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

Collections department, plans for 2022

The Collections staff and volunteers have been working hard on the Guadalcanal Campaign Collection. Our volunteers just finished up inventorying and taking photographs of the 3D objects in the Guadalcanal Campaign collection. We will be working on changing some of the display cases in the Guadalcanal Campaign exhibit. We also recently received a fabulous collection from the family of Charles A. Buser, who was a Marine who fought on Guadalcanal and featured in the Guadalcanal Exhibit. (Photo is... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Dec 30, 2021
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Before They Were WASP, They Were CAP

Did you know that many Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)—including Air Zoo Co-founder Sue Parish—first served as part of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP)? Approved by the United States Commerce, Navy, and War departments in 1941, the CAP recruited American civilian pilots eager to use their aviation skills for national defense. Men and women answered the call and volunteered in many ways. They provided surveillance, missing aircraft searches, forest patrols, and much more. Prior to... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Dec 30, 2021
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Air Zoo education team participates in Grand Rapids Griffins annual School Day Game

A UNIQUE, EDUCATIONAL FIELD TRIP EXPERIENCE The Air Zoo is excited to be joining the Grand Rapids Griffins annual School Day Game on  Wednesday, November 17, 2021 , presented by the Army National Guard. Every year, thousands of West Michigan students and educators head to Van Andel Arena for this unique and fun learning experience that features interactive exhibits and educational displays throughout the concourse and during the game. The educational exhibits, with a STEM focus for... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Tuesday, Nov 2, 2021
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A Long Farewell to the SBD-2P

A few weekends ago we completed the 5+-year restoration of the world’s only SBD-2p Douglas Dauntless Dive Bomber on Friday, hosted a wonderful and emotional Aloha party to say goodbye to the aircraft on Saturday, and began taking it apart for transport on Monday.  Bittersweet to say the least, as we are preparing to send the SBD back home to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum (PHAM) in Honolulu, HI after our team spent over 40,000 hours restoring her to her former glory.  With a... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Nov 1, 2021
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WWII pilot’s family reunited with restored plane at Air Zoo - Featured on WMUK

After more than five years of meticulous restoration at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, a restored World War Two dive bomber that crashed into Lake Michigan during World War Two is heading to a new home. The Douglas S-B-D “Dauntless” will be on display at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum in Hawaii. Earlier this month, it was celebrated at a family reunion. Enjoy the article & Interview now! By Leona Larson, WMUK Reporter  Read More
at Friday, Oct 29, 2021
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November birthdays

In November, we celebrate the Air Zoo’s birthday (we’re 42 this year!). We also celebrate the people who co-founded this very special place, for they were both born in November, too.  Co-founder Preston S. “Pete” Parish was born on November 10, 1919, while co-founder Suzanne “Sue” Upjohn DeLano Parish was born on November 13, 1922.  We commemorate their birthdays this month and we are privileged to share the gift of their legacies... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Oct 28, 2021
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Celebrating the end of an exciting chapter at the Air Zoo’s Restoration Center

The time has come to celebrate the hard work and dedication the volunteers and staff at the Air Zoo have put into the restoration of the Douglas Dauntless SBD-2P Dive Bomber, a historic WWII Navy aircraft once thought lost forever in Lake Michigan.   The SBD-2P (Bureau Number 2173) currently housed at the Air Zoo’s Flight Discovery Center is the last of its kind. It was thought to have sunk... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021
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"Smoe" and the P-80A on Display

We’ve added more cool jets to our outdoor aircraft display! In addition to the OV-1D Mohawk newly placed beside the S-3B Viking, we’re pleased to showcase an aircraft with one historic paint scheme.  The scheme honors Colonel Michael Smolen, aka “Smoe,” who served the in U.S. Air Force as one of six early jet trainers and made history as a member and leader of the Acrojets. Formed in 1945, this precision flying team was the first to perform in the P-80 Shooting... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021
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Inspiration and celebration take on new form at Air Zoo Events this fall!

The team at the Air Zoo is busily preparing for an exciting assortment of inspiring, educational, and in-person events that will take place from September 23 rd through October 17 th .   Discovery Series  Kicking off, not only the fall events calendar, but also a new Speaker Series at the Air Zoo, is Mr. Norman Haynes with his first-person account – Launching NASA across the solar system, one “failure” at a time . Haynes, a Kalamazoo Native, and Kalamazoo... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Sep 15, 2021
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Impacts of the Attacks: Thinking Back 20 Years on September 11, 2001, and the Air Zoo

Twenty years ago, during the hot and humid summer of 2001, a host of visiting airplanes filled the sky during the gala Warbirds Over Kalamazoo. The B-17 Yankee Lady flew in, Otto the Airshow Helicopter performed and provided rides, and Waldo Wright Flying Service’s New Standard Biplane offered a weekend of vintage adventures. The late Dale Snodgrass dazzled the crowd with a low pass in his T-6 while the Army National Guard presented Blue Thunder. As flight enthusiasts kept their eyes to... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021
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Open Cockpits in September this year!

Open Cockpits at the Air Zoo Typically, February marks and exciting month for the Air Zoo and its community with the annual Open Cockpits event, which allows guests to get up close and personal with some of their most beloved aircraft. Due to the necessary safety precautions that were in place as a result of COVID-19, 2021's Open Cockpit Month was postponed to September!  Visit the Air Zoo each weekend in September (2021)  for your chance to get up close and personal... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Aug 16, 2021
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Historic Flying Fortress to Visit Air Zoo in Honor the Heroes Tour

The Air Zoo is preparing to welcome their 3 rd visiting aircraft of the summer. The Boeing B-17G “Yankee Lady ,” will visit the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Center’s Flight Discovery Center, beginning Friday August 13, 2021.  The estimated time of arrival is 12:30PM and will stay until late Saturday afternoon.  This incredible aircraft last visited the Air Zoo May 31st - June 2nd of 2019, as part of the Air Zoo’s 40 th Anniversary... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021
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