Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida, will bring back its Living History Series for 2010. Kicking off the series are the Tuskegee Airmen Feb. 18-20, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) March 25-27, and the American Fighter Aces later in the Spring.
“Each year, it is our extreme privilege and honor to welcome the Tuskegee Airmen, WASP, American Fighter Aces and other American military heroes to Fantasy of Flight for a historic reunion and celebration of their brave accomplishments. Many of these distinguished war veterans are now in their late 70s, 80s and early 90s, making the opportunity to hear their firsthand accounts of the war even more compelling and timely,” said Kim Long, general manager of Fantasy of Flight. “We hope that not only aviation buffs, but also families, individuals, student and Scout groups, other veterans, and anyone who loves America, will join us to honor these distinguished war heroes.”
In honor of National Black History Month, the 2010 Living History series kicks off Feb. 18-20 with “They Dared to Fly,” in which four of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen, the first African Americans to be trained as World War II military pilots, will reunite at Fantasy of Flight to share their recollections of wartime military service during segregated America. Fantasy of Flight’s permanent multi-media Tuskegee Airmen exhibit, which also includes previously recorded interviews with several of the pioneering Airmen, provides the backdrop for this event. The event includes several open-forum/question-and-answer sessions with the Dr. Roscoe Brown, Col. Lee Archer, Leo Gray and Hiram Mann on Thursday, Feb. 18, Friday, Feb. 19 and on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Fantasy of Flight’s Officers Club.
The second event in the three-part Living History Series takes place March 25-27. In honor of National Women’s History Month, “A Passionate Pursuit” will feature the WASP — Women Airforce Service Pilots — a squadron of pilots who left their homes and jobs at the height of World War II to serve their country as the first American women to fly for the U.S. military.
The third series event, “Victory in the Sky,” will take place later in the Spring and will feature the World War II American Fighter Aces. This elite group of combat pilots shot down five or more hostile aircraft in air-to-air combat in World War I and II, as well as Korea and Vietnam. Out of more than 40,000 fighter pilots trained during World War II, only 1,314 had the skill and bravery to become an ace.
During each symposium, Fantasy of Flight will feature “Open Cockpit Days” during which guests are invited to get up close and personal with some of America’s most rare vintage aircraft and climb aboard for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity, officials add.
Fantasy of Flight also hosts a number of other special events throughout the 2010 year, including the 100th Anniversary of Scouting Camporee, March 5- 7; The Blue Max: Scale Remote Controlled (R/C) Challenge and Fly-In, March 12-13; the Sun ‘n Fun Splash-In at Fantasy of Flight on Lakes Agnes, April 15; Extended Spring Break for Pilots, April 13-May 31; Mustangs & Mustangs—Legends Havin’ Fun 2010, April 17, Roar n’ Soar, Nov. 13 -14 and many more.
Cost of each Living History symposium is included with Fantasy of Flight admission, which is $28.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages 6-15, plus 7% sales tax. Children 5 and younger are free. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more.
For more information: 863-984-3500 or FantasyOfFlight.com.