THE NATIONAL SOARING MUSEUM (NSM) IS ONE OF ONLY TWO U.S. MUSEUMS FOCUSED ON MOTORLESS FLIGHT.
Our local community, Elmira, NY is regarded as the "Soaring Capital of America," in part because of soaring's central role for over 80 years in the social and economic history of the region, attracting individuals and associations from around the world for contests, lectures, symposia, and special events.
The prominence of soaring in Elmira was established with the first thirteen national soaring contests, held here from 1930 to 1946. This was made possible through an alliance of the Soaring Society of America (SSA), the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation (HHSC), and what became our county's Chamber of Commerce. Harris Hill, home to the Museum and HHSC, has since hosted many other national, regional and international contests and exhibitions. The Works Projects Administration (WPA) built Chemung County's Harris Hill Park in the 1930s. These facilities included the gliderport, hangars, cabins for housing contest pilots and crews, a youth camp, and an administration building. The field at which the national contests were held is still active (operated by HHSC) with the runway directly in front of the museum.
Several other milestones also contribute to the area being central to the science, history, and sport of soaring. The Schweizer Aircraft Corporation produced over half of all American sailplanes built in the 20th century. At the outbreak of World War II, Elmira was the first site chosen to develop a glider program and train pilots for the war effort. During the 1930s, 40s, and 50s the SSA at times maintained its headquarters in Elmira.
Monday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM