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National Air and Space Museum announces $28M gift from major airlines

This Huff-Daland Duster was designed to perform aerial crop dusting and eventually became the first aircraft to be used by the forerunner of the international airline Delta Air Lines. It is currently on view at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly and will be moved to the National Air and Space Museum’s building in Washington, D.C., for installation in the transformed “America by Air” gallery, scheduled to open in 2021. Courtesy Photo/Dane Penland, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum announced today that nine major commercial airlines contributed gifts totaling $28 million to support the transformation of the flagship building in Washington, D.C.

The monetary gifts are among the first for the campaign to transform all of the museum’s exhibitions and visitor experience. Construction is scheduled to begin in late summer 2018.

In support of the “America by Air” gallery, American Airlines, The Delta Air Lines Foundation and United Airlines contributed as lead donors with Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Spirit Airlines also supporting the effort "to re-imagine the gallery," museum officials said. In recognition of a gift from Southwest Airlines toward the transformation of other museum exhibitions last year, the Welcome Center in the museum’s “Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall” has been designated the Southwest Airlines Welcome Center.

“The generous contribution by the airlines not only signals their commitment to the storied history of air travel, but to inspiring young people to pursue careers in aviation and engineering,” Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the National Air and Space Museum, said in a prepared statement. “These gifts help launch the museum on a trajectory to realizing the transformation of this important place.”

“America by Air” is one of the three main halls at the museum’s flagship building on the National Mall. Through large aircraft to smaller artifacts such as uniforms, models and engines, the gallery traces the history of commercial aviation in the United States. It explores how improvements in technology have revolutionized air travel and how the flying experience has changed. The gallery features highlights such as a Douglas DC-3, the nose of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet that visitors can enter, a Ford 5-AT Tri-Motor and a Douglas DC-7.

The contribution by the airlines will support the re-imagining of the hall and will be recognized at the entrance. The gallery is scheduled to close mid-2018, and the newly renovated gallery will open in approximately 2021. Most visitor favorites will remain in the gallery as others are welcomed to the building for the first time, including the Lincoln-Standard H.S. and the Huff-Daland Duster, both of which are currently on display at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly. The visitor experience will be improved through a refreshed layout with new design and graphics, new interactives and better accessibility throughout, officials said.

“This rare collaborative effort within the competitive industry of commercial aviation shows how important it is to inspire the next generation and the airline industry’s commitment toward that effort,” said John Plueger, chairman of the museum’s board.


As a business owner I can attest that companies hire more people ONLY when sales growth justifies it.  We don’t hire just because we make more money. AND, think about this: we’d prefer to buy machines instead of hiring workers.

Tax breaks for businesses can be justified on many grounds, but “passing on corp tax savings to employees” is the justification that is least evidenced in corporate behavior.

I guess some people don’t get it that big companies HIRE MORE PEOPLE when they are not paying ridiculous taxes. The tax relief has had a very positive impact on smaller companies (like mine) too. I was able to give raises and bonuses to employees that were better than before and I was able to hire three new people. Now, if we can get rid of Obamacare, I’d be able to do even more for my employees, like go back to the outstanding healthcare plan we had before, that I can no longer afford.

Yes, the tax plan that has rewarded big companies now they’re scrambling to make donations, etc. to look as good as possible. I hope you feel good about your 401(k) too because the vast majority of American’s don’t own stock.

Generous gift….probably due to trumps tax plan…thank you….

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