- Aviation Pavilion -
The Aviation Pavilion tells the story of aviation development in the Army through helicopters, airplanes, and experimental craft. The orange Huey is the first helicopter to fly at the South Pole. The Golden Knights jump plane, the oldest Chinook in existence, and President Kennedy's Army One helicopter are just some of the fascinating aircraft on display.
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.