The Scottsdale Airport is a vital part of this city, a cornerstone of its development and progress. During World War II the airfield, built for the sole purpose of training U,S. Army Air Corp pilots, was known as Thunderbird Field II. Thunderbird Field II graduated over 5,500 pilots of which 10 – 12% were women. Many of these pilots saw military action in Europe and the Pacific. The field and school were deactivated on October 16, 1944, sold to Arizona State Teachers College (ASU), then to the Arizona Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, and finally to the City of Scottsdale in 1966.
— The highlight of the new Scottsdale Airport business center and restaurant complex is the Thunderbird Field II Veterans Memorial.
— A park-like plaza & memorial includes a monument with information on Thunderbird Field II and its military history. The centerpiece of the plaza & memorial is a Boeing-Stearman PT-17, the aircraft used for training at Thunderbird Field II. Surrounding the monument is a manicured, park-like open space for enjoying the wonderful Arizona weather.
— In April of 2017 the Thunderbird Field II non-profit acquired a Boeing-Stearman PT-17 with a manufacture date of 9/11……1941. The aircraft was subsequently painted in the original AAC Blue & Yellow and was flown for charity between August 2017 and June 2018. Close to 75 individuals made donations and were able to experience the thrill of open-cockpit flight. This Stearman was then retired on May 12, 2018, and has been put on permanent display at the Thunderbird Field II Memorial at the entrance to the Scottsdale Airport business center and restaurant complex.
— The memorial & museum commemorates the rich history of this Stearman aircraft, Arizona’s contribution to WWII, Thunderbird Field II, and provides a tribute to all veterans. This information and much more is delivered via two 49-inch touch screen kiosks, which gives veterans memorial visitors an educational venue where they can learn about all aspects of the aviation industry. Topics include pilots, air frame and power plant mechanics, avionics, air traffic controllers and more.
— Phase two provides a robust scholarship program for Arizona students of all ages interested in aviation careers. Focusing on STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), the goal is to help address the tremendous needs of the aviation industry.