Where It All Began

The Scale Squadron, as we know it today, started as an idea in the early 70’s. Harris Lee, Bert Baker, and Bob Olson were members of the Orange Coast RC Club. They found that they shared a deep interest in scale modeling. Their common interest brought them together on a regular basis at the home of Harris Lee.

The word got out, and soon more than 25 people were consistently attending the Scale Special Interest Group. Surprisingly, scale modeling was of interest to a large group of guys. These modelers pioneered an official scale club as a special interest group within the Orange Coast RC Club and started putting on scale events. The first events were held at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley starting in 1973 .In 1977 the club went struck out on its own and was finally chartered officially with the AMA April 7, 1977.

Scale modeling was fast becoming immensely popular as shown by the large participation of those early Scale Squadron events. Out of the overwhelming interest in scale modeling nationally. Harris Lee devised a plan for sanctioning a series of local qualifiers around the country and then having a fly-off to determine a Scale Modeler National Champion.

From this idea, the Scale Squadron’s leadership began to form what is now the U.S. Scale Masters. Even today, decades later, the US Scale Masters still is the premier scale competition in the USA. Scale Squadron and Scale Masters worked with Pat Potaga, of Scale R.C. Modeler Magazine, and together they put this program on the map. His articles and front page color photos helped fuel the fire of scale modeling. A fire that today has truly changed the face of RC. What was once dominated by Ugly-sticks and sport pattern planes, today most R/C flying fields are dominated by scale-aerobatic aircraft, scale jets, and even most sport aircraft are now a representation of a full size model. From Foam to Giant RC, scale for aerobatics, sport flying, jets, and even sailplanes, scale modeling in all these forms dominates the modern world of R/C aviation.

The scale modeling hobby owes these visionaries a debt of gratitude: Bert Baker, Bob Olson, Jerry Ortega, Pat Potaga, and most of all Harris Lee.