The National Soaring Museum (NSM) is the only comprehensive U.S. museum focused on motorless flight. Standing at the top of Harris Hill, 800 feet above the Chemung River, the museum houses the largest collection of sailplanes in the world, dating from the late 1890s to the late 20th century. Also in the collection are replicas of the 1902 and 1911 gliders built by the Wright brothers, as well as a piece of wing cloth from the Wright brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk.
For those who wish to try their hand at flying but prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, the National Soaring Museum has several flight simulators which offer visitors the soaring experience from the comfort of within the museum. For the more adventurous, Harris Hill Soaring Center offers public glider rides and is located adjacent to the museum overlooking the Chemung River Valley.
Throughout the year the National Soaring Museum offers several fun and educational programs for youth, including “Sleeping With Sailplanes” soaring encampments, week-long summer programs and the Eileen Collins Aerospace Camp, named after Elmira native Col. Eileen Collins, the first woman pilot in the nation's space program. A favorite with both children and adults, these programs are a wonderful way to further spark inspiration and creative thinking in our youth.