July 16, 2019, marked the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, the mission that resulted in the first landing on the moon.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and its members shared a special connection to this mission and specifically the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong. Neil was an AMA member in the late 1940s and competed in model aircraft competitions which helped spark his passion for aviation and aerospace.
It began with a trip to a small-town dime store in Ohio when he was roughly 3 years old. He asked his mother for an airplane. According to his biography, when faced with a choice between a 10¢ and a 20¢ airplane, she bought him the latter. How could she say no to her smart, curious, blonde-headed little boy?
That was the beginning of his love of aeromodeling, sparking a passion that would lead to a life that altered the course of history. That was merely one step for a little boy who would one day take one giant leap for mankind.
The little boy’s name was Neil Alden Armstrong, and his desire to build and fly model airplanes didn’t stop with his first model.
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If you haven’t heard (which most AMA members haven’t), Neil grew up to join the AMA, fly in Control Line (CL) Speed contests, and be the first man to step foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. And after the fame of the feat that he accomplished 50 years ago this year somewhat wore off, he seemed to pick right back up where he left off in the hobby.
According to his closest friends and family, Neil had a lifelong love of model airplanes. When he moved to the little town of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, in 1941 at age 11, his almost feverish desire to build models really took off.
Read the full story here.
Source: Academy of Model Aeronautics