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National Soaring Museum, Elmira

(40 reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum
The National Soaring Museum is an aviation museum whose stated aim is to preserve the history of motorless flight. It is located on top of Harris Hill near Elmira, New York, USA.The NSM is the Soaring Society of America's official repository. In 1975, the SSA Board of Directors transferred the Soaring Hall of Fame to the National Soaring Museum.The museum features a large collection of gliders on display as well as computerized flight simulators. The museum also offers educational programs.The museum also administers the National Landmark of Soaring program to recognize people, places and events which are significant in the history of motorless aviation.HistoryElmira and Harris Hill have long been associated with soaring in the USA. The establishment of the nation's most prolific glider manufacturer, Schweizer Aircraft in Elmira and the holding of first 13 National Soaring Contests at the site between 1930 and 1946 guaranteed its stature as a location.During the US National Soaring Contests in the 1950s competitors and organizers discussed the concept of a national soaring museum. A local Elmira museum at Strathmont Estates featured a display on the subject at the time.In the 1960s, the gliding segment of this small collection was moved to Harris Hill as a result of the work of the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation and Schweizer Aircraft co-founder Paul A. Schweizer.By 1969 the Soaring Society of America had earmarked Harris Hill as the location for the future National Soaring Museum. The museum was established as an independent nonprofit corporation. The New York State Department of Education chartered the museum as a non-profit educational institution in 1972.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We actually held our biannual quilt show at the museum. The many displays are wonderful and looked amazing with the quilts hanging all around them. The staff is amazing to work with. On a clear day yo...  more »
  • This may seem like an unlikely pair but it was really nice. I enjoyed the quilts and my boyfriend enjoyed the aircraft's and history. we were both happy and liked our visit very much. It was great how...  more »
  • We had the best tour, buy the director, of this rare gem of a museum. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can just jump off into the air despite the solidity of the earth at their feet, in suc...  more »
Google
  • Nice place to visit and learn about gliders. On your way back home stop at Harris Hill amusement play park and let the kids have some fun.
  • What an amazing place. It's small but packed with history. If you are a fan of aviation will enjoy this a great deal. I spent 2 hours here so fascinated by gliders. Even watched one take off outside.
  • Very sweet place- history, gliders through the years on display- I learned a lot. The man at the desk was helpful and kind. Outside we saw a few gliders being towed up, glide, and land. Until thunderstorms came in, which created one of the most fantastic shows I've ever seen. Scenery was incredible..I look forward to bringing friends.
  • Good collection of soar planes with explanations of each and it's history and vital information.
  • Awesome place to visit and the views are beautiful.