I first started flying remote control airplanes back in the day when I was a teenager. Back when you actually had to build the plane out of balsa wood and electric propulsion did not exist. Yeah, a while ago. I only flew for a few years and then late teens/early 20’s hit and that was that. But I always wanted to get back into it and did this past Thanksgiving when I was visiting Brian, my ABQ friend, who I flew with back in the day.
We both purchased planes from the local hobby shop and went flying. Boy, is it really easy to get into the hobby these days with ready to fly foam aircraft of all types available. Much more enjoyable than gluing your fingers together with super glue as you spend weeks building up an aircraft.
The main organization that supports the hobby back then, and today, is the Academy of Model Aeronautics. I was a member back in the day and joined again when I got back into the hobby. The AMA is based in Muncie, Indiana, just a bit east of Indianapolis, so as I headed east I thought I would stop by and check them out.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics has a incredible 1000 acre facility in what was once farmland. The AMA started in Reston, Virginia but started a search in the late 1980’s for a much larger facility that they had the room for flying facilities and was more centrally located in the US. They ended up purchasing the current property in Muncie and officially moving there in 1992 (after I had quit flying the first time).
National Model Aviation Museum
The National Model Aviation Museum is located on this property and houses a great collection displaying the history of model aviation. Everything from original control line airplanes, to early radios (transmitters/receivers) up through modern engines and kits. They even have a mock up of an old fashioned hobby store with the shelves fully stocked. Very cool!
International Aeromodeling Center
The International Aeromodeling Center takes up the majority of the AMA’s 1000 acres and consists of multiple facilities for different types of flying activities. This includes 4 separate runways, areas for soaring (gliders), pylon flying, combat, helicopters and more. Did I mention how impressive this facility is? I honestly had no idea this existed and it sure made me consider moving to Muncie to take advantage of this place. Consider for about a millisecond, that is until I remembered where exactly Muncie is located. But it certainly is an impressive facility!
Since I was towing my house as I toured the grounds, I quickly zeroed in on the RV sites that they have available in several locations. Apparently you can camp there very inexpensively, which would be a brilliant idea if I ever find myself in that part of the world again.
I am definitely glad I made the slight detour to Muncie as I headed east to visit the AMA’s facility. It certainly appealed to my model aircraft side.