Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fantasy of Flight August E-news

Fantasy of Flight E-news


August 2010


Fun Facts of the 15th
A continuing series of reflections in celebration of Fantasy of Flight's 15th birthday 

What makes Fantasy of Flight's runways so special?


When Kermit Weeks first spotted the property he would transform into Fantasy of Flight, the foremost thought in his mind was how to align his runways. He wanted a cross configuration to maximize landing options: a longer runway favoring the prevailing wind direction, and a shorter one crossing it for accommodating lighter aircraft that are more susceptible to cross-wind conditions. Moreover, it was important to protect his landing approaches as to not fly over potential neighbors. He had to be able to align them to come in over a lake, a swamp, or his own property. Most importantly, they needed to be grass to accommodate his treasured early tail skid aircraft with no brakes.


Normally, a grass runway is created by finding a large flat space and leveling it a bit if necessary so your airplane doesn't bump around too much. However, a normal grass runway would never accommodate landing a B-29 on it!

While Fantasy of Flight's runway look like a normal grass runways, everything about Fantasy of Flight is unique, and there is far more than meets the eye. Beneath the forgiving Bahia grass and layer of top soil lies an 18" stabilized clay road base, complete with crown and swales for drainage. It was built to DOT standards, and the only thing we didn't do was pave it. It is strong enough to bring home a heavy B-29 but still allow for the gentle landing of a Jenny.

Says Kermit, "After a couple years watching the grass come in, we realized we had built a road and then tried to farm on it!"   And while it took a while to fill in, it was worth it as it is perfectly suited for the operation of the World's Greatest Aircraft Collection! The price for this luxury?  Enough to make it probably the most expensive grass runway in the world!


FoF Lakefron Property and Runways shot from Sikorsky

Engineered grass runways cross Fantasy of Flight



BennyarrivesBenny Arrives!

Ike racer like Benny photoBenny from All of Life is a School 


Another character from Kermit's award-wining children's book All of Life is a School rolled through the hangar doors at Fantasy of Flight to greet his Golden Age pals and take his place in the collection.
Benny Howard's "Ike Racer" inspired the character of "Benny," a shy but speedy young racer who is eager to learn and, of course, push his boundaries! The original Ike had a twin named Mike, and together they made Benny Howard the toast of the racing circuit in the '30s. This small aircraft sports a mighty Menasco engine that is streamlined to cut through the air... and cross the finish line first, just like it did at the 1932 National Air Races.


With a proud smile, Kermit reports, "This will bring the number of on-site characters from the book to seven out of ten.  Had I known I would be collecting them all in the long run, I would not have written so many into the book!"



StorchSportAviationCover"Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful!"


StorchcoverSportAviationOnce again, a "Cover Girl" from the collection graces the front of a national magazine. Sport Aviation's July issue included a fascinating and entertaining story on STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) technology that centered on the Fieseler Storch, which set the high-water mark for historic STOL aircraft.


And when anyone wants to talk Storch, they usually turn to Fantasy of Flight for the most original one flying. Check out the cover photo and crack open the magazine to see plenty more as well as to learn about a fascinating aircraft.



Fightertown Looks to a

 Bright Future


The Carrier Deck F3F 

FightertownisCarrierDeckThe Carrier Deck Celebrates

 Heroic Naval Aircraft


Fantasy of Flight is excited to undertake a complete reworking of the Fightertown simulator game into an experience certain to "light that spark within."  Kermit determined the upgrade must ultimately meet Fantasy of Flight's design mission, combining "immersion, ride technology, and the audio experience impact." Therefore, the pods have been temporarily removed and stored while the creative juices flow.

In the meantime, Fightertown has been transformed into The Carrier Deck, hosting three historic carrier based aircraft: the Corsair, the Wildcat, and the F3F. The briefing room is being set up to create a theater for showing DVDs in air-conditioned comfort.


Step inside the doors to visit these heroic and legendary Navy aircraft of World War II in their natural habitat, aboard a World War II aircraft carrier where you can practically feel the roll of the ocean beneath you. Cast your mind to the east.  Is that a Zero bearing down on you?  Fantasy of Flight encourages you to enjoy the current environment while we work towards creating an even greater future experience!



KermitsAdventuresKermit's Adventures 


Kermit Weeks, owner and creator of Fantasy of Flight, has stayed very busy recently. Check out his latest adventures in his blog, aptly named "Kermit's Blog"! 


In this Issue:




TimetoPlanforCamporeeTime to Plan for the Camporee

Royal Rangers Logo

 1st Annual Royal Rangers Aviation Camporee: September 24-26, 2010 

Boy Scout Troop with Nose

3rd Annual Boy Scout Aviation Camporee: March 18-20, 2011 


Royal Rangers and Boy Scouts: Fire up your sense of wonder and get ready for an amazing aviation weekend!  Experience the world's largest private collection of vintage aircraft, learn from skilled aviation experts as you participate in hands-on activities to earn aviation merit requirements and more!

Contact Stephanie Conner for more details and to register: 863-984-3500, ext. 220 or sconner@fantasyofflight.com.



CoolSummerDiscountsBCool Summer Discounts

Service Industry Summer:
All employees of Florida accommodations, restaurants and bars are invited to visit Fantasy of Flight with a special buy one, get one free admission offer this summer. 
Help Stuff the Bus and Save: Donate School Supplies and receive $5.00 off your next visit to Fantasy of Flight.



GrabaGroupPkginSeptGrab a Group Package in September


Splash-In Photo 

Fantasy of Flight is offering a terrific discount package for groups of 15 or more. Only $21.35 each (which includes a guided tour). Valid for September only. Advanced reservations required. Contact Stephanie Conner for more details and to register: 863-984-3500, ext. 220 or sconner@fantasyofflight.com.




SaveTheDateSave the Date 


Haunted Hangar Storytelling Tour

 October 1-31, 2010


nightFlight Paranormal Investigation:

Phase Two

October 16 & 30, 2010


2010 World Cup Paintball Tournament

 October 21-24, 2010


4th Annual Roar n' Soar

 November 13-14, 2010


Fantasy of Flight's 15th Anniversary Celebration November 26-28,2010



PassHoldersPass Holders Corner:

Bring a Buddy Summer


Fantasy of Flight Annual Pass holders are invited to share the world's largest private collection of aircraft with their favorite buddy this summer. All Annual Pass holders are invited to bring a friend along to visit Central Florida's premier aviation attraction for free through September 30, 2010. Click here for details.



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