Maybe I can share something...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fantasy of Flight

This past weekend the Dixie Echoes found themselves traveling through central Florida. On Friday morning Randy got up early and took the bus to get some parts. Since he decided to do this early in the morning(before noon!) all of the rest of us stayed in bed trying to get as much sleep as possible. Eventually as we all started rolling out of our bunks, we were headed down Interstate 4 from Orlando to Lakeland where we were to sing that night.

We needed to stop for fuel so Randy pulled into a Pilot truck stop in Polk City, FL. While we were fueling I noticed an old bi-plane flying around above the truck stop. If you don't already know, Randy is a pilot and has recently finished building his own airplane!!!(no one has been willing to fly with him yet!!!) You can see and learn all about Randy's plane on his website here. But consequently the rest of us have learned a little bit about aircraft and flying so I notice more than before. When Randy came back to the bus I asked him if he had noticed the bi-plane flying above(dumb question), and of course he had. And he said to me, "And guess where we're going?" My immediate thought was, "Oh no, here we go, we're going to have to sit around on the bus all afternoon while Randy goes and pokes around some little airport trying to get a ride on that old bi-plane."

It just so happens that at the same exit as the truck stop was a place called Fantasy of Flight. This is a place that is a privately owned collection of vintage aircraft. Visit the website for all of the details. We actually had a great time there that afternoon! I would encourage you to stop in and visit Fantasy of Flight if you're ever in the central Florida area. Owner Kermit Weeks has 2 hangars jammed full of aircraft that he has purchased and restored covering the entire history of flight. Check out his collection here. You can also try your hand at a flight simulator and go back in time to WWII and fly a Corsair in a dog fight over the South Pacific. You can compete against your friends to see who gets the most kills. And there's lots, lots, more!!! There's just so much to do you need to check it out for yourself.

So I just happened to have my camera on hand and was able to snap a few shots of our day. Below are just a few of the pictures from the day.



Tracy(me), Scoot, and Dallas in front of a Consolidated B-24J "Liberator"
I suggested to Randy that he repaint is plane to match this Fokker D-VIIIHere is an original North American P-51c Mustang
B-25J Mitchell
A funny looking plane appropriately named "Duck"Curtiss Model "D" Headless Pusher
Your pilots for today's flight....
Randy standing in front of a replica of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. LouisLockheed VegaOf course I had to get an Oklahoma connection in here! This is a close up of the side of the Lockheed Vega which has been painted to represent the original "Winnie Mae" that was flown by Oklahoma native, Wiley Post. You can read the flight records that are recorded on the side of the plane.

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