Club History

Alvin R/C Model Airplane Association

The Alvin R/C Club was first formed in late 1974 when several Alvin area R/C modelers decided to organize formally and seek an official charter with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Prior to this time, the Alvin area R/C modelers were flying their planes wherever a place could be found from weekend to weekend. Some of the flying areas were paved parking lots, football fields or roads in new housing subdivisions. The difficulties and uncertainty in flying from these random sites was the prime reason for organizing formally and seeking a permanent flying site. After several meetings in the coffee room of the First National Bank, fourteen people paid their AMA dues and chartered a club. The club charter was dated February 28, 1975, with the following people being

Charter members:

Mike Andrus

Ronald Buffman

Neil Caldwell

Mike Deitrich

Ed Elliott

J. E. Elliot

E. M. Ferguson

Rodney Gregorczyk

R. M. Loy

Clarence Spears

Phil Vance

Steve Robbins

W. T. Lummus

H. L. Polk

The first club flying field was on land offered by Steve Robbins father. The land was located off Highway 6, 3-miles south of Alvin. The field had a grass runway about 40-feet wide and 300-feet long. Many good times were had at this field as this is where most of the early club members learned to fly. Once, the idea of spreading carpet over the landing strip was tried for improved surface. This only worked for a short while until the carpet began rotting.

In 1976, the club obtained use of land in Pearson Park through the assistance of Neil Caldwell. At this site a permanent shade was built and the first club cross-country flight was held. Unfortunately, the growth of the park and surrounding area forced the club from this site after a few months.

In May, 1977, the flying field was moved to Manvel with help from Leroy Pyle. This was a good flying sight with little radio interference problems noticed. The club remained at the Manvel location until November, 1977 when the land was sold.

Following the Manvel flying site, the club moved to a private airstrip owned by Dr. Jones in the Friendswood area. The airstrip became a popular spot for full size aircraft and flying our models around these planes became too dangerous. The club moved back to the Manvel site in April, 1978.

Bube Herring offered the use of his airport as a flying site in November, 1978. The offer was accepted and club members enjoyed a great deal of flying at Bube’s airport, however the hangars were really taking a beating. Bube again helped the club by offering use of land he owned southwest of his airport. Improvements were made to the land. The ground was plowed, diced and drug. A shade was again constructed. Unfortunately, the land was divided in an estate settlement and the club moved back to Bube’s airport.

In February, 1980, the club moved onto our present site across from Bube’s airport. Bube Herring and Doug Lowy did most of the work getting the field ready to fly from. Many club members contributed time and effort to the field preparation work. The shade was reconstructed and John McEiveen donated a portable building for the club.

In the spring of 1983, it was learned that the land that the field was using was to be sold and converted to a grass farm. Efforts to locate another flying site were fruitless. Since no other suitable piece of land was found for the club to fly from, the idea of purchasing land was developed.

In June, 1983, a motion was made and passed to attempt to buy the land at the southwest corner of Bube Herring’s airport. Several months passed while a down payment was raised for purchase of the land. In September, 1983 the land was bought by the Alvin R/C Club. John McElveen and Phil Vance were made trustees of the land.

Many improvements to the field were made in the subsequent years following the land payment. Improvements such as addition of other portable buildings, extended shade areas with concrete sitting areas, gravel entrance road and parking were made. Running water and a restroom were also installed. The runway was contoured for drainage and a composition roof material runway surface was added. The composition roof runway was pretty nice. Although it was not very firm, this fact prevented serious damage to models hitting runway.

Finding out that a lot north of the club’s property was for sale, members decided to again purchase land. This was in 1988, and the land was again purchased from Mr. H A Herring under the same terms with Phil Vance and John McElveen as trustees. With this purchase, the club owned approximately 7.16 acres – 870feet by 358-feet.

With the increase in popularity of Big Bird models and the respective Big Bird Fly-In held annually by the Alvin R/C Club, club members decided to improve the field’s image. In the early months of 1993, several club members put together a proposal for a massive upgrade of the field. The proposal included pouring thousands of square feet of concrete sidewalks, taxiways and pit area. The proposal also included provisions for enlarging and paving the runway to 40-feet by 370-feet. A portion of the grass runway would be left along the north side of the asphalt runway. With a tremendous amount of planning and salesmanship, the group of club members proposing the upgrade brought the issue to a vote. With more club members at this meeting than can be remembered at any other, the proposal passed. Financing would be made possible by John (Pete) Fourmy. Pete generously agreed to loan the club money required to purchase the materials and provide the contract services to upgrade the club facilities as proposed. In addition, the second land purchase loan would be paid off with a portion of Pete Fourmy’s loan.

Flying R/C Airplanes and Helicopters