In the 1960s, model aviation was still a fairly enticing hobby to boys captivated by the sights, sounds, and smells of airplanes, helicopters, and rockets. Indeed, that was the era that began my lifelong engagement in model building and flying. The U.S. Navy sponsored the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) National Competition (Nats) for many years in hopes of providing a segue into naval aviation through aeromodelling. Somehow, local television stations and newspapers never bothered to give the sport much air time or print space, respectively. A quick search of the local Muncie, Indiana, TV stations did not turn up any instances of coverage even though AMA headquarters is in its backyard and is a major source of revenue and good will for the community. This 1967 issue of Model Aviation reports on an ABC Wide World of Sports (famous for its tag line "The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat") episode scheduled to feature the AMA Nats. Evidently, it had not aired at the time the magazine was published. I could not a video anywhere online. Does anyone know whether it really did air?
1967 Nats on TV
ABC's Wide World of Sports is expected to feature the 1967 National Model Airplane Championships, held at Los Alamitos, Calif., last July. According to advance planning the program was to highlight RC pylon racing but might also show other events. It was also indicated by a TV. representative that the program would probably be shown nationally during the fall.
Arrangements were made between the Academy of Model Aeronautics, ABC, and also Naval Air Museum officials. Basic purpose of the program is to publicize the need for funds to build a new museum at Pensacola, Florida. One of the principal officers of the project is Admiral (Ret. Robert Pirie, whom many may remember as the distinguished-looking white bearded Navy officer who awarded the major trophies at the 1961 Nats in Willow Grove.
The Admiral became associated with the museum project and an opportunity developed for publicity through TV. He remembered the tremendous Nats crowds and the natural tie between AMA and Navy interests. From this were developed talks between HQ people (John Worth and George Wells) and ABC which led to the TV program.
ABC Wide World of Sports (not the 1967 AMA Nats episode, unfortunately) "The Thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat."
New - Digest of AMA Competition Events
On the following two pages is the first of a series of feature articles to be published each month. The series has been developed to answer many questions for those unfamiliar with model flying competition. It is intended to help clarify details of events described in the Official Model Aircraft Regulations of the Academy of Model Aeronautics - commonly known as the AMA rule book.
Correspondence received by AMA HO indicates that many new members of the Academy and also non-members are interested in learning what contest activity is like: what the basics of the rules are, what details of model design are important for a given competition event and what flying or other techniques are important to an event. The series is designed to provide in relatively simple and condensed form the factors which make an event distinctive and the basic requirements which must be met.
A reprint service with additional information is also available, to supplement the series. Reprints of any article will be available from AMA HO for 25¢ each, postpaid, and will include a source directory. The directory lists other magazine articles which apply to the event, both for model design or flying techniques. It also lists manufacturers of applicable kits, manufacturers of products and accessories which are commonly used in the event.
The initial reprint, for the Class III RC event, will be available Sept. 1. Order from Academy of Model Aeronautics, 1239 Vermont Ave., N.W., Wash., D.C. 20005. A copy of the AMA rule book may also be ordered from this address. Price is 50¢.
Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form
of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey
through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo,