Sarasota R/C Squadron did not start as a radio control club. The beginning club, founded in the mid-fifties, was named The Flamingo's and flew at Philippi Shores School and Sarasota Jr. High School for a couple of years. As the club grew, it moved to the corner of U.S. 41 and Little Pittsburgh Road in Bradenton. The name changed to Piston Poppers and remained there for a couple of years and then moved back to Sarasota at Tuttle Avenue School. At that time there were several R/C planes beginning to show up, although they were either reed or single channel tone sets.
The club then moved to E.M.R. (now Loral) and Fruitville Road, where it remained for several years. In the late sixties, digital proportional radios became available and a couple of members began flying R/C. The radios were expensive and not as reliable as today's radios. The club moved again back to Tuttle Avenue and then to Richardson Road for a time. R/C was becoming more popular and the members decided it was time to break away from the U-controllers. Negotiations were made with Mr. John Lowe to use a part of his property on Fruitville Road. Members of the U/C Club plus other interested flyers got together and moved and prepared the field for use. The start was very informal, and no records were kept for some time. The Club was named Manasota R/C Association. Membership grew rapidly in the early seventies and records of club proceedings became standard. Flying continued at Lowe's field for several years.
In the mid to late seventies, the club switched and flew at the Venice Well Fields for a short time. It was at this point that the Venice flyers broke off from the Sarasota club and began their own club. The Sarasota club then returned to Sarasota and was allowed to fly on the front of the Bee Ridge Landfill. We remained there until the property was used for dumping. The club then returned to Lowe's field and remained there until Sarasota County leased the present field to the club in the early eighties. During the eighties, the club was changed to its present name, Sarasota R/C Squadron, or "S.R.Q." The club has continued to grow and become more sophisticated throughout the years. The many moves have not helped at times but were necessary due to noise and physical size. Things have not always been smooth and easy but seem to have worked themselves out. The radio equipment has become less expensive and much more reliable. The present field has many improvements due to member's hard work and time. The club has put on mall shows, fly ins, scale contests, fun fly's and pylon racing. There continues to be several members in the club from the original U control club as well. The club has constantly maintained that A.M.A. membership and field insurance be carried. Safety first is mandatory. The quality of models and equipment is constantly improving and the flying prowess also much improved. Sarasota R/C Squadron is an AMA Charter Club. It has four officers and three-member Board of \ Directors. The club has approximately 140 members from all walks of life who use the field 7 days a week.
This history is not a complete history in the sense that exact dates and names are not included. Your historian is getting older and unable to remember these facts. However, they are not really that important. The order in which they happened is the important part.
The above history was written by Parker Tunis in the early nineties. Parker was an active member of SRQ up until his death on January 30, 1994. Since then the club has continued to grow with the present membership over 200. Equipment sophistication continues to grow at a rapid rate with computer-controlled radios and computer-controlled turbine powered aircraft commonplace. The backbone of the club, however, remains mid-sized piston powered aircraft. A major event in the club's history occurred on May 20, 2000. This of course was the Grand Opening of the new flying field. The opening was the culmination of several years of negotiation with Sarasota County officials. SRQ would like to thank all of the Sarasota County officials involved for their professionalism and interest in bringing the project to completion.
YOUTUBE VIDEO HISTORY LINKS:
"Old SRQ Field - 1993 thru 1999"
"Building the New SRQ Field - 2000"