The Acad­emy of Model Aero­nau­tics

Model Airplane News - - TIPS&TRICKS -

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.

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