New Home Approved For The Hickory Aviation Museum

Hickory council approves design contract for new Hickory Aviation Museum, CVCC workforce site

Legacy Hornet #5 in front of the museum's entrance. Photo via Hickory Aviation Museum
LIFT APRIL 2022


As reported in the Hickory Record, on Tuesday, June 21st the Hickory City Council approved a $1.2 million contract with the architecture firm McMillian Pazdan Smith for the design of the building. Deputy City Manager Rodney Miller told the council the total cost for the new building will be $22 million. Catawba Valley Community College will have a new workforce facility at the Hickory Regional Airport in a building that also will serve as the new home for the Hickory Aviation Museum.

This rendering by architecture firm McMillan Pazdan Smith shows the concept for the new building that will house the Hickory Aviation Museum and Catawba Valley Community College Workforce Innovation Center. Photo via Hickory Record

The Hickory Aviation Museum is located at the Hickory Regional Airport (HKY) in Hickory North Carolina and is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization. The interior of the Hickory Aviation has artifacts and memorabilia ranging from WWII to the present day. Including an exhibit about famed North Carolinians Bill and George Preddy, provided by the Preddy Foundation. Models are on display which depict how aircraft designs changed over time from the Wright Flyer of 1903 to the present-day F/A-18 Hornet. The Naval Aviation Annex is located in the old baggage claim area. Various artifacts are on display including an F-14 Camera Pod, two 20mm Vulcan cannons, one carried in an F-14, the other in a F/A-18 Hornet. USN and USMC uniforms are on display along with models of a WWII-era aircraft carrier and a modern Nimitz Class Carrier.

As we reported previously, the Marine Corps decided to permanently close its only museum devoted solely to aviation on March 28th, 2021 — an unfortunate decision which the institution’s foundation and volunteers had worked hard to avoid for the past decade. Subsequent to its closing, however, came the thorny issue of where to place the aircraft within its collection. As we noted on August 2,2021, their unique Douglas SBD-1 Dauntless found a new home with the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Immediately after, their FM-2 Wildcat was moved across the country to join the Hickory Aviation Museum in Hickory, North Carolina.

Photo via Hickory Aviation Museum

The Hickory Aviation Museum at Hickory Regional Airport in Hickory, North Carolina had a busy 2021, with the arrival of several new airframes, including OV-1D Mohawk 62-5874, FM-2 Wildcat BuNo.16278 and A-6E Intruder BuNo.155629. The advent of 2022 finds their growing aviation collection of nearly two dozen aircraft will soon receive yet another historic addition, this being McDonnell F-101B-50-MC Voodoo 56-0243.

The TF-101F Voodoo 56-0243 as she presently sits amongst the outdoor exhibits at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. This aircraft will soon find a new home at the Hickory Aviation Museum. (image via Hickory Aviation Museum)

We wish the Hickory Aviation Museum great success with their endeavors and look forwards to reporting more once further news becomes available. For more information, please visit www.hickoryaviationmuseum.org



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