Fantasy of Flight Museum
1400 Broadway Blvd. S.E.
Polk City, Florida 33868
At Fantasy of Flight you will experience the fun and adventure of flight at the World’s Greatest Aviation Attraction.
Our stunning art deco facility is home to over 40 rare and vintage aircraft many of which have been restored to flyable condition. But that is just the beginning – we offer a variety of guided tours including visits to our working restoration and maintenance areas. You can climb inside the cockpit of a Corsair fighter for a battle over the Pacific and then take a spin on our state-of-the-art hang glide simulator in our Fun with Flight area.
If you are looking for a real experience, real fun, and real takeaway – something the entire family can enjoy, Fantasy of Flight is An Attraction on a Higher Plane.
The Great Depression was tough on the aircraft industry, especially the sale of luxuries like the small sport planes the Granville Brothers built in Springfield, Massachusetts. The decision was made to build and enter a racer in the Cleveland Air Races in hopes that prize money could help support their dwindling sales. The first racer, engineered by Bob Hall, and built by the Granville Brothers (hence Gee Bee) began in July of 1931. In less than 6 weeks “The City of Springfield” made its first flight at a cost of less than $5,000. The Gee Bee would be flown by expert pilot, Lowell Bayles, and won every race it entered, including the Shell speed dash at 267.34 mph and the famous Thompson Trophy pylon race! They more than recouped their original investment.
The AT-6 was built originally to compete in the 1937 U. S. Army Air Corps for a basic combat aircraft. One hundred eighty aircraft were ordered for the U.S.A.A.C. and the British Royal Air Force ordered 400. Experience showed that it was a mediocre combat aircraft but an excellent trainer so it was reclassified as an advanced trainer. It was nicknamed the “Texan” and trained most of the allied fighter pilots of World War II. The AT-6 went on to become arguably the best Air Force training aircraft of all time.
The B-24 was originally designed in 1939 as a replacement for the B-17 Flying Fortress. It had a lot of “firsts” to its name including first mass-produced airplane, first production bomber with a nose-wheel and the most produced US aircraft to date. Taking advantage of later technology, the B-24 could fly faster and further than the B-17 and could carry twice the bomb load of a B-17 for 3,700 miles. They were used in a variety of roles including bombing, mine laying, photo-reconnaissance, cargo and transport duties. The B-24 carried a crew of 10 and had ten .50 caliber machine guns for defense. Later in the War, the Navy used a single-tail version called the PB4Y-2
Developed in the closing stages of World War II this was one of the X-type projects that the Germans tried. Constructed of wood in 250 man-hours with unskilled labor, the Ba 349 Natter was designed to be launched vertically, when enemy bomber formations were sighted in the area. Initial gliding tests were done in 1944 by dropping the test aircraft from a Heinkel He-111 bomber from 18,000 feet. The test pilot attained a speed of 425 mph. Controllability was excellent down to speeds of 125 mph. Roll and pitch control was designed to be accomplished by use of the elevons at the rear of the aircraft. As there was no landing gear the pilot bailed out when the tests were complete
The Marauder was designed to meet the US Army Air Corps demand for a high-speed medium bomber. Martin’s proposal was considered to be so far in advance of other proposals that the company was awarded an “off the drawing board” contract for 201 aircraft in 1939. The first production B-26 flew by years end. Testing confirmed that performance had been achieved, but at the expense of low-speed handling characteristics
Last of the Bucker designs, the Bestmann appeared in 1939 as a general-purpose aircraft that was used as a trainer, liaison, glider tug and light transport for the German Luftwaffe during World War II. Despite its intended use for training purposes, it was primarily used for utility and liaison similar to its contemporary, the four-seat Me-108 “Taifun”. Uses for the airplane would have included anything that might come up such as, getting mail, eggs or visits to local airfields. Both Czechoslovakia and Sweden built them under license during and after the war and post-war production continued in the Netherlands, Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Egypt.
1400 Broadway Blvd. S.E. – Polk City, Florida 33868