Did you know Hendersonville, NC has a FREE airplane museum? The Western North Carolina Air Museum is in a hangar beside a small runway full of historic airplanes. Learn about the history of the planes, how they’re made, and how they fly. There are even aircraft that kids can climb in, explore, and experiment with the controls. If you have an aviation enthusiast in your family, no matter their age, this is not a place you’ll want to skip. Let us introduce you to this amazing little gem in Hendersonville so you can plan your visit soon!
What is the Western North Carolina Air Museum?
The museum consists of a single hanger filled to the brim with interesting and historic aircraft, informational exhibits, and knowledgable staff there to answer your questions and explain everything about these planes. There is also an aviation library that takes up almost an entire wall of the hanger, full of information for anyone researching an aviation topic whether it’s historical, technical, or anything in between.
Is the WNC Air Museum a Place for Kids?
YES! Definitely bring kids to this museum. Signage at the museum asks parents to supervise their children at all times, which makes sense since there are so many valuable aircraft and exhibits densely packed into the space.
That said there are definitely things for kids to touch, explore, play with, and enjoy. There are photo ops for kids in the form of a wooden painted plane. And your kids may also notice some stuffies doing a little piloting. Both a plane and a gyrocopter are available for kids to climb into the pilot’s seat and move the controls. They’ll actually be able to move the rudder, ailerons, and elevator. This was definitely my kids’ favorite part of the museum.
The staff at the museum were very kind to my kids, answering all their questions and complimenting us on their inquisitiveness and behavior. And really, what parent doesn’t want to hear things like that about their kids?
On our way out, my kids were offered copies of some aviation magazines which they eagerly accepted. Members of the Air Museum donate copies they are done with to the museum so kids can bring them home to learn more.
When Can We Visit the Western North Carolina Air Museum?
The regular hours of the museum are as follows:
- April – October: Wednesday & Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm
- November – March: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, 12 pm to 5 pm
The museum may also be open for additional hours for special events, like the Hendersonville Apple Festival. Visit the Western North Carolina Air Museum website for special event information.
Getting to the WNC Air Museum
When you plug the address into your GPS or maps app you should have no trouble getting to the museum. It’s located just a few miles from downtown Hendersonville, but the area is residential and you may feel like you’re headed off in the wrong direction. The drive is gravel and you’ll see the hanger from the road.
Western North Carolina Air Museum
1340 Gilbert Street, Hendersonville
FREE admission and parking
There are so many more free and fun adventures in Hendersonville, NC!
Here’s our list of totally free fun in Hendersonville, NC.