The official announcement of the changes to the insurance program, 1955. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“Liability Coverage Increases January 1,” Model Aviation, Vol. XVIII No. 11, November 1955, pg. 1.])

1.  “Academy Insurance Program for Gas Flyers Well Underway!” The headline in Model Aviation for the April 1940 issue. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“Academy Insurance Program for Gas Flyers Well Underway,” Model Aviation, Vol. IV, No. 4, April 1940, pg. 1.])

2.  The official announcement of the changes to the insurance program, 1955. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“Liability Coverage Increases January 1,” Model Aviation, Vol. XVIII No. 11, November 1955, pg. 1.])

3. Even before insurance was a standard part of AMA membership, it was a necessity. Here a club offers a tip to other clubs on how to obtain insurance for events. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“Connecticut Club Offers Insurance Tips,” Model Aviation Vol. 10, No. 4, April 1946, pg. 7.])  4. Insurance could be purchased through Herber Smith Morris, 1955. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“Morris advertisement,” Model Aviation, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, April 1955, pg. 4.])

3.  Even before insurance was a standard part of AMA membership, it was a necessity. Here a club offers a tip to other clubs on how to obtain insurance for events. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“Connecticut Club Offers Insurance Tips,” Model Aviation Vol. 10, No. 4, April 1946, pg. 7.])

4.  Insurance could be purchased through Herber Smith Morris, 1955. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“Morris advertisement,” Model Aviation, Vol. XVIII, No. 4, April 1955, pg. 4.])


Week 3: September 15, 2011: Elections

Casting your vote for officers is an important way of contributing to the AMA and its future. The election for the 1948 AMA Officers was the first where every AMA member, and not just leader members, could vote for their representatives.

Make sure you exercise this right by voting for the Executive Council positions up for grabs in 2012. Your official ballot should be in the mail soon, and but in the meantime, here’s the list of nominees for open positions

The article annoucing the first election for AMA officers that was open to the entire membership, 1947

The article annoucing the first election for AMA officers that was open to the entire membership, 1947. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library, [“AMA Elections,” Model Aviation, Vol. XI, No. 3, November 15, 1947, pg 1.])


Week 2 - September 8, 2011: International Aeromodeling Center (IAC) Grand Opening

On June 21, 1990, the Academy of Model Aeronautics’ President Don Lowe signed the official paperwork purchasing property in Muncie, Indiana. About a year later, May 7, 1991, the ground breaking was held signaling the beginning of construction.  To keep members up to date with progress on-site, Model Aviation magazine ran “Dateline: Muncie” articles and Don Lowe, (AMA President 1986 - 1995) and Vince Mankowski, AMA Executive Director 1990 - 1993, often mentioned the site in their columns.  

At long last, on June 13-14, 1992, the Grand Opening for the site was held. While visitors began arriving as much as a week in advance, the actual ribbon cutting occurred on Saturday, with Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor, Frank O’Bannon, in attendance.  An estimated 6-8,000 people were on site Saturday with another 3-5,000 on Sunday, including Mr. John Kaiser who, as winner of the Grand Opening raffle, received a one week free stay in the AMA guest house and represented the AMA Members in the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Members that attended flew Radio Controlled models and Control Line models from the L-pad, now known as site #1 while all those in attendance were able to shop in the exhibitor tent.

1.  The cover of Model Aviation annoucing the grand opening of the Muncie property

The cover of Model Aviation annoucing the grand opening of the Muncie property.  (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library [Model Aviation, June 1992, cover.])

2.  The official annoucement of the International Aeromodeling Center grand opening    3. The form to win raffle prizes while attending the Grand Opening event.

2.  The official annoucement of the International Aeromodeling Center grand opening (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library [Model Aviation, June 1992, pg. 9.])

3.  The form to win raffle prizes while attending the Grand Opening event.  (Source: National Model Aviation Musueum Archives AMA Collection #0001.)

4.  The article on the grand opening, sharing the happenings for members who couldn't attend.  5.  The article on the grand opening, sharing the happenings for members who couldn't attend.

6.  The article on the grand opening, sharing the happenings for members who couldn't attend.

4.5.6 - The article on the grand opening, sharing the happenings for members who couldn't attend. (Source: National Model Aviation Museum Library [Mankowski, Vince. "Grand Opening," Model Aviation, October 1992.])


Week 1 - September 1, 2011: AMA membership
This chart illustrates the AMA's membership numbers since 1951.

Graph compiled by Academy of Model Aeronautics staff from known membership data as of September 1, 2011.

Graph compiled by Academy of Model Aeronautics staff from known membership data as of September 1, 2011.