Carolinas Aviation Museum to be Renamed to Honor Captain “Sully” Sullenberger

The Carolinas Aviation Museum (CAM) 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.

Visitor Center Entrance

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.”