The Carolina Aviation Museum is situated on the grounds of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina and offers visitors a chance to hop on board and see for themselves the plane that was the Miracle of the Hudson, which made an emergency landing on the river in 2009, while experiencing what it must have been like for all those involved. The Carolina Museum is a must-visit for any aviation enthusiast, if only just to witness its interior collection of nearly 50 static aircraft. The aviation museum has old models from the 1950s to the 1960s, including some interesting examples of Cold War military aircraft. The Florence Air and Missile Museum provided several of the aircraft, as did the Marine Corps Air Station New River and the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

The Beginning of the Carolina Aviation Museum

The Charlotte Airport Hangar come to life in the 1930s thanks to the Works Progress Administration. At the time there were two 3,000-foot runways and a single 2,500-foot runway. The airport also had 2 buildings, a terminal, and an administration structure as well as a hangar and beacon tower. The first commercial flight was in 1938 and six flights used to take off from Charlotte each day. The Carolina Aviation Museum came about after the deconstruction of the old hangar and the museum was finally relocated to a 40,000-square foot hangar located on First Flight Drive. The museum features historical aircraft like the B-24, B-29, and B -17 as well as the C-54 (of the Berlin Airlift fame) that visits the museum from time to time and is fully functional.


The Commercial Aviation exhibit looks at the rivalry between Douglas and Boeing as well as the start of commercial flying in the 1920s. The DC- 3 was pushed by Douglas, who wanted to get a head start on Boeing, and this line became one of the world’s best-selling aircraft of all time. The Helicopters exhibition introduces the aircraft of the Vietnam War, where helicopters were one of the main methods of transportation due the evolution of strategical military aviation. Civil Aircraft displays the pioneers of the skies and gives an exciting and detailed look at the old flying greats, while Military Aviation encompasses all the important aspects of military warfare and shows how the US continues to invest in aviation technology.

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Get Involved

There are invitations to donate, volunteer, and even join an internship program at the Carolina Aviation Museum. Donations help to preserve the museum, while volunteers can work as museum docents, education assistants, special events assistants, and more. They welcome all ages. In addition, the education interns assist with the operations, programs and research in the development of the museum.

Back to: Charlotte, NC

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), 4672 1st Flight Dr, Charlotte, NC 28208, website, Phone: 704-997-3770

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