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Acme Aero acquires North Carolina airport

GA fabrication company is ‘bringing back what aviation is missing’

Editor's note: Updated on November 18 with correct runway length and addition of airport frequency. 

The once quiet Little Mountain Airport is no longer a sleepy airfield thanks to general aviation aftermarket suspension and fabrication company Acme Aero. The company purchased the airfield, which it renamed the AcmeAerodrome, in October and hosted a fly-in grand opening event on November 13.

Aerial view of the AcmeAerodrome in Denver, North Carolina. Image courtesy of Google Earth.

Last month, Acme Aero purchased the Little Mountain Airport in Denver, North Carolina. The company, whose motto is “Land Where You Want,” is currently in the process of renaming the airport AcmeAerodrome as a tribute to its growing GA business.

Although the airport is a recent acquisition for Acme Aero, company owner and founder Matt McSwain is already hard at work developing invigorating plans for the once private airfield. “We are going to have a 22,000 square-foot builder assist center where people can come to build or restore their airplanes. If they run into a task they don’t want to complete or don’t know how to do it, that’s where Acme Aero comes in. We can do it for them,” said McSwain.

McSwain also plans to establish a tailwheel flight school, where aircraft such as Piper J–3 Cubs and American Champion Citabrias will be available for dual instruction and rental. McSwain noted, “We don’t have any tailwheel flying facilities around, so we really want to have a place where people can learn to fly the right way.” The airport, which features a paved 3,400-foot runway and a shorter 1,200-foot landing area for short takeoff and landing aircraft, is located just northwest of Charlotte, making the area a beautiful location for beginner mountain flying.

On November 13, 92 airplanes and over 600 people attended AcmeAerodrome’s grand opening fly-in event. “We had a King Air, P–51, 1929 Pietenpol, seven helicopters, and that’s just to name a few,” said McSwain. The day included catered meals courtesy of the Acme Aero team, free Piper J–3 Cub and helicopter flights, live music, bonfires, fireworks, and more. McSwain continued, “[The airport] has been completely private and gated for so long, so we wanted to open it up to the general aviation and local communities. We want people to have a place to come hang out on the weekends.”

Acme Aero owner, Matt McSwain, and his bride, Jennifer Burks, had a surprise wedding during the AcmeAerodrome's grand opening event. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Burks.Although most expected close to 100 airplanes and several hundred attendees for the event, guests couldn’t anticipate the surprise wedding of McSwain and his bride, Jennifer Burks. Burks, who arrived at her airport wedding in a helicopter piloted by Red Bull aerobatic pilot Chuck Aaron, said, “It was just so exciting to pull it off without anyone knowing. When we were starting to plan the [grand opening], I thought about how cool it would be to have a wedding there too. When I approached Matt about it, he actually had already started down that path of a surprise wedding. It just worked for us!”

If you couldn’t make it to AcmeAerodrome’s grand opening, don’t worry: This won’t be the only event that the Acme Aero team will be hosting. McSwain mentioned, “We are going to have a bunch of fly-ins, and we are even going to have the National STOL series here for an event. We want to do everything here.” AcmeAerodrome is also open to visitors during nonevent times. “We have converted one of our hangars to have seven bedrooms with washers and dryers and everything you could need when you fly in here,” said McSwain. “It’s not listed on Airbnb just yet, but it will be soon.” In addition to comfortable accommodations, the airport also has a 10-acre pond for fishing and other water activities for the whole family to enjoy. McSwain also mentioned to tune to the airport's frequency of 130.55 if you decide to fly in for a short or extended stay. 

McSwain said the Acme Aero team is “bringing back what aviation is missing.”

Cayla McLeod

Cayla McLeod

eMedia Assistant Editor
Assistant Editor-Web Cayla McLeod is a private pilot with a love for tailwheel and backcountry aircraft. When she isn't writing stories, she enjoys flying with friends and introducing others to general aviation.
Topics: US Travel

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