If you’re an active member of the aviation community you’ve probably already heard of the Fantasy of Flight located in Polk City, Florida (between Tampa and Orlando). Their website fantasyofflight.com came to my attention long time ago and I was curious what to expect from this place at a small town in the middle of Lakeland countryside.
Recently I made a long planned trip to Cocoa, Titusville and NASA Kennedy Space Center and also made a visit to the Fantasy of Flight. To make a long story short, this place is heaven for any aviation enthusiast! A must-see if you’re in that area! To get there it only takes 40 minutes from Orlando or 1:30 hours from Cocoa or Titusville.
Believe me, over the years I’ve seen many aviation museums and vintage aircraft at air shows, but what you can see at Fantasy of Flight will blow your mind! It’s absolutely amazing. In every bit, every plane, every single exhibit you can feel their absolute passion and love for aviation! Great, friendly and passionate staff is taking care of you, taking you around the hangars and giving you insider view of what it takes to restore priceless aircraft to flyable condition. (Thanks Eddie! )
Greeted by an ex-Lufthansa Lockheed Super Constellation you enter the small Polk City airfield (FA08). The main entrance building houses a nice 1940-style restaurant and a souvenir shop. Inside the hangars of Fantasy of Flight many surprises are waiting for you. Without doubt, one is the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, which is not just the plane but a whole, fantastic adventure … but I don’t want to reveal anything!
If you continue the exciting journey though the history of aviation, you’re going to find yourself in front of a small door – the hangar entrance. You open that door and Wow! you’ll be blown away by all of those airplanes! They’re all waiting for you to be discovered! This probably is the greatest, most beautiful collection of vintage airplanes that you’ve ever seen! Planes that you won’t see anywhere else, beautifully restored with so much love and passion. Just to give you a small glimpse, the collection includes a Short S-25 Sunderland 5 double-decker flying boat, Ford 5-AT-B Tri-motor, Stinson SM-6000B Trimotor, Ryan NYP “Spirit of St Louis” (Replica), Curtis Pusher D, Gee Bee’s, Lockheed Vega 5-A, Consolidated Catalina, Martin B-26 Marauder, B-25 Mitchell, Grumman J2F-6 Duck, F4U-4 Corsair, Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, Fokker Dr 1 Triplane, B-24J Liberator, North American P-51 and even such rare items like a V2 german rocket.
As you move on through the hangar with a bright smile on your face, at some point you come to realize that this is not all! No! There’s a second hangar and even an aircraft carrier themed display! Wow! It’s like heaven.
There’re a lot more activities at Fantasy of Flight.
A guided tram tour is taking you to the restricted areas which are otherwise off limits to guests. It includes an overview of the grounds including the grass runways, stops along the backlot and a visit to the maintenance hangar and restoration areas. You’re going to see the largest collection of spare engines and props in any museum!
Daily aerial demonstrations are a unique opportunity to see rare, vintage aircraft in flight. Learn more about these planes and speak with one of the expert pilots.
And if you like you can take a biplane ride with a New Standard D-25 or the famous Boeing Stearman and experience the spirit of aviation by yourself. (Booking in advance recommended)
At Fantasy of Flight absolutely great, very friendly and professional staff with a big heart for aviation comes together with the great history of planes. It’s really fun and definitly worth a visit! Visit fantasyofflight.com for more information.