If you have an aviation enthusiast in the family or know someone passionate about history, consider visiting the Carolinas Aviation Museum, which is adjacent to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Located in a 39,000 sq. foot hangar, the museum is home to a variety of aircraft, including the Piedmont DC-3, a speedy, efficient plane that maximized passenger comfort and began operating in 1935. According to the Carolinas Aviation Museum website, over 10,000 of these extremely reliable and affordable planes were built.
Also on exhibit is the Grumman OV-ID “Mohawk,” which was used during the Vietnam War as a battlefield observation and reconnaissance aircraft. It was designed for short takeoffs and landings, per U.S. Army and Marine requirements. The plane has a glass panel on the nose that is actually the lens for an infrared camera; in addition to the Vietnam War, the Mohawk was also used in the Gulf War in the early 90s.
There are many more planes on exhibit at the Carolinas Aviation Museum such as the Douglas A4D-1 “Skyhawk”, the F-14D “Super Tomcat,” and the CH-46D/E “Sea Knight,” a helicopter built by Boeing in the 1960s for the U.S. Navy and Marines. Some of the exhibits are interactive, allowing visitors to climb aboard for close-up looks of the cockpit and instruments. Volunteers at the museum are on hand to assist and to provide details about the planes.
The museum is roomy, clean and glistening and a popular field trip destination for schools and other groups; not only does it educate visitors on aviation history, it provides information for those interested in careers in aviation.
Additionally, the Carolinas Aviation Museum’s gift shop sells model planes, toys and other small items. The Museum also provides a unique venue for corporate events, dinners and birthday parties. Of course, you should call ahead to schedule field trips and dinners.
Admission is $11 for adults, $9 for seniors, $7 for students and active military with ID. Children under age 6 get in free and discounts are available to groups for ten or more.
Carolinas Aviation Museum
4672 First Flight Drive Charlotte, NC 28208-5770