The long-awaited opening of the brand-new Sullenberger Aviation Museum is oh-so-close…We cannot wait to see all of the aviation science goodness that comes from this new museum in the Western Piedmont. Thanks to our “inside woman” we have a great scoop for you to read on what you’ll be able to see and experience coming June 1st.

Many thanks to Michele Miller Houck for providing this blog post on the all-new Sullenberger Aviation Museum in Charlotte. Take it away, Michele…

In advance of Opening Day, we wanted to share our excitement about this new gem in the crown of the Charlotte region and an original member of the NC Science Trail. Our recommendation, in short: you should go. Buy a membership if you want to go on a regular basis, because you will want to spend time exploring each and every exhibit, hands on interactive, and virtual reality kiosk. You’ll want to hear the oral histories, watch the “Miracle on the Hudson” short film, and climb into one of three cockpits accessible to the public. The theatrical lighting, the shining metal of refurbished aircraft, and the dented fuselage of the Flight 1549’s A-320 all tell thousands of stories that you won’t want to rush through. Spend some time at Sullenberger Aviation Museum this summer, and you will see what we mean.

But here are the details that you’ll want to know before you go!

Sullenberger Aviation Museum, the premier aviation museum of the Southeast will officially open its doors to the public on Saturday, June 1, at 10 a.m. Capt. C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger, who, along with his crew, maneuvered the famed “Miracle on the Hudson” landing – and for whom the Museum is named – will be in Charlotte to celebrate during a week of opening activities.

The Museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m., except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Tickets for opening day are sadly sold out. However, there are plenty of tickets avialiable for all other dates through Labor Day. Regular admission prices are $24 for adults; $20 for seniors, veterans, military, and educators; and $18 for students (ages 5 to 17). Members and children under five are always free. Tickets can be purchased here:

In addition, memberships for the Museum’s Frequent Flyer Program are now available. Annual membership costs range from $75 for an Individual membership to $200 for a Family Plus package, which includes free admission for two adults, a caregiver, and up to six children. Perks of membership include free admission for 12 months, free parking, early registration for camps and workshops, and discounts on select events, programs, and merchandise. 

The Museum will also offer a Welcome program designed for individuals receiving SNAP/EBT benefits. More information about the Welcome Program is available at SAM’s Welcome Center.

When it opens, Sullenberger Aviation Museum will be one of the world’s leading institutions honoring and exploring the wonder of flight. But it’s more than just a collection of historic aircraft. Through its expanded mission, the Museum will serve as a vehicle of opportunity to inspire, educate, and elevate the next generation of innovators. Equitable access to career exploration in fields related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will drive innovation and economic growth in the Charlotte region. A primary focus of the Museum will be providing transformative experiences and opportunities to communities who, traditionally, have been underrepresented in the aviation industry, especially women and people of color. 

“Our reimagined galleries and immersive storytelling encompass much more than a new facility,” said Museum President Stephen Saucier, “We now have the privilege to serve as a convener of opportunity, advancing equity and access to careers in aviation throughout the Carolinas and beyond. We are thrilled to be able to welcome curious lifelong learners of all ages through our doors after four years of working toward this goal.”

Sullenberger Aviation Museum is especially committed to accessibility and will offer wheelchair-accessible exhibits and sensory-friendly backpacks so that everyone can explore the wonder of flight. The Museum will also foster access through its Flight Forward program, a consortium of North Carolina aviation industry and educational professionals, several colleges and universities, trade schools, and workforce development groups. This workforce collaborative will work together to create strategic opportunities for student training, networking, and recruitment across STEM-based fields. 

From an exhibition standpoint, the Museum will feature three thematic areas: 

  • Innovation Nation will explore the risks, failures, and triumphs that have advanced aviation. This area features replicas of the Wright Brothers’ Flyer and Glider planes, a Vietnam-era F-4S Phantom II, one of only two existing Skystreak planes used to test breaking the sound barrier, and a P-80 (TV-1 Shooting Star), one of the first jet fighters used during combat, to name a few.

*Innovation Nation will also house the A320 from US Airways Flight 1549, better known as the “Miracle on the Hudson,” and a corresponding exhibit. Flight 1549 has been part of the Museum’s collection since 2011, but when the Museum reopens it will include new artifacts and mementos, including letters from passengers to Capt. Sullenberger.

  • In the Aviation Society exhibition, guests will be introduced to the diverse group of people who contribute to the aviation industry locally and globally. In addition to these personal narratives, the area features an F-14 that is rumored to have made an appearance on the tarmac in “Top Gun,” an ERCO Ercoupe, an American Champion Citabria, and more iconic aircraft.

  • The Museum will open its final thematic area, called Aviation City, later this fall. Aviation City will live in the Museum’s historic WPA/Douglas hangar and will survey the economic and cultural development of Charlotte and the Carolinas’ past, present and future. This area features an F-84 Thunderjet, a Stearman biplane, and a Lockheed T-33, among others.

Each thematic area will feature hands-on, interactive activities like flight simulators, wind tunnels, photobooths, and games appropriate for guests of all ages. The Museum also features a makerspace where visitors can explore, design, and problem-solve via hands-on learning experiences and tools, including a paper airplane launcher and target, 3D printers, cardboard engineering, and snap circuits.  

For more information and to sign up for museum updates, visit