Carolinas Aviation Museum
Address: 4672 1st Flight Dr, Charlotte, NC 28208
The Carolinas Aviation Museum is an aviation museum on the grounds of Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Seniors 60+: $10.00
Students age 6 to 18: $8.00
College with ID: $8.00
Active Duty Military: $8.00
Retired Military: $9.00
Children 5 and under: Free
(with family visit only)
The museum was founded in 1992 by Floyd and Lois Wilson, and has a collection of over 50 static aircraft and many smaller historic items related to aviation in North and South Carolina. Most of the collection consists of Cold War military aircraft, including several historic jet aircraft from the 1950s and 1960s. Several aircraft came from the closed Florence Air & Missile Museum, Florence, South Carolina. A significant number of aircraft have also come from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Marine Corps Air Station New River.
The museum also operates a number of flying aircraft, and with access to four runways, one over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in length, historic aircraft including the B-17, B-24, B-29 and Berlin Airlift C-54 have flown in to visit the museum from time to time.Until April 2010, the museum was located in the airport's original 1932 hangar, built by the Works Progress Administration. In April 2010, the museum moved into a new facility at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport at 4672 First Flight Drive. The new facility has enabled the majority of the aircraft to be inside a climate-controlled facility along with new displays.
Acquisition of US Airways Flight 1549 Airbus
On 15 January 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 took off from New York's LaGuardia Airport for a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, when multiple bird strikes a few minutes after takeoff forced a ditching in the Hudson River. The ditching and subsequent rescue operations were accomplished without loss of life. The aircraft was eventually recovered from the river.
In January 2011, the Carolinas Aviation Museum acquired the entire airframe from Chartis Insurance. The airframe was transported by road from its storage location at J Supor & Son Trucking & Rigging Co. Inc. in Kearny, New Jersey to the display facility at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte.
The transportation started on June 4 and arrived on June 10, 2011. The road trip took 7 days, and covered 788 miles in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia & North Carolina. J Supor & Son transported the aircraft to the museum. Because the fuselage was transported in one piece, as it was when it was recovered from the river, the truck was 190 feet long. Virtually everything except the passengers' personal effects are still in the airplane. The landing gear pins, fire axe, and the manuals were still in the cockpit, and the Coke cans were still in the food carts.
The airframe has been reassembled and is now on display, in the same configuration as it was when it was pulled out of the Hudson River in January 2009. The airframe is being conserved, as opposed to restored, with dents from the birds and tugboat. In addition to the airframe, Captain Sullenberger and First Officer Skiles have contributed their uniforms to the museum's 1549 exhibit.The aircraft arrived in June 2011, and reassembly of the main components took about one year. The engines arrived in May 2012 and were planned to be reassembled in time for the fourth anniversary of the landing in the Hudson (January 15, 2013).
The museum opened a major new exhibit about flight 1549, with artifacts such as Captain Sullenberger's uniform in August 2012. The museum, in conjunction with the North Carolina School of the Arts Film School, is producing a movie about the project to save, move, reassemble, and display the aircraft. The movie should be completed sometime in the middle of 2013. The aircraft is an A320-214.