The Desert Sages, a Boeing retirement club, approached Mesa Public Schools in September 1997 with a very unique idea: the possibility of building a child-sized, fixed wing, full-motion flight simulator. Funding for the project came from the local Boeing plant that builds the Apache Helicopter. The simulator was built by Desert Sages volunteers at the Chandler-Gilbert Community College aviation facility. Since "Flight and Space" was a core science unit for all fifth graders in Mesa Public Schools, the simulator was a welcomed addition.

Construction began in the spring of 1998 and was completed at the end of August 1998. The Lowell Flight Center was dedicated and ready for students on November 19, 1998.

A second Flight Center was opened at Salk Elementary in 2000 to accommodate all of the 5th-grade classes in the district.