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(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

Category: SBD-2P

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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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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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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The Air Zoo's Fund Your Favorite restoration campaign soars toward the finish line with announcement of two major gifts

In April, the Air Zoo announced a massive fundraising competition to complete the restoration of the Douglas SBD-2P Dauntless (Bu. No. 2173) and the F-117 Nighthawk Shaba (tail number 817) in 2021. In just two short months, the museum’s donors stepped up to the challenge and raised nearly $10,000 towards the completion of the restoration of these historic aircraft.   Fueled by the energy in the community, the Tyler Little Family Foundation joined in the cause and pledged an... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Jun 10, 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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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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