Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

    Home   Indiana Museums   Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows   2015 Airshows   2016 Airshows   2017 Airshows
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center
 

 

 

Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum    Ernie Pyle WWII Museum    Five Points Fire Museum    Fort Wayne Firefighters Museum   Freeman Army Airfield Museum   Hoosier Air Museum    Indiana Military Museum    Indianapolis Fire Museum   McClain Military Museum    Museum of the Soldier    National Military History Center/Automotive and Carriage Museum   National Model Aviation Museum    Rolls-Royce Heritage Center, Allison Branch    Ropkey Armor Museum    Wayne County Historical Museum

Indiana Museums - Aviation, Military, Automotive and Fire

National Model Aviation Museum
Muncie, IN
Last Date Visited:  1-28-2015

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) was formed in 1936 and moved to Muncie, IN from the east coast in 2001.  The reason for the move was more land was available to fly model aircraft on the former farm land on the east side of Muncie than was available as the east coast became more crowded with housing developments.  Along with the AMA came the National Model Aviation Museum, which is located in its own facility on the premises.

This was the second time I have visited the museum, having stopped by not too long after it opened.  On this trip I had limited time, and with all the displays, I will need to return to be able to take in more of the information that is available in the museum.  There is much to learn and see inside the museum.


This building is the headquarters for the Academy of Model Aeronautics and was dedicated in June of 2001.


To the west across the main drive on the grounds is the home of the National Model Aviation Museum.


Once past the lobby one turns into the museum proper and finds the display area filled with flying models of all sorts hanging from the ceiling.  Along the wall to the right are various displays explaining the history of flying model aircraft along with stand alone displays out in the open area.  There is a wealth of information on the hobby and the aircraft in this area.




In my opinion the most unique display in the facility is this recreation of a 1950 hobby store that dominates this section of the musuem.



 
Inside the store the owner stands behind the cash register waiting to provide assistance and ring up a sale.


The models, whether flyable or not, are all wood.  In the display cases and on the walls are models of aircraft from World War Two and those of the early jet age.  This is a true step back in time.


Leaving the store this photo shows how different displays are built into the walls with other information located in the "islands" in the middle of the floor.


This island's subject was the story of models used for recognition aircraft for pilots and aircrews in World War Two.


The Lockheed Hudson located in the center of this display on the Cleveland Air Line Company was most impressive.


An area is dedicated to more models back farther in the museum.

 
What really drew me to the display was this turbo prop AWACs version of the B-29.  I was confused because I did not know what it was and the identification on it only said "Chinese Advanced Early Warning", and that the model was "radio scale".  Later research indicated this is a model of a Chinese KJ-1, which used the TU-4 Russian reverse engineered version of the B-29 as the airframe.  This was the first of its type for the Chinese and one can still be seen on display at the China Aviation Museum on the internet.  This unusual model lead to me adding to my aviation history knowledge on an aircraft I did not previously know existed. 


Along the back wall of the museum are two display cases that show various model engines from different manufacturers.


Some of the models are small and some are big, as can be seen from this Grumman F9F Cougar and its size in relation to the doorway next to it.

 
What is this?  First, one must think radio controlled pylon racing, just like the Reno Air Races, except for model flyers, and the need for judges to be able to make sure the participating aircraft don't "cut" the pylons.  Then one needs to remember the pilot is not in the aircraft itself, but some distance away and due to that distance, could lose visual perspective in relationship to the pylon judge, or could just fly the racer too low when turning the pylon.  Even though the pilots had spotters located outside the track with radio communication to tell the pilot where the aircraft was in relationship to the pylons and the judges, the pilot could still not lose track of where the aircraft really was.  So this cage was an attempt to protect the pylon judges from getting hurt while out on the race track when things went wrong.  Note the shutters that can be closed to protect the judge's face in case of an impact.  According to the information at the display, technology has rendered these cages obsolete, and now allows the judges to be off the course but still monitor the pylons.  This no doubt pleases the judges to no end.


There are many models and displays in the museum which are not included in this report and are best viewed and enjoyed in person.  However, I have included this as my last topic this 1/40 scale radio controlled model on display of an Orbiter mounted on a Boeing 747.  This is an actual model used by engineers at the beginning of the Orbiter program to test the concept of flying the Orbiter back to the launch site in Florida after landing in California.


Note the two engines and propellers on the model.






When the Orbiter Endeavor flew from Florida to California on its last flight, this model was on board the 747 as a "special guest" during this historic trip.

There are many displays, model aircraft and related information that can be learned by a visit to the National Aviation Model Museum in Muncie.  One does not have to be a modeler or aviation enthusiast to enjoy the great displays in the museum, but just be ready to learn about an exciting hobby that has been taken up by many over the years.

During the summer the Academy holds many model flying events on the open field behind its headquarters which are open to the public to visit and watch.
 

 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows    2015 Airshows  2016 Airshows    2017 Airshows 
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


E-mail us at: 
Webmaster