Aerospace & Defense

A Business Ecosystem with Aero Dynamics

When the Wright Brothers made history at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina’s legacy of flight took off.

Mission is top of mind when it comes to Cleveland County’s aerospace and defense industry. Many of the components critical for industry, military and government aircraft, defense vehicles and automobiles are produced in Greater Charlotte.

At the heart of the local industry is the region’s advanced manufacturing supply chain supported by a workforce that excels from the front line to the cutting edge. Skilled specialists and engineering graduates from the 25-plus local colleges are eager to grow careers in a state that offers a unique quality of life and has the lowest unionization rate in the country.

Incentives and the state’s low corporate income tax rate (2.5%) were part of the perks when aircraft manufacturer Curtiss-Wright expanded and transformed its Shelby facility into a Center of Excellence for the company.

Plus, with three international airports within a three-hour drive and an interconnected ground, rail and port system, Cleveland County offers a reliable line of logistics that get products to the front lines quickly.

Quick Facts


Fastest Growing Aerospace Industry in the U.S.

North Carolina

Aerospace Companies

North Carolina

Aerospace Providers

North Carolina

Aerospace Research Facilities

North Carolina

Of Supply Chain Purchases are In State

North Carolina

Manufacturing Jobs Added in the Charlotte Region

Since 2013

Notable Employers

Curtiss-Wright Curtiss-Wright
IF Armor IF Armor
Kings Mountain International Kings Mountain International

All Cleveland County Manufacturing Employment Data


Number of Establishments


Total Employment


Average Annual Earnings

Curtiss Wright Flight Systems Success Story Cover
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Success Story

Curtiss Wright Flight Systems

Read the Full Story

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