The History of the Modeleers and Logos
by Gene Burmeister
The box of documents I received when elected to the president’s position held its share of club history. While browsing through the documents, I found it interesting to see the different styles of newsletters dating back to 1984. I noticed improvement in the quality of RMM’s newsletter, as computers became common place in the 80’s. Improvement in text management quality was closely followed by computer graphics in newsletter header and black and white pictures of RMM events.
The newsletter's header carried several logos since then. I copied these logos from the newsletters and present them here for your enjoyment.
The Rocky Mountain Modeleers club was chartered in 1954 with a membership of 12 members. Their monthly club meetings were at a different flying sites each month depending on where the pilots choose to fly. Parking lots, county roads, and grass strips were the fair.
Philip Arnold, the 1986 editor, used a hand drawn
graphic of Clifton field for the header in the April
1986 to Sept 1986 newsletters.
The October 1986 newsletter’s banner switched to two small biplanes on each side of the Rocky Mountain Modeleers title. This small bitmapped plane was the first sign of the computerized logos. The biplane was published until June 1987.
Page one of January 1987 newsletter gave notice of a LOGO
contest to: 1) establish a graphics representation for the club
and 2) provide club identity with T-shirts, Hats, etc. The logos
were judged at April’s meeting and the winner, Bob Willmont,
received $25 for his entry. Bob’s logo was a black and white
line drawing shown here from one of his original prints. His
drawing was featured on the newsletters heading from
July 1985 to April 1995.
A new RMM logo appeared on the last page of May 1991 newsletter without fan fair. It remains there today. The May 1995 newsletter replaced Bob’s barnstormer picture with this logo. This logo may be printed Black and white for the newsletter and the color version is used on T-shirts, Hats and decals.
I have heard many stories about this logo, which has roots back to the beginning of Rocky Mountain Modeleers. I started RC flying in 1984 (with another club), so I have wondered what that bent lever is? Isn’t the high speed idle on the other side? I had to ask some of the 25 year members to get the full story on the right hand lever.
I asked some of the long time members for help on where the logo got its start. Turns out, Fred Damm, I believe is one of the original members with some interrupted time when the Air Force called. I saw one of Fred's newspapers "The Long View" dated January 30, 1948 with Fred and seventeen other flyers on snow at Smith and Magnolia. I asked Fred to write down some notes about the "engine guy". Fred did such a good job of recapping the club's history that I'll just use his copy.
The Rocky Mountain Modeleers started out sometime in 1946-47 when several u-control flyers, mostly W.W.II vets and a few teenage and younger enthusiasts got together. They met in Brown's Western Store, saddle shop to organize. The goals were as they are now, getting a place to fly and setting some basic safety rules. Mr. Brown was, of course, interested in promoting the club as he was devoting a small area in his sporting good store for model airplanes.
There were about 11 to 20 people interested in getting the club started. I was one of the younger members. We got the current club logo from Walt Disney studios as I remember. I don't know who came up with the idea, but a stylized model engine was the subject. It was an ignition engine with a spark advance lever and spark plug. (Ed. That is the level on the right side.)
We flew at the CSU practice field (on Lake Street) during the summer and had to find other fields when football practice started. Smith Street had a vacant lot North of Mulberry Street. The city let us use the lot for some time.
We had competition with clubs like Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Cheyenne along the Front Range. There were usually three classes (A, B, C) for speed and stunt with a scale event. There were no combat contests until 1950 to 1952. I joined the Air Force about this time and lost track of the Modeleers until I had renewed interest in 1982 when the club was flying at the Dog track parking by Loveland, Colorado. By then, the hobby had expanded to include Radio Controlled airplanes. I had been flying my own home builts and light planes since 1960, so I thought RC would be a challenge, which it was. I took much longer to solo on RC aircraft than a full-scale plane. I had some instruction at the CSU stadium. When I saw the club had started building Clifton field behind JAX on North College, I joined to get the benefit of more training and finally started to get the hang of RC flying. I had my share to crashes -- still do!
It seems like the club still has the same goals it did at first. A good place to fly and the challenge of getting a model aircraft to do what you want, whether its competition or just sports. It is still a great feeling getting the plane airborne.
During the ’03-’04 winter, club members noted 2004 was the
50th year anniversary for the Modeleers. Planned activities were
discussed and a modernized club logo noting the organizational
year was submitted and approved as our new club logo.