Flexjet gifts $1 million to Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

By Doug Gollan, June 23, 2021

In support of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Flexjet on Monday announced a $1 million gift. The contribution will specifically support the new “Thomas W. Haas We All Fly” gallery, which will celebrate the joy of flying and the impact of general aviation.

“The executives in our organization, including our Chairman Kenn Ricci, led by example in giving back to our community so we are proud to continue that practice by contributing to such a worthy cause,” said Michael Silvestro, Chief Executive Officer of Flexjet, the second-largest fractional share operator. “The ‘We All Fly’ gallery will introduce a wider audience to general and private aviation, helping to educate the public on the important function the industry plays – from economic benefits to job opportunities to the thrill of aviation careers.”

Ricci, who is also a Smithsonian National Board member, said, “What is truly exciting about this gift is that the innovations we are implementing in private aviation today will be reflected in tomorrow’s galleries at the museum.”

The National Air and Space Museum is the largest and most visited of the Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums. This new gallery is part of the museum’s ongoing transformation of all its galleries at the flagship building in Washington, D.C.

The Thomas W. Haas Foundation founded what will become the “Thomas W. Haas We All Fly” gallery with a $10 million gift. “We All Fly” will include examples of different forms of general aviation, from business aircraft to gliders, and it will be among the first of the new galleries in the museum’s West End to open in 2022.

According to the museum, at the entrance of this new gallery will be Sean D. Tucker’s Oracle Challenger III high-performance aerobatic flight aircraft. Also featured in the gallery will be a Cessna 180, Gates Lear Jet, and a Cirrus SR22. In addition, the exhibition will feature new educational interactive technology and engaging videos. It will also explore the valuable impact of general aviation.

“We are grateful for this generous support from Flexjet,” said Dorothy Cochrane, aviation curator at the museum. “The gift will enable us to continue to tell these important stories, showing young people, and all visitors, the many possibilities open to them in the aviation field.”

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport.

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