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For Sale by Owner
The sunshine state continues to surprise me. Who knew flying and aviation were so important in
the state usually associated with theme parks and orange groves? It was news to me. Here's a
glimpse of several Florida attractions where the sky is the limit!
Florida Air Museum
at Sun N Fun
Based in Lakeland, The Florida Air Museum at Sun N Fun is located on an expanse of 40 acres.
The 20,000-square-foot facility houses the museum's current collection of aircraft and
memorabilia. Many one-of-a-kind flying machines are displayed at this museum.
This attraction houses a collection of approximately 35 experimental and homebuilt aircraft along
with several outdoor displays. If your love of aircraft takes you on a scholarly journey, their
1,300-square-foot library has more than 4,000 aviation books and 27,000 magazines located
within the first phase of a historical research center.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Florida Air Museum at Sun N Fun & Aviation Center was in
November 1991, and its doors officially opened for the first time April of 1992.
The City of Lakeland and the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport have hosted the Sun N Fun EAA
Fly-In for over 30 years. The annual spring Celebration of Flight brings people together from
around the world. For more information phone: 863-644-0741 or check out their website at
Fantasy of Flight
Another aviation attraction in central Florida is "Fantasy of Flight, World's Greatest Aircraft
Collection," located in Polk City, about 20 minutes west of Disneyworld. The story of aviation
through the ages is told through a series of experiences.
Realism is important at Fantasy of Flight. Entering the fuselage of a C-47, the sounds of a plane
surround you. Experience the sensation of soaring though the clouds when you view the unusual
Travel back in time through an area depicting the trenches of WWI in France or enter an English
airbase where you become an imaginary member of an elite bomber squadron complete with
briefing room and video. Board a B-17 with all the sights and sounds as if you're bombing enemy
territory in WWII.
Visit their hangar to see what is claimed to be the "World's Greatest Aircraft Collection." Aviation
historian and enthusiast Kermit Weeks assembled these vintage aircraft.
Some of the aircraft on the grounds include a Ford Tri-Motor featured in the movie, "Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom" and an accurate replica of the renowned Ryan "Spirit of St. Louis."
Aircraft buffs can also see other rarities such as a Japanese Zero; Corsair F4U; B-24 Liberator; B-
26 Martin Marauder; P-51 Mustang; and the Short Sunderland, the last airworthy four-engine
civilian flying boat in the world.
Their flight simulators will give you a true "hands-on" experience. For more information, call
863-984-3500 or find them on the web at www.fantasyofflight.com.
The National Museum
of Naval Aviation
Over one million people have visited The National Museum of Naval Aviation located on the
grounds of Naval Air Station Pensacola in the Florida panhandle.
Dozens of beautifully restored aircraft, artifacts, and memorabilia tell the story of almost nine
decades of US Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard Aviation.
Pensacola is an appropriate place to showcase these airplanes. The air station encompasses the
historic Pensacola Navy Yard, which dates back to the early nineteenth century. Pensacola is
known as "The Cradle of Naval Aviation."
Naval aviation training continues today at NAS Pensacola, which is also home of the Navy's Blue
Angels flight demonstration squadron.
The museum traces its own roots to 1955. Two Captains, Bernard Strean and Magruder Turtle,
officers assigned to the training command at Pensacola, decided to create a museum designed to
preserve the history of Naval aviation.
The museum complex contains the Quarterdeck, the IMAX Theater, the south and west wings,
and the spacious Pensacola-Blue Angels Atrium adjoining the two wings. A mezzanine level
contains many more displays. Free bus tours take visitors to a separate aircraft flight line display
area and restoration facility. Contact them at 800-327-5002.
Flying Tigers Warbird
If you're a fan of vintage flying machines and their restoration, plan a stop at the Kissimmee
Gateway Airport. This working museum displays and restores aircraft from the
World War II through Vietnam eras. The mechanics at Flying Tigers have an extraordinary passion
for aircraft and they're happy to speak with visitors.
Strolling down the flight line, you'll see legendary aircraft such as B-25's, P-51's and C-47's, and
even a mighty B-17 Flying Fortress. These aircraft have been meticulously restored to their
Real excitement waits next door at Warbird Adventures Inc., where they'll let you fly in one of
their vintage aircraft, if your stomach is up to the task.
For an additional charge you can get yourself strapped into a T-6 Harvard, and find out why it
received the nickname "The Pilot Maker".
Flying Tigers is located at 231 N. Hoagland Blvd. Kissimmee and their phone is 407-933-1942.
On the Internet click on www.warbirdmuseum.com.
Kennedy Space Center
The 200 square mile Kennedy Space Center is part of Florida's "Space Coast", midway between
Jacksonville and Miami, and 35 miles east of Orlando. Famous names here include Cocoa Beach
and Cape Canaveral. I can't hear the name Cocoa Beach without recalling the TV show "I Dream of
The Center is named for the President who committed the US to "race to the moon" in 1962. You
can easily make a full day of it at Kennedy and many visitors do.
The Space Center Visitor Complex contains many exhibits and unique experiences for the public.
Guests can take a bus tour through restricted areas used by NASA for space launches.
Always popular, the guided bus tour drives past two giant launch pads and the Vehicle Assembly
Building, considered the largest building in the world.
You see the 3-1/2 mile crushed-rock "crawlerway" along which the Space Shuttle gets hauled to
the launch pad.
At the Visitor Complex immerse yourself in the wonders of space travel. They have not one but
two lmax Theaters. Another offering is Astronaut Encounter, a daily chance to interact with an
astronaut. Tour inside a replica of a NASA shuttle orbiter, plus browse the giant gift store for
unique items. Visit the Rocket Garden, a garden like none other. Click on
www.kennedvspacecenter.com or phone 321-449-4444.