Charlotte aviation museum officially named for Capt. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger

CHARLOTTE — A new aviation museum is preparing for take-off.

In September, officials with the former Carolinas Aviation Museum broke ground on a new state-of-the-art facility near Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

On Thursday, the new facility was officially renamed the Sullenberger Aviation Museum in honor of Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who famously landed US Airways Flight 1549 safely in New York City’s Hudson River in 2009, which became known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

The actual plane is being stored at the museum and will be on exhibit along with more than 45 historic aircraft when the facility opens.

The multi-building campus will also include flight simulators, immersive multimedia, interactive exhibits and STEM education programs. An outdoor plaza will also provide direct viewing of the active runways and taxiways at the airport.

Charlotte Douglas is managing the site development, which will be conducted in two phases.

The new museum is projected to open at the end of the year and is expected to draw more than 120,000 visitors annually and connect more than 15,000 students to STEM programming and career development labs.

“It’s extremely uplifting to have so much momentum, buoyed by the generous public and private support for our mission of improving lives and economic opportunities through the innovative and expanding field of aviation,” Stephen Saucier, president of the Carolinas Aviation Museum said in a news release. “For centuries humans dreamed of flying, and now this museum will utilize the wonder of flight to inspire the next generation into the STEM fields and to celebrate our state’s growing aviation and aerospace industries.”

The Smithsonian affiliate, which was founded more than 25 years ago, temporarily closed its doors in 2019 to prepare for the new facility.

For more information, go to carolinasaviation.org.

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