The Carolinas Aviation Museum officially changed its name to the Sullenberger Aviation Museum at an announcement yesterday at the STEAM Academy in west Charlotte, North Carolina. The museum was renamed to honor Capt. C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger and the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 for landing in New York’s Hudson River after double engine failure from a bird strike.
The ceremony also included an update to the museum’s capital campaign and its new facility, which will be adjacent to Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The museum houses the Airbus A320 that was plucked from the Hudson. The 105,000-sq-ft multi-building campus will include flight simulators, interactive exhibits, and STEM education programs. It is expected to open at the end of this year.
To date, the museum’s capital campaign has raised 94 percent of the $31 million. Contributors include $5 million from Charlotte Douglas Airport’s Cannon Fund, a $1.5 million gift from Honeywell, and $1 million from Bank of America to name and sponsor the Miracle on the Hudson exhibit. The bank had nearly two dozen employees on Flight 1549.
Also, Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias—who was aboard 1549—personally contributed $1 million along with $500,000 from Red Ventures company Lonely Planet. “Flight 1549 changed the course of my life and gave me the ultimate gift of a second chance,” said Elias.