President George W. Bush on September 5, 1992 visited the Western North Carolina Air Museum during his campaign for reelection swing to see the Oshkosh Champion Stearman N2S-4. After being greeted by Retired Lt. Colonel Bill Schreier, the then President of the museum and his wife Caroline, President spent about 15 minutes looking over the Museum's Stearman. Ignoring the heavy rain falling at the Museumtook the time to admire the type of aircraft in which the President and Lt.Colonel Schreier plus many other pilots learned to fly in during World War II.The President was most gracious and very appreciative that the Stearman was made available for him to inspect in such bad weather.
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From our humble beginning in a single hanger at the Hendersonville, North Carolina Airport (0A7) to where the Western North Carolina Air Museum is today: We have held steadfast in our mission to Preserve and Promote Western North Carolina's Aviation Heritage.
The museum continues to grow. As we acquire more of the aircraft that are a vital part of aviation history and institute youth education programs:We find ourselves again needing to expand our facilities.
In April 2014 the museum enters it's 25 year of providing a place where young and old are able to see touch and learn about the planes and people that lifted a generation into the age of flight. So Come and Visit Us Today!
As the museum continued to grow the decision was made to expand our facilities. In the spring 2000 construction began on a lower hanger that would be used as rental hangers for member's aircraft and as a source of future income for the museum. Part of the agreement with the members who would rent these hangers; was and still is that any aircraft housed in these hangers would be open to viewing by museum visitors. Construction was of these hangers were completed September of 2001 and the hangers began receiving its first renters shortly there after.
Land was acquired from Mr. Leland Johnson on "Johnson's Airfield" which is adjacent to the Hendersonville Airport for the building site. Soon after plans for the museum where approved and building began.
Construction of the hangar which is now the permanent home of the Western North Carolina Air Museum was completed on schedule in January 1993. The grand opening of the Air Museum took place on Saturday, May 22 of that year. An addition to the Museum hangar was later constructed, and it was opened to the public early in 2008
A Stearman N2S-4, a North American SNJ-5/AT-6 and the 1928 Heath Parasol were available initially, A Stearman N2S-3 and a Fairchild PT-19 were also part of the Air Museum's initial inventory, but all of those aircraft except the Heath Parasol have since been sold or are otherwise unavailable for display in the Air Museum. The Oshkosh Champion Stearman N2S-4 was sold in March 1997, and the SNJ-5/AT-6 was unfortunately crashed and totaled, it too is no longer here at the museum.
After the Air Museum was founded, the top priority project was the construction of a hangar in which the Air Museum's aircraft could be displayed.
On May 11, 1992, a temporary home for the Air Museum's aircraft was opened in hangar 61 at the Hendersonville Airport. Several of the Air Museum's aircraft were on display in this temporary location until such time as the completion of a new Museum hangar.
The Western 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, Dennis Dunlap, Bill Schreier and Ken Stubbs.
The Air Museum was established "to preserve the Aviation heritage of North Carolina in general and of Western North Carolina in particular." The Western North Carolina Air Museum was incorporated in North Carolina in August 1989 and was granted a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service.