Air Zoo

The FM-2 Wildcat shortly after it was lifted from the depths of Lake Michigan.
The Air Zoo

Three World War II era planes that were once at the bottom of Lake Michigan have found a home at the Air Zoo in Portage. It’s the only museum in the country that has been tasked with restoring planes for the Naval Aviation Museum. The Air Zoo has already restored one submerged plane and is working to revive two more. 

Earlene McMichael, WMUK

Justin Tomkowiak, 11, of Kalamazoo, can be a little shy. But when the topic turns to what he'll be when he grows up, he perks up. “An Italian-language person and a pilot,” he declares. Justin decided that as soon as he saw the Air Zoo's "Black Wings" exhibit a few weeks ago. The show chronicles the history of blacks in aviation and aerospace. It runs through Oct. 4.


The Smithsonian Institution exhibit about pioneering black aviators and astronauts soon leaves the continental U.S. for good, but people can still see it until Oct. 4th at the Air Zoo in Portage. WMUK's Earlene McMichael finds out why the exhibit was created and what's in it from a Smithsonian official and Air Zoo CEO Troy Thrash. 

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Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Portage’s Air Zoo invites people of all ages to marvel at its collection of remarkable flying machines.