Thursday, January 28, 2010

Come fly with us

The Kalamazoo Air Zoo is a hidden treasure. Who knew Smithsonian-quality pieces were housed in an unassuming building next to the tiny Kalamazoo/Battle Creek airport? There are over 50 aircraft, from a replica of the Wright brothers’ plane to the super-secret SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. They also have a plane like my Dad flew in Viet Nam; he was thrilled to see that.

We had a special tour guide; the stepdad of one of our best friends in Atlanta is a docent at the Air Zoo (small world, no?) and he graciously came in on his day off to show us around. He was a wealth of information and could tell us how each plane came to land at the Zoo.

The kids enjoyed seeing the planes but they especially enjoyed the simulators. My dad flew Rebecca because she didn’t want to go upside down. That’s about the only way Michael and Amy flew the thing! As we waited I could hear Michael and Amy giggling from inside the box; if I’d been in there I’d have thrown up on the spot. They were upside down more than right-side up.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I had to rely on my iPhone’s camera. These shots aren’t the greatest but at least I got some.

A picture from the balcony looking out at the exhibit floor.

Michael was pleased the Air Zoo also included a few cars, like this '32 Ford...

and this MG.

In addition to the history of flight the Air Zoo has an exhibit dedicated to space travel. This is an example of dehydrated food that would be on the Space Shuttle. Glad to see NASA has good taste in breakfast foods...

and beverages!

Examining how astronauts get cleaned up.

Our patient docent, Bill!