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The History of Radio Control Aviation
In Antelope Valley California


This page is an on-going effort to document the history of Radio Control Aviation and the people in the Antelope Valley that made it happen.
If you have any solid dates, events, places or pictures of this history please contact me so all may benefit from the knowledge --
oldcrow@roadrunner.com


1930 - 1950 Lots of free flight model flying, mostly from the south edge of the lakebed by people from Lancaster. Sprint cars raced on the lakebed and home built full scale gliders were flown by car-tow. Dan Garrabrant flew free flight and full-scale gliders. No model clubs were in operation; just loose association of flying and friendly competitions.
1952 Dan Garrabrant, Dave Beach and renowned flyer Merel Combs flew free flight off Ave C in the southwest corner of the lakebed and Dan began flying R/C on the lakebed. Several free flight clubs formed and many competitions were held. Desert Flyers formed as a free flight club and used a symbol of a triangle with a jack rabbit in it. Members included Dan Garrabrant, Jim Newman, John Emch (1989.90 Tailwinds President).
1952 - 1960 Desert Flyers flew free flight and R/C from SE and SW corners of the lakebed, as well as from many other sites in and near Lancaster in the desert.
1960 The Air Force bought the lakebed and started using it as a landing field for the X-15 aircraft. The lakebed was posted as off-limits to everyone. No model flying was allowed anywhere in the lakebed.
1962 Military members of the Desert Flyers started flying R/C on the north edge of the lakebed, north of Rosamond Avenue without incident and soon many Tailwinds flyers were flying there too.
1962 The Desert Flyers changed their name to Antelope Valley Tailwinds with 45 - 50 members, Military and civilians. Tailwinds members flew from about 7 sites near Lancaster including the south edge and the north edge of the lakebed.
1980,81,82 or 83 How the Tailwinds moved off the lakebed is not understood yet, (I could use some help here!) but we assume that the Tailwinds applied for status as a licensed Private Organization on the air base in early 83. A reply probably came back from someone on the base that was interpreted to say that only military personnel could belong to a military Private Organization and non-military personnel could not be members and therefore could not fly from the lakebed. Civilian Tailwinds members started flying from their other 5 sites and stopped using the lakebeds. Military members of the Tailwinds club continued to use the lakebed.
1983 The lakebeds flooded with 8" of water for several weeks. Float planes were flown and air boats were ran. (See Photo)
July 1983 In 1983 A new AF Regulation came out (AFR 34-3) which required that model aircraft flying be approved by the base Recreation Office (MWR) and by the Chief of Base Operations (airfield management). On 15 July 1983, The Base Operations designated that all R/C airplane flying be conducted to the North side of Rosamond Dry Lakebed, at least 1000 Feet North of the road and no higher than 500 ft. AGL. (That new regulation was replaced with AFR 34-4 in 1985 or 86 and did not mention R/C airplanes or any airspace rules). In July 1983, the military members of the Tailwinds who continued to fly on the lakebed formed a new on-base Private Organization called the Muroc Model Masters.
December 1983 The Muroc Model Masters were given AMA Charter #1737.
SSgt Harry Morgan was elected the first President of the new MMM Club.
13 February 1984 Base Commander signed the document that establishes the Muroc Model Masters as a private organization on EAFB.
19 June 1984 Muroc Model Masters Officially Authorized to use the Lakebed
29 June 1984 The Base Commander approved expansion of the club membership to include employees of civilian contractors that worked on Edwards AFB and "disabled individuals".
May 1985 Tailwinds raised funds and built the current paved runway in lancaster with completion date in May 1985. Tailwinds members stopped using the other flying sites and combined all flying at the paved site.
1986 Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Bill Russo (Former Mayor of Rosamond) gradually more civilian members were informally allowed to fly on the base and no seemed to mind. AFR 34-3 was replaced by AFR 34-4 which states: "Membership eligibility (should be limited primarily to members of the DoD family)." This allowed the MMM to open up membership to more non-base-connected people, provided that base-connected members were "primarily" the membership. Eventually, all civilians were permitted to join the club and use the Rosamond Lakebed.
1987 Harry Morgan got a full sized prop and made a plaque for club challenges. This is the beginning of the AVTI/MMM Prop Challenge!
1987 Bill Russo elected as President of MMM
1989 Bob Harrison elected as President of MMM
11 and 12 November 1989 MMM held the first all-jet fun-fly. 36 pilots entered 46 models ranging from Al Lockhart's twin engined Byron F-15 to a .09 powered MIG. More than 1500 people attended on each day of Saturday and Sunday. Overnight camping on the lakebed was allowed by the Base Commander. ATC hosted a food booth and made $1200.00 net.
1990 Chuck Aker elected as President of MMM
1 February 1990 First issue of a license for MMM to use AF real estate for nonexclusive use (5 year duration).
22 and 23 September 1990 MMM held the 2nd all-jet fun fly. 25 pilots and 29 models; 1000 each day; overnight camping; ATC ran the food booth again.
1 January to July 1991 Chuck Aker elected as President of MMM
July 1991 To end of year Al Locklar elected as President of MMM
1 January to April 1992 Al Locklar elected as President of MMM
April 1992 to end of year Harold Willie elected as President of MMM
1993 Harold Willie elected as President of MMM
1994 SSgt Mark Vadja elected as President of MMM
1995 SSgt Mark Vadja elected as President of MMM
1996 SSgt Mark Vadja elected as President of MMM
1 February 1996 MMM Go's on-line with the valley's first R/C Web site!
1997 SSgt Larry Wuertzer elected as President of MMM
October 1997 Network One Internet Services agrees to provide web space for both clubs. Also offered is a special Club Deal for members to access the WWW.
December 1997 IRS approves Tax Exempt Status for MMM.
1998 TSgt Larry Wuertzer elected as President of MMM
Charles Threewit elected as President of AVTI
1998 Model Masters Aquire access to a secondary flying site in Rosamond at the property of Connie Farmer.
1999 Model Masters becomes SFA Club #9929
1999 TSgt Larry Wuertzer elected as President of MMM
Charles Threewit elected as President of AVTI
1999 Model Masters sign a Memorandum of Agreement with NASA for Experimental Aircraft Operations at the Lake bed flying site.
2000 TSgt Larry Wuertzer elected as President of MMM
January 2000 Model Masters acquire access to a third field at the Little Buttes Antique field
March 5 2000 SFA hits an iceberg and sinks, MMM forced to return to AMA at last minute. Club re-issued old AMA club number of #1737



Contents Copyright, Muroc Model Masters 2010,11,12,13,14