The Ottawa Remote Control Club (ORCC) is an organization of approximately 150 modeling enthusiasts from around the Ottawa area. The club operates two power flying fields, one glider flying field, and actively participates in the surrounding community.
The club offers free training to new members and runs a number of social and competitive events throughout the year. The club strongly emphasizes the safe operation of its fields so that members can get the maximum enjoyment of the hobby.
In the fall of 1956, six radio and model aircraft enthusiasts got together with the idea of forming a club. The "Original Six" held three preliminary meetings at the Bruce McDonald Motel in Bell's Corners. The six included Lou McDonald, Don Prentice, Jim Zufelt, Don Dow, Ernie Brown and one other unidentified person.
The preliminary meetings concluded with a resolution to officially form the Ottawa Remote Control Club. The first meetings of the new club were held at the Independent Coal and Lumber Company and its first president was Don Prentice. The first official event was a "Concours d'Elegance" held in October 1957, where the winners’ prizes were withheld until their models had actually flown. In fact, early members were only "temporary members" and were not recognized as full members until their models had flown! Meetings continued at the Independent Coal and Lumber Company until the sixties when the club moved to the South Westboro Community Centre. Finally, the club moved to the McNabb Community Centre in late 1968 where it still holds its monthly meetings.
The first operating field was at a farm off county road #8 in South Gloucester. This field was also a designated emergency field for RCAF Uplands. This location was used for about three or four seasons when the club, which by now consisted of a dozen or so members, received permission to fly from the airport at Carp. This continued until a mishap when someone's plane landed in the rudder of a full-sized, parked airplane. In those days, equipment consisted of tubes, relays and escapements with one or two modelers venturing into pulse rudder and later the infamous “galloping ghost” system. The control and reliability of those early radios was a far cry from the equipment we use today!
Subsequently, the club found a field off Cedarview just north of Fallowfield where flying continued until 1974 when the Experimental Farm needed the land. The next site was a grass field south on Moodie Drive. The club also operated an east end field off Anderson Road from 1970 until 1984. In 1978, Nepean granted the club the use of a field at the landfill site on Trail Road, where the composting operation is located today. After the 1998 ice storm, the city needed the site to process broken tree branches and fallen trees. The club moved to another location on Trail Road and built an asphalt runway. When that site was needed for the Plasco incinerator in 2006, the club moved to Drummond Field on Cambrian Road. In 2010, the club also began flying at Greenway Field off French Settlement Road, south of Osgoode.
While the club has always been primarily focused on aircraft, members have also been interested in RC boats, yachts and cars. Early members pioneered boats as part of the hobby. In recent years, the car fans formed their own, separate club. The yachting enthusiasts also formed another club that operates at Andrew Haydon Park in Nepean.
The ORCC has always sponsored contests and fun events. One of the club’s peak achievements was the hosting of the world FAI Scale Championships at Ottawa in 1980. At the same time, the club also hosted one of the first international model yachting competitions. The ORCC continues today to provide a centre of interest and a voice for radio control modelers.