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Support the Academy of Model Aeronautics

The AMA is a foundation organization of the RC hobby


AMA logo

AMA logo

The Academy of Model Aeronautics is a non-profit organization headquartered in Muncie, Indiana. The Academy of Model Aeronautics is focused on promoting model aviation as a sport, as well as a fun hobby and recreational activity.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics has over 170,000 members, sponsors over 1,000 model airplane competitions a year, and charters over 2,500 local model aircraft flying clubs. AMA headquarters owns large adjacent flying fields and sponsors all manner of model airplane contests. The Academy of Model Aeronautics also sponsors a very complete historic model airplane museum.

I have been a member of AMA since 1973, and I recommend that anyone flying radio control model airplanes, even if just ready to fly micro planes, consider joining the Academy of Model Aeronautics. A few reasons follow.

AMA Park Pilot logo

AMA's innovative Park Pilot program

AMA and local clubs

Joining the AMA allows you to be part of a local Academy of Model Aeronautics model airplane club. While not all of your club members will be flying smaller aircraft, you will have fun being part of this group and getting to know a wide variety of fellow local modelers. You will be amazed at the amount of information some of the more senior members will have on new indoor arenas for model airplane flying and events that you would never discover on your own.

AMA booth

AMA trade show booth, to include a presence at the E-Fest RC plane fun fly

The Academy of Model Aeronautics publishes out a monthly magazine called Model Aviation, which is a first class publication covering all aspects of the flying model aircraft hobby.

The AMA has a large archive of free flight aircraft plans that make ideal conversions for micro RC airplane projects. There is excellent coverage of various electric models and contests as well as building tips and reviews of the latest RC airplane products. AMA membership gives you access to a “members only” section of the AMA website, where you can peruse entire Model Aviation magazine issues going back to 1975. Maybe you can even publish one of your own plans in Model Aviation.

AMA and indoor RC model airplanes

The Academy of Model Aeronautics has also taken immediate note of the rise in popularity of smaller radio control model aircraft, as well as their close cousins, park flyer aircraft. There is a dedicated area of the AMA organization and website to Park Pilots, to include a beginner’s section, tips for flying and flying model reviews. The AMA defines a park flyer as a model airplane that uses an electric motor, weighs less than two pounds, cannot go faster than 60 miles an hour, and remains in the pilot’s line of sight during all flight maneuvers. Stevens AeroModel has a great line of balsa kit park flyers here.


AMA and the future of the radio control airplane hobby

But perhaps the most important reason for any radio control pilot to be a part of a national organization like the Academy of Model Aeronautics is to ensure your voice is heard in Washington. We live in very interesting times regarding radio control model aviation, a time not like any other before in the history of the hobby. With the very valid national security concerns since the 9/11 attacks in New York City, the Federal government is taking an extremely close look at any form of remote controlled aircraft. This ties in very closely with the rapidly expanding use of remotely piloted vehicles by the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies.

AMA museum

Model airplane museum at AMA headquarters in Muncie, Indiana

The Academy of Model Aeronautics is the voice of over 170,000 law abiding aircraft modelers with the Federal Aviation Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and other agencies that have a direct impact on our ability to fly radio controlled model aircraft and pursue this great hobby. Without the AMA speaking on modelers’ behalf, we would be unhappily surprised at some of the restrictions on our flights that would come out of a well meaning government agency that just did not know any better.

These issues and concerns over the very foundation of our model airplane hobby simply did not exist in the 20th century. It is vital that we fully recognize and support the crucial contribution of the Academy of Model Aeronautics towards our freedom to fly radio control model aircraft pretty much anywhere and at anytime that we wish. Your membership in the Academy of Model Aeronautics is the most practical and easiest way to ensure we can continue to enjoy this great hobby and sport.

Packet cover for 1908 model airplane plans

Packet cover for a series of early model aircraft plans prepared in 1908

Author: Gordon McKay

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