The former Carolinas Aviation Museum has been renamed the Sullenberger Aviation Museum, after Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River after encountering a bird strike.
Ric Elias, CEO of Charlotte-based Red Ventures, is one of many contributors to the new aviation museum. Elias was also a passenger onboard the historic US Airways flight. The ordeal was reenacted in the 2016 film “Sully“, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks in the namesake role.
“Flight 1549 changed the course of my life and gave me the ultimate gift of a second chance,” Elias said in a statement to ABC11.
The new museum will include an exhibit dedicated to innovations in flight technology. There will also be a strong initiative to get young museum-goers interested in aviation, science, and technology. The museum is known for its full-scale models of both military and commercial aircraft and offers accessible ticket pricing.
“I feel privileged that my name will be associated with such an awe-inspiring institution that is actively working to expand social, cultural, and economic mobility in Charlotte and beyond,” says Sullenberger. After retiring in 2010, he now focuses on public speaking and initiatives that support innovations in aviation.
The Sullenberger Aviation Museum is set to open in 2023, with a groundbreaking ceremony taking place in late September.