Searching For Aeromodeling Events In The Archives

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Written by National Model Aviation Museum staff In the Air Membership News & Updates from AMA As seen in the November 2019 issue of Model Aviation.

WE RECEIVE MANY questions at the National Model Aviation Museum pertaining to all types of modeling events. Inquiries come internally or from our members and friends in aeromodeling, and many have to do with the Nats. We have a wealth of Nats-related material.

We aren’t completely lacking information about non-Nats modeling events. We have a reasonable amount of material about international competitions such as world championships and a few cubic-foot boxes of documentation on the Plymouth International Model Contests from the 1940s and 1950s.

Despite the multitude of city, state, and regional-specific competitions that have taken place in the last century or more across the US (and beyond), we have surprisingly few donations of paper, film, or digital documentation of those events. There’s a large amount of documentation that we lack.

Despite having little material about these smaller contests, we can still occasionally find contest information that people are looking for. Here we share some of our earliest local and regional event memorabilia pulled from the National Model Aviation Museum archives. It includes:

despite having little material
  • A program, District of Columbia Miniature Aircraft Tournament, March-October 1928
  • An envelope, Airplane Model Meet, Bellanca Field, Wilmington Airport, October 26, 1929
  • A postcard, Annual New England Championship Model Airplane Contest, May 25-26, 1935
  • An instruction sheet, Seventh Annual New England Championship Model Airplane Contest, June 6-7, 1936
  • A program, Midwestern States Gas Model Contest, Harlem Airport, Sunday, August 8, 1937
  • A program, rules, and registration form, Metropolitan Model League Gas Model Meet, October 31, 1937 (We wonder if anyone dressed up in a costume since this meet landed on Halloween)
  • A fFlyer, Seventh Allegheny Mountain Area Model Airplane Meet, North End Pittsburgh, Butler Airport, Sunday, September 14, 1941

Many have attended smaller contests, and maybe even picked up flyers and programs, taken photos, and filmed/taped those events. Call or send us an email if you’d consider donating those items to the museum archives. We’d love to increase our collections in this area, but let us verify that we need certain items before you send anything. We might already have what you want to send.

But wait! You could be wondering, "Are there other ways I can find the information I need if the National Model Aviation Museum doesn’t have it right now?" Yes, there are!

Upcoming local or regional contests can be found in the Sanctioned Event Calendar section at the back of this magazine and on AMA’s website (

You view past issues of Model Aviation in its online library at, where you can see issues from July 1975 to June 2015.

For earlier and/or more detailed information, the museum’s Lee Renaud Memorial Library contains nearly 45,000 model and full-scale aviation magazines and newsletters, beginning with the 1910s. The local club newsletters are great for finding specific club events, and early issues of Model Aviation and other magazines often contain brief reports from clubs. All of these avenues can be used to learn about a particular event that you wish to research!

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