MUNCIE, IN—Thousands of pilots from across the country will visit the Academy of Model Aeronautics’ International Aeromodeling Center (IAC) throughout the month of July and the beginning of August for the National Aeromodeling Championships (Nats). Pilots come to Muncie to compete in various categories of model flying competition. Each competitor comes to win—some even try to earn spots on US teams that participate in world championships.
The Nats is an event rich in history that is celebrating 90 years of competitions. The inaugural contest was held in 1923 in St. Louis, Missouri. It has been held at different locations across the United States every year since, except for the years during World War II when the event was cancelled because of travel and gasoline restrictions, as well as many modelers going off to war. When the event returned in 1946, the contests were deemed the “Victory Nats.”
Between 1948 and 1972, the U.S. Navy allowed the AMA to hold Nats competitions at its naval air stations. The IAC has hosted the outdoor event in Muncie, Indiana, since 1996.
Events are free to attend and spectator friendly. Visit the IAC to experience the thrill of model flying throughout July and the beginning of August.
RC Pylon Racing (July 15-22)
One of the most fun competitions to watch, RC Pylon Racing is high-speed racing with small aircraft that can reach up to 200 mph.
Control Line and RC Combat (July 16-21)
Wild and exciting action in Control Line Combat and RC Combat make them spectator favorites. Two or more highly maneuverable aircraft, each towing a streamer, attempt to cut each other’s streamers or string leaders.
RC Soaring (July 23-30)
RC Soaring is flown in different classes of sailplanes or gliders. These aircraft are towed aloft by 12-volt electric winches or hand launched. They have no other form of propulsion. The competition is based on precision flight and landing time.
Free Flight (July 25-29)
One of the oldest forms of aeromodeling, Free Flight aircraft are hand launched and stay afloat with the use of a small gas engine or just a gust of wind. The pilots who can keep their airplanes in the air the longest, win.
RC Helicopters (August 1-4)
RC helicopters are exciting to watch. Each class has an established set of maneuvers that pilots must complete. Scale renditions of full-scale helicopters also compete.
To learn more, visit http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/nats/.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics, founded in 1936, continues to be devoted to national airspace safety. It serves as the nation’s collective voice for approximately 185,000 modelers in 2,400 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Muncie, Indiana, AMA is a membership organization representing those who fly model aircraft for recreation and educational purposes.