Fun Facts of the 15th
A continuing series of reflections in celebration of Fantasy of Flight's 15th birthday
Deep Roots and a Bright Beacon:
Fantasy of Flight's Water Tower
A crane adds beacon to the water tower in 1995.
Whether you arrive at Fantasy of Flight by land or air, during the day or night, you will find yourself steering in the direction of the magnificent 250,000 gallon, red and white checkerboard water tower, a prominent landmark soaring over the facility at more than 150' tall. Built in 1993-4 to a modified 1929 design, the tower is rooted in massive underground pads of concrete totaling 200 cubic yards.
As with every element of Fantasy of Flight, the water tower had to conform to a design rationale that fit the vision of owner/creator Kermit Weeks. He says it best:
Not only does the Fantasy of Flight water tower give us the pressure and volume we need to meet the fire sprinkler codes, it serves as a great navigational beacon. Its distinct period red and white checkerboard paint job is very easily seen during the day and, at night, the original WWII red and white rotating beacon distinctly stands out from the other local modern airport beacons which are green and white!
Living History Symposium Series Update
Special thanks to WUSF Public Broadcasting for sponsoring these special events.
March: Celebrate Boundary Breaking WASP for Women's History Month
Daring Females Take Center Stage
in "A Passionate Pursuit"
The WASP, Women Airforce Service Pilots, a spirited squadron of pilots, left their homes and families at the height of World War II to serve as the first American women to fly for the U.S. military. Fantasy of Flight's Living History Symposium Series continues to bring to life experiences of courageous aviators through exhibits, real aircraft, and most importantly, personal stories from WASP pilots who will be answering questions and interacting with guests. March 25 through 27.
New Event Announced!
A Living Legends Luncheon has been added to the events honoring WASP this month. Click here for more details and to make an online reservation for the intimate luncheon set for Friday, March 26.
April: Celebrate American Fighter Aces of WW II
Triple Ace Bud Anderson to Appear in April's Living History revs up the powerful engine of the pursuit aircraft and the pilots who achieved extraordinary results, all in coordination with Fantasy of Flight's annual Mustangs & Mustangs.
"Victory in the Sky"
Headlining the panel of heroes for the "Victory in the Sky" symposium will be Col. Bud Anderson. Successfully completing 116 mission and achieving 16 ½ aerial victories in his trusty P-51 "Old Crow," Col. Anderson was lauded by fellow legend Chuck Yeagar as "the best fighter pilot I ever saw."
Col. Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson
Anderson himself has expressed an enduring love for the P-51 Mustang. He praised it as "pleasant and forgiving to fly. Best of all, it went like Hell. The Merlin had great gobs of power and was equally at home high or low, thanks to a two-stage, two-speed supercharger. The Mustang carried fuel enough to pursue and destroy the enemy once you'd flown to the target, and it could turn on a dime. It was crucial to keep it in trim but, as we gained experience with the plane, that became automatic. We sensed it was special, even before we measured it against what the enemy pilots were flying."
Last Month: Legendary Tuskegee Airmen Inspired Record Audiences
Lt. Col. Hiram Mann and Dr. Roscoe Brown sign autographs for Fantasy of Flight guests (Photo Credit: Don Keeton Photography)
Tears, laughs, and thunderous applause scored every appearance of the Tuskegee Airmen during the 3-day Living History event in mid-February. Audiences hung onto every word that flowed from real American heroes, Dr. Roscoe Brown, Lt. Col. Hiram Mann, and Lt. Col. Leo Gray. Representing his father Lt. Col. Lee Archer was Roy Archer. Kermit took special pride in flying his red-tailed P-51C, painted in honor of Lt. Col. Archer's famous aircraft "INA The Macon Belle."