The center section of the museum was originally constructed as an open courtyard with 22,000 square feet of uncovered exhibit space. Over the years, the museum added a PBY-5A Catalina flying boat, MiG-17, and an F-4S Phantom II to this open-air display area.
Today, the old courtyard has given way to a new, covered Pavilion of Flight. This fully enclosed area also houses a 1928 Ford Tri-Motor passenger plane in Pan American Airways colors and a Vietnam-era Huey Cobra helicopter gunship. These legends come alive with striking effect under the fabric and metal domed cover of the Pavilion of Flight during nighttime dinners and special events.