About the Museum
The Hickory Aviation Museum is a non-profit organization staffed by dedicated volunteers with a common obsession: the love of aviation!
Admission is free, and on the weekends it makes a wonderful outing for the whole family. Youngsters of all ages can sit in the pilot’s seat and dream!
We as a group are dedicated to maintaining the facts and truths of the Golden Age of Aviation. Aviation artifacts and memorabilia from great airplanes and noteworthy aviation figures are on display.
The Museum is also a gathering place for veterans of all wars and services to meet, tell stories, enjoy camaraderie or just hang out. This creates a priceless opportunity for the younger generation to learn and appreciate what their forebears contributed to the aviation history of this great nation of ours. The Museum is always growing. We add new exhibits and aircraft on a regular basis.
History of the Musuem
Hickory Aviation Museum began as a dream in the early 1990s by Kregg and Kyle Kirby and one airplane, a semi-abandoned North American Aviation FJ-3 “Fury” that was sitting in a park in Taylorsville, NC. They made arrangements with the township for the aircraft, the NC Air National Guard to transport, and Hickory Regional Airport as the destination, and the beginnings were realized.
The original FJ-3 "Fury"
More aircraft followed, an LTV A-7A “Corsair II” and a Republic Aviation F-105B “Thunderchief" arrived, and restoration began on the three aircraft. More aircraft would soon follow, and in 2007, the City of Hickory and the Hickory Regional Airport allocated space inside the former air terminal and on the ramp for Hickory Aviation Museum to become fully operational. The aircraft collection has grown to over 30 aircraft, cockpits and fuselages.
LTV A-7A “Corsair II”
Republic Aviation F-105B “Thunderchief"
With the help and support of families, friends, and volunteers, the museum space was organized and the artifacts started arriving and were placed on display. Since then, it’s been nothing but growth with the addition 24 more aircraft and countless artifacts and memorabilia that are on display or in storage awaiting display as the museum curators rotate items to keep the visitor experience fresh and exciting as multiple visits are not uncommon by our visitors.
The Museum operates as a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and there is no charge for admission. Monetary donations are tax deductible and artifact donations are also welcome if they meet current criteria as promulgated by the Museum Curator.