Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum


Most military aircraft have at least two names: the official one, and a nickname, which typically referred to an aspect of its engineering design. Thus, the Douglas C-47 Skytrain was fondly called the "Gooney Bird," from the way its wings flapped, and the Cessna O-2 was nicknamed the "Duck," from the way its landing gear retracted. Because so many planes have animal names--the Tiger, Birddog, and Tomcat, to mention a few--this aviation museum is popularly known as the "Air Zoo." Visitors can see exhibits of more than 60 vintage aircraft, many of which have been restored to airworthiness, as well as several functioning aircraft engines.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Aerospace
Topic(s):Space/Transportation
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The DC-3 was a money-making passenger plane when the U.S. military ordered it into WW II service as the C-47. Some say the C-47 was called the "Gooney Bird" because of the way its wings flapped on take-off. In fact, Douglas Aircraft built the first model of the Gooney Bird by combining the fuselage of the DC-2 with the wings and tail of the DC-3.
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