The Vintage models flown by SAM members are those designed, published or available as kits during the golden era of model aviation, the decade of the thirties to the beginning of WWII. A period following Lindberg's solo flight to Paris that ignited the aviation flame in so many of the World's youth. It was a period when practical model airplanes were developed and made available so anyone could build and fly one and hundreds of thousands did.
SAM calls models from the period prior to 1939, "antique", and prior to 1942, "old timer". They are the basis for good-natured competition in categories from free flight gas and rubber power, and gliders. For the RC enthusiast or for those whose flying field limits free flight there are categories for ignition and glow powered engines. Recently several electric powered classes have been introduced to allow flying of these models quietly from fields where glow and ignition engines are not allowed.
SAM encompasses the youth and modelers who are still young at heart, men and women ages 11 to 90. We have over 2200 members in Chapters from all fifty states and Canada, plus Chapters worldwide from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovak Republic and Sweden. Many of these SAM Chapters sponsor competitions, flying for fun and probably a good deal of friendly discussion.
Avid modelers, Lee Freeman, John Pond, and Martin Schindler sparked SAM into being in 1962 in order to revive the early days of model aviation and to set up guidelines for Old Timer competition. These guidelines are now the basis for the SAM competition rules that govern the majority of Old Timer contests. When you join a copy of the rules will be sent to you with your membership card. SAM has been fortunate to receive the management and guidance from a strong team of Presidents.
Members receive SAM Speaks, our 'voice'. This newsletter is published bi-monthly. It features coming attractions, results of contests, construction and flying tips, sources for vintage model supplies, and general information of interest to the old time modeler. SAM also sponsors an Internet news group; SAM Talks , where many of the members share information about old timer airplanes, motors and flying techniques.
Each fall SAM sponsors the Championships. “The Champs” are a week of competition, tall-tale telling, banquets, bean feeds, spouses activities and camaraderie. At the Champs, SAM holds its one annual membership meeting where all the business is completed early to allow for more good times. Fun is the by-word of the SAM Champs! The SAM Champs is rotated yearly among four regional sites; -- East, Midwest, Rocky Mountain and West. Modelers from all over the world converge at the specified site for a fun- filled week of flying competition.
During the final Awards Banquet SAM inducts special members into its Hall of Fame These are the individuals who have made significant contributions to the early developments of flying model airplanes and the SAM movement.
Wouldn't you like to jump on the bandwagon and Join SAM
a great group of people? We'd like to have you aboard! Your affordable membership fee entities you to a one year subscription to our bi-monthly magazine "SAM Speaks", a copy of the SAM Rule Book , a SAM Chapter list advising where all the local SAM Chapters (Clubs) are located thoughout the USA and the World, a source listing of where to obtain old time modeling supplies, a membership card, and some of the greatest aeromodeling fun you'll ever have. We will even help you to build and fly your airplane.