Fantasy of Flight is expanding the first of its three-part Living History Series Symposiums by adding a luncheon with the Tuskegee Airmen.
The Tuskegee Airmen symposium, called “They Dared to Fly,” takes place Thursday, Feb. 18 through Saturday, Feb. 20, and features several open-forum/question-and-answer sessions with three Tuskegee Airmen — Dr. Roscoe Brown, Lt. Col. Leo Gray and Lt. Col. Hiram Mann — as they share their recollections of wartime military service during segregated America. New this year, on Friday, Feb. 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m., Fantasy of Flight will host a reservations-only luncheon with limited seating in honor of the three pilots.
The luncheon will be held at the Orlampa Conference Center at Fantasy of Flight. Tickets are $65 plus tax per person and reservations are required.
Now in its second year, the Tuskegee Airmen portion of the Living History Series takes place annually each February in honor of National Black History Month. A fourth member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Col. Lee Archer, was also scheduled to appear, but recently passed away.
“We are extremely saddened by the loss of Lt. Col. Lee Archer and we offer our most sincere condolences to his immediate family and his family of Airmen,” said Kermit Weeks, Fantasy of Flight founder and creator. “His passing makes us all the more aware of how precious these first-hand accounts from our World War II veterans truly are.”
Throughout the three-day event, guests can enjoy flight demonstrations featuring one of the fully restored aircraft on display at Fantasy of Flight, as well as the permanent multi-media Tuskegee Airmen exhibit, which includes previously recorded interviews with several of the pioneering Airmen.
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 event will bring to life the experiences of some of America’s most courageous aviators through permanent and semi-permanent exhibits, real aircraft, and most importantly, personal stories from real WASP pilots.
The third series event, “Victory in the Sky,” will take place April 17 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 became an American Fighter Ace.
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; 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. For more information, call 863-984-3500 or FantasyOfFlight.com.