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Historic Flight Foundation was established in 2003 as “John T. Sessions Historic Aircraft Foundation” with the intention to collect, restore, and share significant aircraft from the period between the solo Atlantic crossing of Charles Lindbergh and the first test flight of the Boeing 707. Throughout the intervening years, Historic Flight has acquired at least two aircraft annually and engaged the best restoration resources available to return the collection to original splendor.

Beginning in 2006, the primary focus became planning for a permanent facility to share the collection, maintain the aircraft for flight, and restore aircraft that might either be added to the collection or exchanged for aircraft better aligned with the mission and message. While a significant airport since 1942, Paine Field had not seen serious activity on its west side since WWII. The Kilo-6 site has particular appeal; its proximity to the main runway and elevation above the Mukilteo Speedway means that architectural features can be enjoyed from a distance. Snohomish County allowed a long-term land lease, and design began, both of the Restoration Center and the Education Center. The Restoration Center will open early 2010.