The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has announced a $5 million gift from Giving Pledge signatory David M. Rubenstein in support of the Wright Brothers & the Invention of the Aerial Age exhibition.
The gift will support the preservation and display of the 1903 Wright Flyer, the centerpiece of the gallery. Slated to open in 2022, the newly redesigned exhibition will feature artifacts from Wilbur and Orville's youth to help visitors better understand what enabled the brothers to achieve one of the transformational accomplishments in history. The exhibition also will provide an educational platform on STEM concepts such as problem-solving, engineering, and iteration that are a central part of the Wright brothers' story.
"The Wright Flyer represents a pivotal step in the creation of our modern world and humanity's need to achieve and explore," said Peter Jakab, senior curator at the museum. "The Wright brothers and their airplane resonate with how we live today, which makes their story timeless and endlessly fascinating."