Rolls-Royce invests in the future of the National Air and Space Museum
Rolls-Royce, a world leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has donated $2 million to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. This is the largest gift ever made by Rolls-Royce in North America and underscores the company’s commitment not only to the aviation/aerospace industry but to the region as well.
In recognition of this donation, for the next ten years the Welcome Center at the Museum’s flagship building on the National Mall in Washington D.C. will be known as the “Welcome Center sponsored by Rolls-Royce”. New signage went up late last month.
James M. Guyette, President & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America Inc. said: “The National Air and Space Museum is an American icon recognized and admired the world-over and we’re delighted to help secure the future of this extraordinary institution. This gift is the largest we’ve ever made in the United States and demonstrates our desire to celebrate and preserve our industry for future generations, here at home and around the world.”
The National Air and Space Museum houses many of the icons of flight including the original 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis”, Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1 and John Glenn’s Friendship 7 spacecraft. Since opening in 1976, it has become the world’s most popular museum facility, welcoming more than 250 million visitors to date.
Rolls-Royce has played a significant role in the history of flight. The company’s engines powered a number of the Museum’s artifacts, such as the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, Boeing 747 and the Concorde. Several of the company’s most well-known engines, including the Rolls-Royce Merlin, RB211 and Dart, are also part of the Museum’s collections.
In recent years, the company has supported a number of projects at the National Air and Space Museum and Mr. Guyette currently serves on the Museum’s Board of Directors.
Photo Caption: James M. Guyette, President & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America Inc. (right) and Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, celebrate the Rolls-Royce sponsorship of the welcome center at the museum’s flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
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