Fantasy of Flight World's Greatest Aircraft Collection
Fantasy of Flight
Fantasy of Flight is a tribute to the innovation and imagination of the pioneers of flight. Featuring many rare and vintage aircraft, this popular attraction transports visitors back to the hey-day of aviation. The vision of aviation enthusiast and historian Kermit Weeks, Fantasy of Flight allows the public to view part of the world's largest privately held vintage aircraft collection. See rare aircraft take to the skies. Learn what it takes to restore these vintage aircrafts during the Restoration Tour. You’ll also find fascinating exhibits and displays that depict moments from aviation's storied past. Interactive presentations will stir childhood memories; calling to mind those magical days when all you needed was an imagination and a pair of young, outspread arms to fly.
For Weeks, the 1995 opening of Fantasy of Flight marked the natural extension of a lifelong passion for aviation and aircraft. A skilled aerobatics competitor and aircraft designer, Weeks has earned acclaim both for his accomplishments in the air as an aviator, and on the ground for his technical ability to build aircraft and his promotion of aviation and vintage aircraft restoration. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Weeks grew up in Miami. His childhood interest in mechanical design and construction soon blossomed into an interest in aviation. While still a teenager, he took to the skies and learned to fly. “Since the dawn of time, man has been fascinated by flight,” Weeks says, “That fascination is a physical reflection of what we long to return to. We all fly in our dreams,” he explains, “and when we awake we long for that inner freedom.”
At Fantasy of Flight, guests have the freedom to stroll through history of flight on a self-guided tour consisting of three unique immersion experiences. The sights and sounds of the era will surround you, as you explore Early Flight, a chronicle of man’s attempts to fly - from hot air balloons to the Wright brothers’ first successful flight. In the World War I experience, you will witness the excitement and drama of an aerial dogfight from the trenches of the Western Front. A B-17 Flying Fortress soaring 25,000 feet over enemy territory will transport you back in time during the World War II immersion experience. Fantasy of Flight’s full motion flight simulators can enhance your appreciation of the role aviation played in World War II. Visitors receive a pre-flight briefing and then step into the simulator, representing the cockpit of an F4-U Corsair, and engage in a mock battle scenario over the Pacific Ocean. Several of the planes that gained acclaimed for their service in World War II are featured in Fantasy of Flight’s display of vintage aircraft, including a Mustang P-51, B-26 Marauder, MK-16 Spitfire and a Short Sunderland. The complete collection consists of more than 40 aircraft dating from the early 1900s through the 1950s. Guests can become better acquainted with some of the planes in the collection during the Aircraft of the Day demonstration. After a brief question and answer session covering the aircraft’s history, a pilot performs an aerial demonstration in the skies over Fantasy of Flight. Guided tours depart daily from the Showcase Hanger to the Restoration Area where visitors can observe the skill and precision involved in restoring vintage aircraft to airworthy status. In the Back Lot, guests peer into six storage facilities containing an eclectic collection of aircraft parts, movie props, training machinery and vintage aircraft engines.
For real enthusiasts, the Fantasy of Flight experience offers additional opportunities sure to lift the spirit. Ride in the open cockpit of a beautifully restored 1929 New Standard biplane. (Seasonal. Weather permitting.) Fantasy of Flight’s hot air balloon rides are an extraordinary experience, soaring over Central Florida. (Advance reservations required. Weather permitting.) Guests can also enjoy breakfast, lunch or a refreshing snack at the art deco style Compass Rose Diner and purchase unique aviation memorabilia in the Fantasy of Flight gift shop.
With more than 300 acres, Fantasy of Flight can accommodate a variety of functions and special events such as aerial shows, car shows, film productions and concerts. Mustangs & Mustangs, the only place you can see show-class Mustang cars and beautifully restored P-51 Mustang aircraft in one show, is an annual event at Fantasy of Flight. The facilities at Fantasy of Flight also annually hosts SkyQuest, an event showcasing the National Skydiving Championships.
Fantasy of Flight is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and during special events. The attraction is conveniently located at 1400 Broadway Boulevard SE in Polk City, just off Interstate 4 at Exit 44, midway between Tampa and Orlando.
Pictures and information were provided by Fantasy of Flight
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