Korean Air donated $25 million to the California Science Center Foundation for use in the construction of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the future home of the space shuttle Endeavour in Exposition Park.
With the gift, the Aviation Gallery in the new center will be named the Korean Air Aviation Gallery, according to the Science Center. The donation also puts the Science Center closer to its $400 million fundraising goal for the Oschin Center, with nearly $350 million now collected.
“We are deeply grateful to our colleagues at Korean Air for their tremendous generosity and partnership in creating a world-class science learning experience that will not only benefit the children and youth of our shared Los Angeles community but will inspire visitors from across the globe,” Jeffrey Rudolph, president and CEO of the California Science Center, said in a statement. “Korean Air’s $25 million gift commitment is unparalleled among our corporate funders, and we are honored that the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will bear the Korean Air Aviation Gallery name in recognition of this meaningful investment in the California Science Center’s educational mission to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone.”
When completed, the 200,000-square-foot Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will include three galleries — aviation, space and shuttle. The Endeavour will be the main attraction at the center, with the shuttle displayed in upright launch position, complete with a massive external fuel tank and dual rocket boosters.
It will be the only shuttle display of its type in the world.
The Korean Air Aviation Gallery will include a collection of about 20 aircraft, some displayed on the ground and others suspended in the air. Among the aircraft on display will be a replica of the Wright Brothers’ 1902 Glider; a Harrier T4 jump-jet; a historic F-100 Super Saber; and the forward 50 feet of a Korean Air-operated Boeing 747 commercial airliner fuselage.
“The Los Angeles area has welcomed our airline and it’s an honor to give back to this great community,” Korean Air Chairman Walter Cho said in a statement. “Los Angeles was Korean Air’s first U.S. destination and we’re proud to be an integral part of its aviation story and history. This facility will provide learning opportunities and hopefully inspire young people to be more curious about aviation and its impact on society. The 747 exhibit will showcase the transformative technology and ongoing impact of the iconic aircraft.”
The Oschin Center is expected to open in 2025.