Ahead of the 13th anniversary of the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight tomorrow, the Carolinas Aviation Museum (CAM) announces it will be renamed in honor of Captain Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III, who together with the crew of US Airways Flight 1549, heroically landed the plane in the Hudson River and saved all lives on board. The Museum will formally announce its official new name later this year.
Upon reopening in 2023, the Smithsonian affiliate will also become home to a permanent exhibit honoring the Captain and crew of the flight, including the “Miracle on the Hudson” airplane, which previously attracted more than 74,000 visitors to the Museum annually.
“I am forever indebted to Captain Sully and the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 for my second chance at life, and, for 13 years, I have been determined to find a way to honor them,” said Red Ventures CEO and crash survivor Ric Elias, who personally donated $1M toward the Museum’s re-opening, alongside a $500,000 donation from Lonely Planet, a Red Ventures brand. “Heroes are made long before the day they are called to action. This museum will serve as an enduring tribute to the preparation, courage and dedication of the captain and the entire crew.”
This gift brings funding for CAM’s Lift-Off Campaign to over $11 million, nearly halfway to its goal of $25 million.
The renamed and revamped museum will feature a new main gallery, visitor center, plaza, and newly restored historic hangar as well as dozens of aircrafts and interactive cockpits, flight simulators, and historic artifacts that chronicle our region’s indelible connection to the wonder of flight and aviation innovation. The Museum will also highlight STEM/aviation and aerospace programming that connects students to the explosion of STEM career opportunities. The new concept was developed by Freeman Ryan Design, one of the world’s foremost authorities in creating compelling exhibitions, museums and visitor experiences, and will be located at the site of Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s historic WPA/Douglas Airport Hangar.
“We’re thrilled to honor Captain Sully and the heroic ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ crew and cement our city’s place in aviation history,” said Museum Board Chair Marc Oken. “With support from the city of Charlotte, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and generous private donors, we’re looking forward to establishing the Museum as the new premiere aviation destination of the South.”
About The Carolinas Aviation Museum
The Carolinas Aviation Museum – which will be renamed later this year to honor Captain “Sully” Sullenberger – is Charlotte’s most uplifting destination, a place where visitors can be inspired by the everyday heroism of flight, learn about the science of aviation and its importance to our region, and experience the living history of flying through a wide variety of artifacts and aircraft. Carolinas Aviation Museum is a recipient of support from the Infusion Fund, a partnership between the City of Charlotte, Foundation For The Carolinas, and generous donors to support the arts and cultural sector. For more information, visit www.carolinasaviation.org.