Image of the Aviation Pavilion that has planes, helicopters, and experimental vehicles.

Aviation Pavilion

The museum Aviation Pavilion is an outdoor exhibit space housing over twenty of our helicopter/planes and other experimental vehicles. Some highlights of this pavilion are Army One, the VH-34C Choctaw President helicopter, which flew President Kennedy and the only remaining UH-1 that made the first helicopter flight to the South Pole. It also houses the Army’s experimental “flying cars” – GEM 2X hovercar and the Air Jeep II are just some of the fascinating vehicles on display.

Army's First "Transportation Corps"

In addition to the above, you can see some of the experimental items the Army 'toyed' with. For example, the Cybernetic Walking Machine is here -- just think of the white walking weapons platform from the movie(s) Star Wars. Behind it is the DOAK 16 which was the first successful vertical take-off and landing aircraft. Only one was produced and it is on display here. The Army decided to use helicopters instead of the DOAK 16. The Army experimented with ground effects machines (GEM) and the Curtiss-Wright Model 2500 is on display. The concept never caught on with the public so research was limited. It used aviation fuel which added to the operation costs and could run for about 2 hours at a speed of 50 miles per hour and could carry 1000 pounds of cargo or 4 personnel. The airgeep could reach 3000 feet altitude and could travel at 70 MPH but only for 35 miles. The limitation on range and the improvements in helicopters caused the Army to abandon the concept.

In addition to the oddities of Army aviation, we have early variants of helicopters and some fixed wing aircraft.