Posts Tagged ‘historic aircraft; warbirds; World War II; World War I;’

Kermit Weeks is having way too much fun

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

On my way to Sun ‘n Fun last week, where I spent days looking at airplanes, writing about airplanes, and talking to other people about airplanes, I detoured to Kermit Weeks’ Fantasy of Flight museum. To, um, look at airplanes.

Weeks’ museum is in Polk City, about 15 miles up the road from Lakeland, and it’s worth the trip. (Perhaps a side junket on your way to the AOPA Summit in Tampa this coming November?) Weeks has assembled an amazing collection of World War I- and II-era aircraft (authentic and replicas), and the museum is laid out in a series of exhibits, rather than a jumble of airplanes sharing hangar space. Thought and care went into this display.

During my visit, Weeks was at the museum, a tall, thin, ponytailed man in a flight suit leading a group of visitors through his treasures. Later, as we were taken by tram on a “backlot” tour to look at, among other things, two pristine P-51 Mustangs, Weeks could be seen preflighting a Grumman Duck. “He may be firing that up soon,” said our tour guide. “He never tells us what he’s going to do.” Sure enough, Weeks started the Duck, taxied out, and took off on one of the museum’s grass runways, making a low pass a few minutes later. (For a more in-depth look at Weeks and his Fantasy of Flight collection, see Al Marsh’s article in the April 2005 AOPA Pilot.)