Airlines   Disney   Fantasy of Flight   Fun Facts   Home   Kissimmee   Poinciana
State Symbols   Shows   Useful facts   Villa video   Web cams

Central Florida   Northern Florida   Southern Florida


Fantasy of Flight
Kermit Weeks Vision of a Military Aviation living Museum par excellence
based in Central Florida
(The attraction is open daily, 10 a.m. 5 p.m.* Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.)
*May vary due to special events.
Click here for current Fantasy of Flight Newsletter



Kermit Weeks introduction video Broadband
Kermit Weeks introduction 56k
Princess Flying boat video Broadband (You can purchase a VHS video copy  for $25 inc P/P)
Visit the Fantasy of Flight website

Airlines   Disney   Fantasy of Flight   Fun Facts   Home   Kissimmee   Poinciana   State Symbols
Useful facts   Villa video   Web cams   Central Florida   Northern Florida   Southern Florida



 

For Fantasy of Flight founder Kermit Weeks, the opening of his aviation-themed attraction has been a natural extension of a lifelong, unbounded passion for aviation and aircraft. He has been involved in aviation since childhood and his enthusiasm for furthering public interest in aviation has never stopped growing. 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.
At age 17, while still in high school, he began construction of his first home-built aircraft-an airplane he completed and flew four years later.


In 1973, at age 20, Weeks had began taking to the air in aerobatic flying competitions while pursuing an aeronautical engineering degree at Miami-Dade Junior College, the University of Florida and Purdue University. Over the span of a dozen years, he placed in the top three in the world five times and won a total of 20 medals in World Aerobatics Championship competition. He has twice won the United States National Aerobatics Championship and has won several Invitational Masters Championships in different worldwide competitions. During the late 1970's, Kermit's aviation interests expanded to include the acquisition, restoration and preservation of antique aircraft. You can see him in action in the streaming video above, flying a Fiesler Storch.

 

   

As his personal collection expanded, Weeks planned for development of a larger, more comprehensive facility in which to showcase and share his aircraft collection. In the mid-80's he began acquiring a 300-acre site near Polk City, FL., 20 miles southwest of Walt Disney World, for an aviation-themed attraction called Fantasy of Flight. In 1992, as development plans finalized for Fantasy of Flight, Hurricane Andrew struck the Miami area, virtually destroying the Weeks Air Museum facility (it was repaired and reopened in 1994) and seriously damaging most of the vintage aircraft within it. Some of Weeks' collection, which was damaged by the hurricane, is displayed at Fantasy of Flight. Fantasy of Flight allows the public to see part of the world's largest privately held vintage aircraft collection and show, via fascinating themed exhibits and displays, moments from aviation's storied past. For Kermit the attraction's 1995 opening began another colourful chapter in a career devoted to furthering aviation.


 

Carol and I visited the Museum a couple of months ago, partly fuelled by the interest I had acquired while making a documentary on the Flying Princess, the largest flying boat ever built. Whilst researching the material for the video I had been told about Kermit and his collection, including the Sunderland in the picture on the left, which is the last flyable aircraft of it's type in the world.

Interior of Short Sunderland


What impressed me was the obvious passion that Kermit has passed on to the staff, who, from our arrival at the art deco style setting, couldn't have been more helpful. The tour starts with a journey back to the 1st World War, showing life in the trenches with projected films of biplanes flashing on the walls. From there you enter a WW2 bomber as it prepares to land at an airfield, feeling claustrophobic at just how little space these airman had to endure on top of the noise of bombs and aircraft noise. Outside the aircraft is a dramatically lit airfield set, giving you plenty of opportunity to be impressed with the plane's size.

 


Once through the attraction part of the museum, two large hangers are choc-full of planes to suit the boyhood dreams of any man. English, American and German war machines spanning nearly 100 years vie for attention as you wander around the exhibits that include cars and helicopters.
The thing that makes this collection so different from most others is the fact that nearly all of them either can or will be able to fly, making this the largest collection of serviceable aircraft in the world.


  Antonov AN-2
North American AT-6D
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Douglas B-23 Dragon
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
North American B-25J Mitchell
Martin B-26 Marauder
Bachem Ba 349 Natter Viper
Bell 47G Helicopter
Bucker Bestmann
Bucker Jungmann
Bucker Jungmeister
Chance-Vought F4U-4 Corsair
Cierva C 30-A Autogyro
Curtiss Junior



Curtiss Model D Headless Pusher
Curtiss TP-40N
Fieseler Fi-156 Storch
Fieseler Fi-103 V-1 Flying Bomb
Focke Wulf FW-44 Steiglitz
Fokker D-VIII
Ford 5AT Trimotor
Gee Bee Z
Grumman Duck
Grumman F3F Flying Barrel
Grumman FM-2 Wildcat
Hiller Hornet
Lockheed Vega
Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero
 

  Morane A-1
Morane/Brock Monoplane
Norde Stampe
North American P-51C Mustang
Piper L-4J Grasshopper
Polikarpov PO-2
Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis
Short Sunderland MK5
Spirit of Peace Balloon Capsule
Standard E-1
Standard J-1
Stinson Trimotor
Supermarine Spitfire MK16
Thomas Morse Scout
Trautman Road Air
Travel Air 4000
Valkyrie

As we were looking around the exhibits from the upper level, I noticed that one of the aircraft was being pushed out of the hangar, and an announcement that Kermit was going to fly one of his aircraft saw all the visitors make their way to the hangar entrance, where a German observation plane was being made ready for flight. Apparently, whenever Kermit is at the Polk County facility, he gives a short talk on how he became interested in aviation and then demonstrates one of his aircraft. The flight concluded, a back-lot tour showed us the many aircraft still in pieces as well as the thousands of spare parts that are stored in every conceivable warehouse and container. Row upon row of engines, from rotary to jet, line the walls and servicemen in the audience gleefully name recognizable parts of aircraft they have flown. All in all, a great day out at an under used attraction

 

Airlines   Disney   Fantasy of Flight   Fun Facts   Home   Kissimmee   Poinciana
State Symbols   Shows   Useful facts   Villa video   Web cams

Central Florida   Northern Florida   Southern Florida


Airlines   Disney   Fantasy of Flight   Fun Facts   Home   Kissimmee   Poinciana
State Symbols   Shows   Useful facts   Villa video   Web cams

Central Florida   Northern Florida   Southern Florida


View some of our other holiday destination videos
Antigua video   Barbados video   Grenada video   St Kitts & Nevis video
St Lucia video   
Tobago video   Kenya video   Gosport video


Visit one of our other Holiday destinations
ANTIGUA   BARBADOS   CYPRUS   FLORIDA   GOSPORT   GRENADA
ST KITTS   ST LUCIA   TOBAGO   KENYA


This website designed & hosted by
Malcolm Dent at MDDM

www.mddm.co.uk