View Full Version : Fantasy of Flight outside of Tampa -- well worth it.

09-25-2006, 08:49 PM
I just ventured up to Polk county Florida to check out what Kermit Week's aviation "theme park." Well worth it. Kermit is a really fantastic guy, who lets you go behind the scenes to his warehouses and see what is in the works, and also flys a Warbird every day on the weekends, then lets you come up and ask him as many questions as you'd like. What a guy! What a place! It is all new, and improvements continue to come. Kermit stated that he envisioins a park that has a field and associated building for each era of flight for the 20th century. Certainly he has the bux to do it, and what he has done so far with multiple huge period correct hangers filled with the rarest birds is really fantastic.

He flew the P-40 Warhawk trainer (one of 5 left) roughly 300 feet above my head. The hundred or so visitors were certainly dazzeled. Then, he stood by his plane, and let you check out the cockpit, "don't touch the exhaust manifolds" etc...

A really, fantastic gentleman that is one of us. His warehouse tour of future planes would be worth the price of admission alone. Seeing a Corsair, two P-51s, and the planes filmed in Fly Boys, and so many others was also kewl. I just can't say enough about how one of us on this site would enjoy this spot. The period correct diner also has wonderful chow and waitresses the correctly called me Honey!

Sorry if this post is a bit of a ramble, but wow!

Do a google on Fantasy of Flight for specifics. Go down there and talk to Kermit. I doubt there is anyone on earth that has as many hours in ALL the fighters of WW1 and WW2 as Kermit Weeks. He is a famous fellar down here in South Florida both for his planes and his attitude. He is improving his facility rapidly.

His spot in Polk is also within 45 minutes of Disney World if your significant others has any questions.

09-25-2006, 09:37 PM
Howd you like the B-17 thing? Pretty neat right?

09-26-2006, 09:44 AM
I also am a big fan of Fantasy of Flght. This one??
http://img176.imageshack.us/img176/1590/dcp0491dw0.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
He also has a B-26 Marauder on display & i don't know of another one anywhere!?

09-26-2006, 09:32 PM
Yah..that is the two-seater P-40 that Kermit buzzed us with. What a gas.

The B-17 thing is kewl, but the sad part is that I was able to see the entire original plane prior to Hurricane Andrew which blew it about a mile around South Florida. They took the parts of the plane and converted it into the display. In the early 90's Kermit's museum was in Tamiami airport in Miami which is obviously much closer to my house in Fort Lauderdale than his current Orlando location. Just about three weeks before Andrew hit (and it hit Kermit's planes hard) I was down at his place looking at the cobwebs growing inside what was then a complete yet not flyable B-17.

Another neat thing that weeks has currently is about 40 original Allison engines in their original late 30's packing crates. The tour guide pointed to a few of them that were uncrated and identified them as original and the type that would be found in the P-40 and first version of the P-51 etc..So, somehow this guy Kermit Weeks found a warehouse somewhere in Austrailia that had 40 untouched Allison engines. Bonkers..but just one of the many things that folks like us will stare at in amazement when we go to Fantasy of Flight.

Kermit stated that building is occuring at an amazing pace and he intends to build an entire theme park based on aviation. Airstrips you would walk to that represented the Allies and Axis powers for both world war one and two. A lake for his Catalina and Duck etc..

He has the bux for it for sure. His great grand-dad apparently was instrumental in locating oil deposits for some fellar named Rockefeller. That is OLD money, and he is spending it wisely in my book.

Oh yea, he has made a new hanger to house a flyable B-29. Can't wait for that one to come flying in.

My pops lives in Eustis which is right outside of Orlando. It is a sin that I never drove the 50 miles over to see this place before, especially knowing Kermit from his days down here in South Florida. I'm gonna be a regular visitor going forward for sure.

09-27-2006, 06:26 AM
Since your in the area of Orlando FL, visit the Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum at Kissimmee airport. It is well worth the tour. The owner himself gave my group a tour of the museum. It was awesome.


09-27-2006, 04:02 PM
I was able to go up to the Flying Tigers museum before the Hurricane wiped them out. If you go to the link, you'll see they have closed up shop and are moving to Georgia.

When I went, they had 3 P-51s and two B-17s "fly in." It was one of those sights that I'll never forget. What a shame that one of the three hurricanes that hit us that year wiped them out. I think it was Hurricane Charlie. So far, we have not had any Hurricane trouble down here -- <knocking on wood>

09-29-2006, 09:56 AM
Must agree, Fantasy of Flight is well worth the visit, they used to have a great shop, (probably still have) selling a/c bits, instruments, panels and the like, (probably not anymore) I bought a WWII leather flying jacket for a very reasonable price.
The B17 is the highlite, having the chance to spend time looking in and around her was a unique experience I'll not forget too soon.