Picture of Aircraft at the Air Zoo in Michigan

Air Zoo Blog

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What's Up at the Air Zoo?

(besides aircraft and space artifacts)

We always have fun and exciting things to share with you.  Please check back often for exhibit information and openings, event details, special Air Zoo visitors, educationand  program announcements and soooo much more!

Media contact:
Nikki Statler, Director of Marketing
nstatler@airzoo.org  |  269.350.2811

The Air Zoo partners with STEM Flights to offer free flight experiences for local students.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Air Zoo Media Contact: Nikki Statler, Director of Marketing  Phone: 269.350.2811  Email: nstatler@airzoo.org   STEM Flights Media Contact: Carley Walker  Phone: 703.851.7952  Email: carley@stemflights.org   The Air Zoo Aerospace and Science Center has partnered with a fellow nonprofit to deliver free educational flight experiences for middle and high school students in the greater Kalamazoo area.  The flights are... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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Asian American Aviatrix: Hazel Ying Lee

In the early 1930s, when Oregon-born Hazel Ying Lee (1912-1944) dreamed of becoming a pilot, her mother advised her, “It’s not ladylike to fly.” Hazel disagreed. To save money for flying lessons, she worked as a department store elevator operator—one of few jobs opened to Chinese women in America. The Portland Chinese Benevolent Society sponsored Hazel’s flying program and the young pilot took to the sky by age 19. A proud WASP during... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021
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Lots of new items in the Fly Buy Gift Shop!

We’ve been adding to our collection of interactive  toys ,  books , and  clothing  for  babies and toddlers . These popular items encourage hands-on learning, sensory play, and fun! From space and science books to educational toys and an adorable brand-new onesie, we’re sure you’ll find a unique gift item for the little ones in your life.   Check out the Baby University series from author Chris Ferrie, a... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021
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The Air Zoo launches competition, nationally, to raise $100,000 for completion of the SBD-2P & F-117 Nighthawk restorations in 2021

April 21, 2021 Portage, MI – Excitement is building at the Air Zoo as they announce a competition of mass proportions to complete the restoration of the Douglas SBD-2P Dauntless (Bu. No. 2173) and the F-117 Nighthawk Shaba (tail number 817) in 2021. Anyone who has visited the Air Zoo, or follows them on social media, knows that one of their most inspiring experiences is housed in the Air Zoo’s Flight Discovery Center. Since 2013, the Air Zoo has proudly boasted one of the... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Apr 21, 2021
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We have partnered with Target Circle

We are honored to announce that we have been chosen to participate in a special charitable giving campaign, sponsored and funded by Target. And you have the chance to help direct a portion of Target's donation to us! Now through June 30, vote for us through the Target Circle program to help determine how Target's donation will be divvied up. Find out more about target circle here: www.target.com/circle We're asking our supporters to help us make the most of this incredible... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Apr 1, 2021
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Meet Shaba

In 2019, the Air Zoo was notified that it will be the proud recipient of one of the first F- 117 Nighthawks released for public display at a non- government institution. The highly decorated Shaba (817) is one of 15 Nighthawks with over 5,000 flight hours. This incredible aircraft is one of 10 Nighthawks to fly at least 50 combat sorties; one of 7 that flew in at least three of the four significant campaigns in which Nighthawks were used; and one of only 5 that fit all three categories. ... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021
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Because of Her Story - Live Streaming Event

Join Portage City Mayor, Patricia Randall , as she hosts a special Air Zoo evening with Dorothy Cochrane , Curator for the General Aviation Aeronautics Department for the National Air and Space Museum. We are excited to host this immersive and enlightening, Smithsonian, virtual event. This event is part of a national initiative called Because of Her Story.  We hope you will join us, free of charge, as we dig into the exciting work of Dorothy Cochran, and learn more about... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Mar 1, 2021
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The Wright Sister

When leaving their mark on aviation innovation heritage, the Wright brothers did not act alone. A woman helped make their legacy possible.  In 1909, World magazine called the Wright brothers’ younger sister, Katharine, “the American Girl Whom All Europe is Watching.” Katharine Wright served her brothers as a silent partner. Without asking for notoriety, Katharine assisted with experiments, kept her... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Mar 1, 2021
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SBD-2P Recovery and Restoration

Taken from original 2016 Press Release: The Douglas Dauntless Dive-Bomber Bureau Number SBD-2P 2173, an historic World War II Navy aircraft built by Douglas Aircraft Company 1 and once thought lost forever in Lake Michigan, will soon begin a very important phase of her long history. This aircraft will soon be transferred to the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum 2 to undergo a full expert restoration over the next several years. This rescue effort that was begun by Mr. Fred Turner 3 ,... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Mar 1, 2021
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Honoring Black History Month at the Air Zoo - Mae Jemison

Mae C. Jemison   Born in Decatur Alabama in 1956, Mae Jemison moved with her family to Chicago, Illinois at age 3. As a child, Mae loved to dance and could be found in her school library in the science section thumbing through books about astronomy. While she watched and took interest in the news and broadcasts surrounding NASA’s Apollo Space Program, Mae felt disappointed by the absence of women astronauts. Mae appreciated what she saw in the role... Read More
at Monday, Feb 1, 2021
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Honoring Black History Month at the Air Zoo - Willa Brown

Willa Brown   Willa Beatrice Brown (1906-1992) made history two years in a row as the first black woman in America to earn a pilot’s license in 1938, immediately followed by a commercial flight license in 1939. She also made history when she became the first black woman commissioned as a U.S. Civil Air Patrol lieutenant in Illinois. Her ambitions also led Willa to run for office, which made her the first black woman to run for United States... Read More
at Monday, Feb 1, 2021
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Honoring Black History Month at the Air Zoo - Ida Van Smith

Ida Van Smith (1917-2003)  Born in Lumberton, North Carolina, Ida Van Smith taught history and special education in New York City Public Schools after pursuing her undergraduate degree from Shaw University and her master’s degree from Queens College.   In 1967, Ida made a dream come true at age 50 when she learned to fly! She applied her gift of teaching skills to aviation when she earned both her private pilot’s license and instructor... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Feb 1, 2021
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