On Monday, Cleveland-based business jet fractional-share provider Flexjet announced a $1 million gift to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, specifically to support the new “Thomas W. Haas We All Fly ” gallery. The new exhibit “will celebrate the joy of flying and the impact of general aviation,” said Flexjet. It is to be among the first new museum exhibits to open in 2022 following a number of extensive renovations.
Michael Silvestro, Flexjet CEO, said, “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.”
Flexjet Chairman Kenn 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.”
To be located in the museum’s West End, the entrance of this new gallery will feature Sean D. Tucker’s Oracle Challenger III high-performance aerobatic biplane. A Cessna 180 taildragger, a Learjet and a Cirrus SR22 will also be featured. Besides the aircraft, educational interactive technology and a series of videos will chronicle the long-term contributions general aviation has made and encourage young people to become involved in the industry as a career opportunity.
Dorothy Cochrane, aviation curator at the museum, said, “We are grateful for this generous support from Flexjet. 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.”