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Cumberland Aircraft Model Society (CAMS)

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  • Cumberland Aircraft Model Society (CAMS)

    The Cumberland Aircraft Model Society has been an AMA Chartered Club since approximately 1962. Two of the CAMS members, Dick Miller and Dave Gish, worked at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory. Maynard Hill was a consultant for ABL and, around 1966, was interested in trying to set an altitude record with an unpowered R/C airplane. ABL is located at the base of Knobley Mountain along its west side in Rocket City, West Virginia. From ABL, Maynard noted an open west facing field on top of Knobley Mountain an asked Dick and Dave if they could get access to the field for his record attempt. They contacted the owner and arrangements were made to use the field in November of 1967. Members from the District of Columbia Radio Control club (DCRC ~ Maynard's home club) and the CAMS jointly hosted the effort.

    Although Maynard did not set a new record, the gathering for the attempt started what became known as the Cumberland Soar for Fun. The group of soaring enthusiasts in the DCRC group later started the Capitol Area Soaring Association (CASA) and continued co-hosting the annual Cumberland Soar for Fun along with the CAMS club. Access to the Knobley Mountain flying site was limited to one weekend per year in either late October or early November. While CASA's regular events were contest based, the Soar for Fun was just that, fun, no contest.

    In 1991, a member of the CAMS group purchased the Knobley Mountain property and developed the site into what is now known as the HighPoint Aviation Airfield. Access for R/C flying is now open anytime, weather permitting, but the Fall Soar For Fun in November remains as a major annual event. November, 2016 will mark the 50th Annual Soar for Fun event!!!

    The CAMS club has become more of a regional group with a concentration of members in the greater Cumberland area and a second group on the greater Oakland, Maryland area. The Club has had numerous flying fields over its fifty plus year history and currently operates from two fields, the HighPoint Aviation Airfield near Cumberland, MD and the Mountain Lake Park airfield near Oakland, MD. The Mountain Lake Park site is electric only for powered planes. Members have diverse interests ranging from micro electrics to giant scale, helicopters, airplanes, and sailplanes.

    Here is a little historic reference to the above.

    Steve P
    Last edited by Steve P; 03-14-2016, 02:56 PM.
    A Site for Soar Eyes

  • #2
    Jim, very interesting, thanks for posting. I am so looking forward to being there in November to help celebrate the success of this event. Your tireless support is greatly appreciated by all. Hope to see you this Thursday afternoon


    • #3
      FWIW, I am pictured in several places.

      * page 35 (fourth magazine page shot) in the top picture on the right side is a sailplane with "Cumberland" on its left wing panel. I am kneeling behind its wing and my face is just above the wing. Wing passes diagonally under my chin.

      * page 38 (seventh magazine page shot) in the top title "Lightly Loaded" picture on the right side I am the fifth from the right. Wearing white shirt and sunglasses and again have a wing going diagonally across my face.

      * page 38 in lower story picture, I am standing in about the middle of the group with the white shirt.

      * page 40 (final magazine page shot) in the bottom lower right, I am the one launching Dick Miller's Kurwi.
      A Site for Soar Eyes


      • #4
        where's the cabin?
        Len Buffinton
        Team Horizon Hobby


        • #5
          Originally posted by lenb View Post
          where's the cabin?
          We built the cabin several years after buying the property. Made from used lumber and windows, it served us for eighteen years.
          Our last picture was rather sad...

          Borrowing design cues from our old cabin, the new HighPoint Aviation hangar was built in the spring of 2015.

          A Site for Soar Eyes


          • JoeN
            Junior Member
            JoeN commented
            Editing a comment
            Jim, you forgot to mention that the material for the original cabin came from the old office for the Cumberland Soaring Group. The full scale guys removed the office to make room for additional sailplane parking. I enjoyed the concept that the building material was used for RC soaring. Thus the connection between RC and full scale in the Cumberland area. Kinda neat I think! Joe

        • #6
          Who would you consider the founding fathers of the Soar for Fun? Did Maynard continue to come back each year or did the other DCRC members carry on the tradition? The pioneering days of R/C and soaring are so steeped in passion, exploration and comradery! Thanks for being of that blood.



          • #7
            To the best of my knowledge, Maynard Hill and Tom Rankin from DCRC and Dick Miller and Dave Gish from CAMS were the founders. These were the people that seemed to be the most involved. There were others, numerous others, but these were the ones that stood out to me at age seventeen. After the second year, the event really became a fun fly and Don Clark was the go to guy from DCRC and subsequently CASA. He was the leader of the soaring group in the DC area. BASS (Baltimore Area Soaring Society) and LASS (Lancaster Area Soaring Society) also become very involved.

            As Don Clark got on in years, he turned the organizer role over to Skip Schow, and I worked with Skip to keep the Soar for Fun going. We lost Don about ten years ago and Skip about three years ago now. Since buying the field, I have been the one mostly keeping the event going. There are still a few folks from BASS and LASS that you likely know from being at the event. Al DeRenzis of BASS has provided the ham for Saturday lunch and his wife Sally and John Appling's wife Sharon prepare and serve the Saturday lunch.

            Maynard Hill did continue to come every so often and this picture of he and Don Clark is probably the last time I saw either of them before they died. This was about 2003 and the plane was a prototype of the one Maynard made his transAtlantic flight with.

            A Site for Soar Eyes


            • #8
              In this picture taken at the 2003 Soar for Fun, Skip Schow is operating the winch, Jay Stargel is holding Tom's sailplane (the same one pictured in the old magazine photos) and Tom is behind them holding his transmitter. As a note of interest, if you read the magazine article closely, you discovered that Tom had recently gotten married and is wife came with him and made soup on a Coleman stove so he could have something hot while making a very long flight! As an additional note. The younger man standing near Jay is Tom's son.

              A Site for Soar Eyes


              • #9
                Here are some photos from our secondary electric only flying field in Mt. Lake Park MD. We are fortunate that the Mayor and Town Council gave us permission to fly on town property.