Although our Club began it's formal existence many years ago, it has it's roots in clubs that preceded it. Back in the 1930's an informal club met at the YMCA in downtown Green Bay. Those were the days of the rubber powered free flight aircraft. The gasoline engine for the models was just emerging, and radio control was limited to amateurs who built their own equipment. Airborne packages weighed several pounds and required large planes to carry them. By the time we became involved in World War II, there were a few good gasoline engines, notably the Super Cyclone and Ohlsson & Rice, and the "gas model" was growing in popularity. Most model activity stopped during the war.
After the war, a new club was organized. For awhile, we were simply called the Green Bay Model Airplane Club, and later on, The Green Bay Model Flyers. Prior to our present name, we were called the RUF Model Airplane Club. RUF stood for Radio control, U-control, and Free flight. Today, we've come full circle and are once again called the Green Bay Model Airplane Club.
Ignition engines were being converted to glow plug type and the first commercially produced radio systems began to appear. Free flight remained popular, but many of us converted our old free flight models to radio control (R/C). U-control, which had originated in the 30's, also remained popular until the late 50's when it began to tapper off. R/C became increasingly popular as radios improved, but the typical radio was still single channel with rubber band driven escapements. An approach to proportional control was gained in the 60's with so called reed sets, but they were difficult to tune. Finally, in the late 60's, fully proportional control, as we know it today, appeared.
Our club formally came into existence in the fall of 1946, a year after WW II ended. Bob Mongin and Howie Schmidt are still current members. It was the late 60's that also saw our Club take on a more organized structure. The Club incorporated in 1967 and our first bylaws were written in 1970. In 1973, after some near accidents, our first field and flight rules were drawn up. Two early contest events, that have continued to the present, are the annual Corn Roast and Fun Fly, which began in 1977, and our annual Aqua Fly which began in 1982.
The popularity of pattern flying declined in the late 70's, while 1/2 A Pylon racing declined in the late 80's. The early 80's saw an increase in popularity of giant scale and the use of the 4 stroke engine. The Club's first giant scale (Big Bird) event was held in 1989.
Membership has steadily risen over the years to approximately 80 members, and the future looks bright for our Club. This is due, in part, to increased exposure to the public through special efforts like our annual static show and auction, the mall shows, scouting, and school demonstrations, and our annual flying events which are open to the public.
The Club remains committed to the purpose stated in our bylaws; to unite modelers in the Green Bay area for promoting the building and flying of model airplanes. We believe modeling is a challenging and pleasurable experience for all.