“If you remember when flying was an event instead of a burden … then rediscover that excitement” is just one of the marvelously worded lures the WNC Air Museum in Hendersonville employs on its website to entice potential visitors. And it’s true that the facility’s displays of dozens of vintage aircraft — including Pipers, Spitfires, Sopwiths, and many, many more — draws vets and buffs and anyone else who remembers these iconic craft in their own time.
But the Air Museum also aims to instruct the next generation in the valor of flying’s glory days. “Visitors are often surprised to find that we do aircraft restorations right out in the open, on the museum floor. The work can even be seen as it is happening, and is part of the educational process,” museum president Joseph Lilley once noted to Bold Life.
The tough guys who run the place are proud of its interactive nature — they want visitors to feel, smell, and get to know the planes; nothing’s roped off or trapped under glass, the site also notes.
That hands-on approach revs up this weekend, when the museum hosts its annual Just Plane Fun Air Fair and Fly In event on June 4 and 5. Besides refreshments, souvenirs, and kids’ activities, the pilots are offering rides in beautifully restored propellor planes. Burden, lifted.
Just Plane Fun Air Fair and Fly In takes off at the WNC Air Museum on June 4 and 5. Free parking and admission. 1232 Shepherd St. 828-606-1252. Westernnorthcarolinaairmuseum.com