The Academy of Model Aeronautics
Before the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), modelers had to belong to a variety of organizations, including the Junior Air League, the Junior Aviation League, and the Junior NAA (the model-airplane branch of the National Aeronautic Association). Although the Junior NAA sponsored the first National Aeromodeling Championships (referred to as the “Nats”) in 1923, the idea for the AMA began in 1935. Interested in forming a self-governing body, modelers wanted a single voice to develop national rules for contests and to speak to the government. In 1936, the AMA was located in the RCA Building, Rockefeller Center, in New York City. Later that year, the AMA headquarters moved to Washington, D.C., as part of the National Aeronautic Association. In 1940, the AMA moved its offices to the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., and this was the first time that the AMA had separate offices from the NAA, along with its own budget and officers. It wasn’t until 1966, however, that the AMA became a fully independent organization. In 1979, the AMA purchased property in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., to build a new AMA headquarters and the National Model Aviation Museum, which officially opened on September 24, 1983. Soon after, the AMA began looking for a location for a national flying site, and in 1992, a location in Muncie, Indiana, was chosen. Two years later, after moving the AMA collection from Virginia to its new site in Indiana, the museum reopened to the public. The new Frank V. Ehling Complex not only housed the museum but also the Lee Renaud Memorial Library as well as the AMA headquarters. The AMA eventually outgrew the building, and so in 2001, a new AMA headquarters building was opened for business, housing all the administrative offices.