Air Zoo (Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum)
"It's like no place else on Earth!" The Air Zoo's tagline fits for a museum whose focus is far above Earth. Exhibiting both the history of and current practices in aviation, the Air Zoo's exhibits are both interactive and exhilarating. Visitors can take a ride in a real, historic bi-plane, participate in a flight simulation, watch a 4D movie, or explore historic aircraft. History and adventure collide at Portage's Air Zoo.
Backstory and Context
However, their lives changed when in 1959 Pete purchased half an interest in a single-engine 35C Bonanza. Next came a Stearman. Then they bought an AT-6, the same as the airplane Sue had flown during WWII. Then a Gumman Wildcat. Next a P-40.
As their airplane collection grew, a friend made an interesting offer: He would give them his Grumman Bearcat, if they would open a museum to display their airplanes. They did, opening the museum in 1979. The initial museum's airplanes included a Wildcat, Hellcat, Bearcat and Flying Tiger. These animal names earned the museum the title of "Air Zoo," which has stuck until today, even has the museum has grown and expanded.