Portage, MI, May 27, 2019 – The Air Zoo is proud to announce that their newest exhibit, D-Day 75: En Route by Plane and Parachute opens to the public this Thursday, May 30th. Beginning Friday, May 31st, in addition to this new exhibit, guests of the Air Zoo will have the opportunity to meet and interact with a local reenactment troop known as the 101st Airborne, and witness firsthand “Yankee Lady,” the Yankee Air Museum’s pristinely restored Boeing B-17. Tours and flights will be available for purchase through Yankee Air Museum. Details below.
Exhibit: D-Day 75: En Route by Plane and Parachute – Opens May 30th
The Allied invasion of northern France on June 6, 1944—the largest seaborne invasion in world history—required air power and air defense for success. As America reflects on the 75th anniversary of D-Day this year, the Air Zoo presents an exhibition which explores the invasion through the lens of all things air in a special exhibit that will open to the public on Thursday, May 30th.
Visitors will see D-Day through the eyes of POWs, glider pilot Darlyle Watters and paratrooper George Rosie, and through artifacts from the Air Zoo’s collection, including aircraft in the Flight Innovation Center, such as the P-47 Thunderbolt, C-47 Skytrain, and WACO CG-4A. Local and Michigan-based companies who supported air power and defense will be featured, such as Gibson Guitars. Visitors will leave aware of how essential pilots, planes, and parachutes were to Allied success.
B-17 “Yankee Lady” – May 31st- June 2nd
The Yankee Air Museum will offer Air Adventures on board the pristine Boeing B-17G “Yankee Lady” for $450.00 per person during its appearance at the Air Zoo. These 25-minute rides provide a person with a multi-sensory, immersive experience in the type of World War II aircraft commonly called a Flying Fortress. Upon reaching a cruising speed of 150mph at an altitude of 1200 feet passengers will be able to move to several positions in the Fort, including the Plexiglas nose, flight deck, bomb bay, radio room and waist gunnery section.
Air Zoo visitors can also purchase tours of this mighty plane for $8/adult and just $3/per child age 6-15. To schedule a flight on the Yankee Lady, visit www.yankeeairmuseum.org/fly. Weekend schedule can be found here: https://www.airzoo.org/events-at-the-air-zoo/event/b-17visit
101st Airborne (Dog Company Reenactment Unit) Visit the Air Zoo – May 31st & June 1st
Visitors will be immersed in the era as the 101st Airborne will be on site, in full dress and toting artifacts, Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st! The 101st Airborne is a platoon sized unit whose 13 veteran members (currently) from Kalamazoo, Metro Detroit, and Ohio serve(d) in the US Army, US Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Michigan National Guard. They portray Dog Company from the second battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and along with Easy Company and Fox company have 80 members between the East Coast and Michigan!
Waldo Wright’s Flying Service back for the summer!
The Air Zoo and Waldo Wright’s Flying Service excitedly partnering once again to offer guests unique, once-in-a-lifetime, barnstorming flight experiences! Waldo’s open-cockpit New Standard D-25 biplane seats four and is open to all ages. New Standard D-25 flights run $69.95/person (plus tax and fuel surcharge) for a 15-minute flight experience. Reservations accepted for 2 or more passengers; no aerobatics.
For those with dreams of piloting a vintage biplane, Waldo’s Stearman experience will make their dreams a reality! New pilots will participate in 6-8 introductory maneuvers of WWII cadet training and take the controls as they zip across the sky with Waldo! Flights run $229 plus tax and fuel surcharge – guests will experience a 30-minute hands-on flight; again, no aerobatics. Reservations required.
About the Air Zoo
Located at 6151 Portage Rd., Portage, MI 49002, the Air Zoo is a Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science experience with over 100 rare air & space craft, inspiring interactive exhibits, indoor amusement park rides, full-motion flight simulators, hands-on science-based education programs, and more. The Air Zoo is a not-for-profit organization and is open 360+ days per year. For hours, tickets and info, visit airzoo.org.
About Waldo Wright’s Flying Service
What started in 1995 with the dream of restoring two New Standard biplanes to recapture the “Golden Age of Aviation” has grown into America’s largest vintage biplane ride company offering rides in their open cockpit New Standard D-25 biplane. They also offer a hands-on-approach of their legendary Boeing Stearman, the primary trainer of WWII, to guests that have dreamt of piloting a vintage biplane. Rides are available May-September, weather permitting. [period] Rates can be found at waldowrights.com.
About the Yankee Air Museum
The Yankee Air Museum, founded in 1981 and located at Historic Willow Run, quickly grew when it acquired its flyable aircraft, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell Bomber, and C-47 Skytrain, offering the public the chance to fly in some of America’s most iconic aircraft. In 2013, the Museum purchased a portion of the historic Willow Run Bomber Plant where B-24 Liberators were built during WWII. This would create a new, permanent home for the Museum, its exhibits, educational programs as well as its flyable and static aircraft. The Yankee Air Museum is rapidly growing and constantly producing new exhibits, educational activities, and exciting experiences for the public. Plan your visit today at yankeeairmuseum.org.