History

The North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Museum was founded by Harold Hanson who wanted to share his love of aviation with others. Harold’s love of airplanes went back to his early childhood, and brought him joy throughout his life. Below Harold shares some thoughts about why he started the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Museum.

When I was a little boy I used to look up at the sky each time I heard the sound of an airplane flying overhead. It was a dangerous pastime because falling in love with airplanes can be a dangerous thing. You read about them, you talk about them, and you beg, borrow and steal from the cookie jar to fly them every chance you get. You bore your family and friends, and you daydream about someday having the world’s biggest hanger with a fleet of some of the most interesting and pristine aircraft imaginable. Any of us that truly love airplanes, especially antiques and aircraft from the early years, have had that dream. Add to that the realization that a lot of the most interesting and historical airplane designs are slowly fading from view and what you have is a problem…

What to do?

How do you get your airplane fix, preserve these airplanes and, at the same time, share them with all the other airplane crazed lunatics out there?

You start a museum. Not just any museum – there are lots of those, but mostly dedicated to war birds or military types. You take your love for these light airplanes, combine it with a desire to preserve and share them and you slowly start to build a unique collection of the light airplanes of the common man. These are the planes we’ve heard the old timers at the local airport talk about. These are the airplanes our grandfathers, our fathers, and even some of us flew and learned to fly in. These are the airplanes we’ve heard the old timers at the local airport talk about. These are airplanes that are being pushed aside by high tech, but still have a useful life in the sky. You seek them out, you restore them and you fly them. You make make sure they are not forgotten, and you hang a welcome sign on the hangar door.

-Harold Hanson