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I’m Chris Bainbridge… inviting you to take a ride with me. This is an amazing place to find adventure in all shapes and sizes. Ingles has sent me on a mission to bring you the very best of what our beautiful home has to offer – food, fun, nature, music, and more… all affordable, and all out of the ordinary. This is The Ingles Open Road.
Here in North Carolina, we’re quite fond of claiming first in flight. And rightfully so. It was in the Outer Banks where the Wright brothers took that 120 foot trip that would change the world. But here in the mountains in the town of Hendersonville we have our own bit of aeronautical history. Right here at 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 many incredible planes. You won’t find any airplanes under glass. You won’t find velvet ropes to keep you away. You’ll only find airplanes and volunteers who love them. Many are pilots who even own and fly some of the airplanes that are on display.
Not only that, but several of the planes you see here were fully restored right in the museum by volunteers. Like this incredible 1932 E-2 Taylor Cub. It was taken apart, reskinned, and mechanically overhauled to reveal this beauty you see before you. And this is just one of the many stories the passionate volunteers love to share with visitors.
Volunteers like Al who has been here for years. The aircraft are amazing. True icons of our aeronautical past. But the volunteers are the real treasures here. All with incredible knowledge to share and stories to tell. Stories from war planes to racing planes… total tear-downs to restorations… and of course the trips off in the wild blue yonder.
That’s one thing that’s really special about this air museum. Many of the relics still work. In fact on a sunny Saturday you may see a beautiful bi-plane cutting through the clouds and wonder for a split second – have I gone back in time? Well, no. And maybe – yes.
Going back in time is kind of the point here. It’s learning and celebrating. Sticking your head in the clouds with your feet on the ground. And gaining a fun and educational appreciation for something that many of us take for granted these days: flying.
There’s no charge for admission here, but paid memberships are available, and donations are welcome to help them continue their mission of preservation and education. To learn more and plan your visit head to WesternNorthCarolinaAirMuseum.com. Take off into a world of fun and adventure. Your weekend is waiting, on the Ingles Open Road.