The Carolinas are an amazing place to find adventure in all shapes and sizes. The residents of North Carolina are quite fond of claiming ‘First in Flight,’ and rightfully so. The Outer Banks is where the Wright brothers took that 120-foot trip that changed the world. Nestled in the Mountains of Western North Carolina, the town of Hendersonville, has its own bit of aeronautical history.
The Western North Carolina Air Museum, the first air museum in the ‘First in Flight’ State, was founded in April 1989 by three members of the Western North Carolina aviation community. Today, the facilities house more than twenty plans. Here, you won’t find anything under glass or velvet ropes to keep you away. You’ll only find airplanes and volunteers who love them. Many of them are pilots who own and fly some of the planes on display.
That’s not all. Several of the airplanes were fully restored in the museum by volunteers. Check out the incredible 1932 E-2 Taylor Cub. It was taken apart, reskinned, and mechanically overhauled to reveal the beauty it is now. This model is just one of the many stories the passionate volunteers love to share with visitors.
The aircrafts are amazing; true icons of Hendersonville’s aeronautical past. But the volunteers are the real treasures here, all with incredible knowledge to share, and stories to tell. Their stories range from warplanes to racing planes, from total tear-downs to restorations, and of course, trips off in the wild blue yonder.
One of the special things about this air museum is that many of the relics still work. On a sunny Saturday, you may see a beautiful biplane cutting through the clouds, and you may wonder for a split second if you’ve got back in time.
Going back in time is kind of the point here. It’s all about learning and celebrating. It’s an opportunity to stick your head in the clouds with your feet on the ground. You’ll get a fun educational appreciation for something that many people take for granted these days—flying.
There’s no charge for admission, but paid memberships are available. Donations are also welcomed to help the Air Museum continue its mission of preservation and education of aeronautical history.
To learn more or plan your visit, visit WesternNorthCarolinaAirMuseum.com. Take off into a world of fun and adventure.
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