Air Zoo to offer rides on historic transport plane

"Hairless Joe," a WWII transport plane, will be available for 20-minute air excursions May 27. Threshold Images courtesy photo.

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary experience this Memorial Day weekend? Take a ride on “Hairless Joe,” a C-47 transport plane that moved thousands of allied troops during WWII.

On Saturday, May 27, the airplane – which operated in the China-Burma-India theater of World War II – will be on display and available for thrill seekers desiring a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Public rides on the C-47 will start at 11 a.m. and noon at the Air Zoo located at 6151 Portage Road in Portage, Michigan (south of Kalamazoo).

According to General Dwight D. Eisenhower,  the C-47 was one of the most vital pieces of military equipment that helped win the war.  The C-47 Skytrain was developed from the Douglas DC-3 civilian airliner.  One of the most mass-produced aircraft in history with 11,000 manufactured before and during WWII, there are still 172 of the aircraft flying today. Also known as a “Gooney Bird,” the C-47 was built to last.

The C-47 is owned and operated by the Yankee Air Museum. Established in 1981, the museum is dedicated to educating individuals through the history of American aeronautics, aerospace industry and its associated while inspiring generations through personal experiences to instill pride in national accomplishments.

The ride is a 20-minute experience that costs $225.00 per person. Reserve your ticket here.  Advanced reservations are not necessary, but the excursions may sell out. Passenger check-in is at the Air Zoo’s Flight Discovery Center, 3101 East Milham Avenue. Visit the website for more details and to view map.




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