National Soaring Museum

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National Soaring Museum
National Soaring Museum (logo).jpg
LocationElmira (Harris Hill), New York
TypeAviation Museum
Warren E. Eaton Motorless Flight Facility
National Soaring Museum is located in New York
National Soaring Museum
National Soaring Museum is located in the United States
National Soaring Museum
Location62 Soaring Hill Dr., Big Flats, New York
Coordinates42°07′18″N 76°54′05″W / 42.12167°N 76.90139°W / 42.12167; -76.90139Coordinates: 42°07′18″N 76°54′05″W / 42.12167°N 76.90139°W / 42.12167; -76.90139
Built1969 (1969)
NRHP reference #13000778[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 25, 2013

The National Soaring Museum (NSM) 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, United States.[2]

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.[3]

The museum features a large collection of vintage and historical gliders.[2]

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.


Elmira 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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

The museum replaced its original fire-damaged building in 1979 with a new 16,000 sq ft (1,500 m2) facility. In 1989 an addition of 12,000 sq ft (1,100 m2) was completed and in 1993 a 3,200 sq ft (300 m2) Collections Annex was completed.[3]

The presence of the NSM at Harris Hill was instrumental in convincing the National Warplane Museum, now called Wings of Eagles to move to the area in 1997. Along with the nearby Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York, these three aviation history museums are major tourist draws to the Elmira region.[3]

In 2013 the original Warren E. Eaton Motorless Flight Facility was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]


The NSM collection includes:[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 9/16/13 through 9/30/13. National Park Service. 2013-01-18.
  2. ^ a b National Soaring Museum (2008). "Welcome to the National Soaring Museum!". Archived from the original on 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g National Soaring Museum (2008). "The History of the National Soaring Museum". Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
  4. ^ National Soaring Museum (2017). "Sailplanes in Our Collection". Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2017.

External links[edit]