Air Zoo

The Air Zoo, founded as the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, is an aviation museum and indoor amusement park next to the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport in Portage, Michigan.[1] The Air Zoo holds many historical and rare aircraft, including the world's fastest air-breathing aircraft, the SR-71B Blackbird.[2] Many of its antique planes are airworthy. Among its other attractions are a 180-degree theater that projects a 2-D film simulation of a B-17 bombing mission during World War II; and various amusement rides, including flight simulators of a rocket trip to Mars, a U.S. Navy (former Blue Angel) F/A-18 Hornet, a stunt biplane, a hot air balloon, a veteran U.S. Navy F-14A Tomcat that served aboard USS America, and more.[3][4] Air Zoo is a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Air Zoo
Air Zoo logo
Air Zoo December 2019 115.jpg
Flight Innovation Center
Air Zoo is located in Michigan
Air Zoo
Location within Michigan
Former name
Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum
Established1977 (1977)
LocationPortage, Michigan
Coordinates42°13′39″N 85°33′30″W / 42.22750°N 85.55833°W / 42.22750; -85.55833Coordinates: 42°13′39″N 85°33′30″W / 42.22750°N 85.55833°W / 42.22750; -85.55833
TypeAviation museum
FounderSue Parish
Pete Parish
WebsiteAirZoo.org

HistoryEdit

The Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum was founded in 1977 by former Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), Sue Parish[5] and WWII pilot Pete Parish.[6] The museum was dedicated to "preserving and displaying historical and military artifacts and to serving as a research and educational facility for this country and abroad." The doors opened on November 18, 1979[7] and the museum quickly developed into one of the 10 largest nongovernmental aviation museums in the United States.[8]

In early 1999, the name Air Zoo was adopted. The name comes from the fact that so many of the planes in its collection have animal nicknames like Warhawk, Gooneybird, Wildcat, Bearcat, and Hellcat.[1]

Also in early 1999, plans began for a major renovation. On April 25, 2003, construction began on a new 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2) facility that doubled the museum's size and added flight simulators, amusement rides, Smithsonian Institution exhibitions, character actors, and a 4-D theater that combines 3-D films with special effects such as rocking chairs and plumes of smoke to simulate anti-aircraft fire.[9]

The new facility opened in April 2004.[10] It holds the world's largest hand-painted indoor mural: "Century of Flight", by aviation artist Rick Herter, a 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) tribute to the history of flight in the main entrance.[11][12]

In June 2007, the Michigan Space & Science Center opened in the old building (East Campus). The building featured World War II aircraft, several artifacts from the defunct Jackson Space Center, and more.

On October 1, 2011, the Air Zoo expanded its Main Campus again, moving everything from the East Campus into the new 50,000-square-foot addition. Half of this new expansion (known as the "East Wing") is devoted to the Space Theme, while the other half of the add-on includes World War II aircraft.[13][failed verification] The East Campus is now being used as the Restoration Center, which is noted for its work on aircraft including a Douglas Dauntless, a Sopwith Camel, and the newest project: An FM-2 Wildcat that had been lying at the bottom of Lake Michigan for 68 years.[14]

In December 2020, the Air Zoo was able to acquire a F-117A Nighthawk, tail number 85-0817 donated from the United States Air Force. This aircraft was the first stealth fighter to be donated to a non-governmental museum. Shaba is currently being restored to be put on display as it was when it flew during its tenure in the USAF.

CollectionsEdit

The Air Zoo contains different archival collections. Since September 23, 1995, the Air Zoo is home to the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame. It also holds the Guadalcanal Memorial Museum, which is sponsored and maintained by the Guadalcanal Campaign Veterans Association featuring information about the fighting on Guadalcanal during World War II.[1]

Aircraft on displayEdit

 
Inside the museum

Aircraft under restorationEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Nowak, Ed; Pahl, Gerard (November 1996). "Kalamazoo Air Zoo: The Kalamazoo 'Air Zoo' airplane collection features several lively aerial 'animals' and plenty more". Aviation History.
  2. ^ Dittmann, Joan (June 8, 2016). "Michigan 'Zoo' highlights mechanical beasts of the air". Chicago Tribune.
  3. ^ O'Leary, Michael (April 2004). "New Aviation Museum prepares for takeoff". Air Classics. Archived from the original on March 20, 2005. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
  4. ^ Burcar, Colleen (2012). "Cougars and Tigers and Bears, Oh My - And They Really Do All Fly!". Michigan Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff. Lanham: Globe Pequot Press. pp. 140–141. ISBN 978-0-762-79067-8. OCLC 890982021.
  5. ^ "Remembering an Aviation Legend: Sue Parish". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  6. ^ Pradarelli, Melinda (September 1999). "Suzanne Parish: In The Pink" (PDF). Aviation for Women. pp. 30–33.
  7. ^ Turner, Terry (November 1, 2015). "Air Zoo offers more than typical museum experience". Sioux City Journal.
  8. ^ Butz, Bob (April 28, 2011). "Wild Aircraft Showcased at Air Zoo". Hagerty Magazine.
  9. ^ Prichard, James (May 1, 2004). "New Interactive Aviation Museum Has Rides". The Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
  10. ^ "New Aviation and Aeronautics Museum Prepares for Takeoff". Aero-News Network. February 14, 2004.
  11. ^ Prichard, James (March 21, 2004). "The sky's the limit for museum mural". The Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2006.
  12. ^ "Expanded Kalamazoo Air Zoo prepares for takeoff". The Oakland Press. March 27, 2004. Archived from the original on September 18, 2004.
  13. ^ Bissell, Joel (September 19, 2019). "A look at 40 years of Air Zoo history as Kalamazoo-area museum marks milestone". MLive. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  14. ^ Bugnaski, Mark (July 1, 2016). "WWII bomber recovered from Lake Michigan arrives at Air Zoo for restoration". MLive.com.
  15. ^ "FAA Registry [N31948]". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  16. ^ "Aeronca L-3B Defender". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  17. ^ "Avid Flyer 1983". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  18. ^ "Bell AH-1J Seacobra 1969". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  19. ^ "Bell P-39Q Airacobra 1941". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  20. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Bell TP-39Q Airacobra, s/n 44-3908 USAAF, c/r N40A". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  21. ^ "Boeing-Stearman N2S-5 Kaydet". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  22. ^ "Cessna OE-1 Bird Dog L-19A-CE; O-1B-CE". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  23. ^ "Curtiss Pusher 1911". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  24. ^ "Curtiss JN-4 Jenny (scale model)". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  25. ^ "Curtiss P-40N Warhawk". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on October 3, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  26. ^ "Curtiss Robin 1928". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  27. ^ "Curtiss XP-55 Ascender 1941". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  28. ^ "Douglas A-4D-2 Skyhawk 1954-1987". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  29. ^ "Douglas AD-4NA Skyraider 1945". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  30. ^ "C-47 Skytrain 1941". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  31. ^ "Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless 1938". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  32. ^ "Fairchild 24K Forwarder 1932". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  33. ^ "Fokker Tri-Plane (replica)". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  34. ^ "Take a ride on the "Tin Goose"". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on August 4, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  35. ^ "Waco CG-4A Glider 1942". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  36. ^ "Grumman FM2 Wildcat 1937". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  37. ^ "Goodyear FG-1D Corsair 1940". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  38. ^ "Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  39. ^ "Grumman F-11 F Tiger 1956". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  40. ^ "Grumman F-14A Tomcat". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  41. ^ "Grumman G-73 Mallard". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  42. ^ "Grumman Cougar 1956". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  43. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Grumman TF-9J Cougar, s/n 147283 USN". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  44. ^ "Haigh SuperStar 1975". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  45. ^ "Heath Baby Bullet 1936". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  46. ^ "Hiller UH-12A 1951". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  47. ^ "Hispano Aviacion HA-1112 Buchon 1944". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  48. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Messerschmitt-Hispano HA-1112-M1L, s/n C.4K-100 EdA, c/n 171, c/r N76GE". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  49. ^ "Howard GH-2 1939". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  50. ^ "Fairchild PT-23 1939". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  51. ^ Bess, Jay (July 29, 2014). "Air Zoo's PT-23 – The Story of a Restoration". Warbirds News. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  52. ^ "Jodel D-92 Bebe". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  53. ^ "Laister-Kauffman TG-4A". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  54. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Swiss American Aviation Corporation 23 Lear Jet, c/n 23-083, c/r N824LJ". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  55. ^ "Lockheed F-104C Starfighter 1945". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  56. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Lockheed F-80C-11-LO Shooting Star, s/n 44-85125 USAF, c/n 080-1148". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  57. ^ "Lockheed P-38 Lightning (scale model)". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  58. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Lockheed T-33B-1-LO, s/n 138090 USN, c/n 580-9035". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  59. ^ "Lockheed S3-B Viking". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  60. ^ "Lockheed SR-71B Blackbird 1963-1999". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  61. ^ "FAA Registry [N99492]". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  62. ^ "Airframe Dossier - English Electric-Martin GNB-57B, s/n 52-1584 USAF, c/n 174". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  63. ^ "McDonnell F-4E Phantom 2 1967". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  64. ^ "McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A Hornet 1978". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  65. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21PFM Fishbed-F (NATO), s/n 4107 SPRP, c/n 94A4107". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  66. ^ "Naval Aircraft Factory Yellow Peril 1934". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  67. ^ "Airframe Dossier - North American T-6G Texan, s/n 112493 USN, c/n 168-653, c/r N7057". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  68. ^ "North American B-25 Mitchell 1940". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  69. ^ "Airframe Dossier - North American JF-86F Sabre, s/n 52-5143 USAF, c/n 191-839, c/r N25143". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  70. ^ "North American SNJ Texan 1938". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  71. ^ "Airframe Dossier - North American SNJ-5C Texan, s/n 91005 USN, c/n 88-22866, c/r N333SU". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  72. ^ "North American T-28 Trojan 1949". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  73. ^ "Piasecki HUP-3 Retriever 1948". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  74. ^ "Pietenpol Air Camper". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  75. ^ "Piper L-4 Grasshopper". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  76. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Republic F-84F-35-RE Thunderstreak, s/n 52-6486 USAF, c/r N5046". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  77. ^ "P-47D Thunderbolt". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  78. ^ "FAA Registry [N4307L]". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  79. ^ "Ryan PT-22 1940". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  80. ^ "Schweizer LNS-1". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  81. ^ "Sopwith F.1 Camel". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  82. ^ "SPAD VII". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  83. ^ "Timm N2T-1 Tutor 1941". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  84. ^ "Travel Air Mystery Ship 1929". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  85. ^ "Vought F-8J Crusader 1955-1989". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  86. ^ "Vultee BT-13". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  87. ^ "Waco INF 1930". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  88. ^ "Waco VPF-7 1937". Air Zoo. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  89. ^ "Wolf Boredom Fighter". Air Zoo. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  90. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Mikoyan Gurevich-WSK-Mielec Lim-2 Fagot-B (NATO), s/n 1621 SPRP, c/n 1B 016-21, c/r N621BM". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  91. ^ "SBD-2P Recovery and Restoration". Air Zoo. March 1, 2021. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  92. ^ "The Story of our FM-2 Wildcat". Air Zoo. December 10, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  93. ^ "Meet Shaba". Air Zoo. March 2, 2021. Retrieved April 26, 2021.

BibliographyEdit

  • Nowak, Ed; Pahl, Gerard (November 1996). "Kalamazoo Air Zoo". HistoryNet. Retrieved April 26, 2021.

External linksEdit