The Fantasy of Flight Audio Experience are now in CD format and are for sale in the Fantasy of Flight Gift Shop.  There are eight great stories using Aviation History that allow you to create your own history!  Each story is about eight minutes long and and are great for enthusiasts and non-aviation enthusiasts alike.  They sell for $15.95 and should be listened to with headphones for the best sound effect.

We started this project almost two years ago and it became the first project where I drew a line in the sand and told everyone that we were not going to do things as we had in the past.  Everything from that moment on must now meet our Design Mission – “To design in a way . . . that is thought-provoking, emotionally engaging, bumps you off-center, lights that Spark within, and in a way that everyone can relate to!”

By April of 2007 we had the Audio Tours up and running for rental as a upcharge.  They are in a wand format with headphones like you might rent at an art museum.  The difference in our product is that it is not a just techincal details of history and technology.  They actively engage you to think about your own life!

Since most new people now coming to Fantasy of Flight have too much to do, our sales weren’t what we had initially hoped.  I spent almost another year working to upgrade the soundscapes by upgrading the reverbs and fine tuning the background sounds.  I am very proud of the final product we have created.

For years I have been getting the “deer in the headlight” look from people when I tell them about my Vision.  This is the first product people can experience and begin to understand where Fantasy of Flight is headed.  In the end, it’s not about airplanes, history and technology.  However, we will use these as means to an end for people to Self-Discovery themselves through Entertainment! 

I could try and explain what these are but you just have to experience them to understand what I’m talking about.  Since having the Audio Experiences my business associates now say, “Now I finally understand what you’re trying to do!” 

Now that we have the Audio CD’s for sale in the Gift Shop we have been giving away the Audio Tour Wands to paying customers in hopes they will purchase the CD.  Our next step will be to take this Audio Experience format and adapt it to an immersive environment like our “Fightertown” simulator room to enhance the take-home value of the experience even more. 

Soon, we hope to have the Audio Experience CD for sale online as well as in download form for podcasting.  This is a key direction of where Fantasy of Flight is headed, so, I hope everyone can come and experience them for themselves and see the potential of what we’re creating! 

This is how I intend to create a separate Theme Park Industry based on things that re REAL!  Keep an eye of us as we’re going to set the world on fire one day! 

Kermit

The Reno Air Races are now over and today I actually got to watch the show!  The reason . . . I RAN OUT OF BOOKS TO SIGN!

I arrived Wednesday morning on site to set out some posters to help market the book. It was the first official day and I signed a few books as the hard core enthusiasts began to settle in. There were three Official Merchandise locations and the Race Officials set me up in a great spot at the Main Gate store. The weather was perfect all week with blue skies and little wind.

As the week progressed, sales begin to increase. By the end of Saturday I completely sold out of the 600 + books I had on site. It was a great experience and I personally signed over 500 of them.

Sunday is always the biggest day of the Races so I think I could have sold another 200 books! Between the sales at Oshkosh and Reno I have sold over 1000 books. Internet sales are beginning to increase and we have yet to do any major marketing. It’s exciting to have made a significant dent in the initial order of 5000 printed.

While it was a lot of work, it was fun to connect with eveyone and great confirmation I’ve a created a great product. Next year I’ll bring more books, do a better job of marketing them, and bring Gee Bee clothing for the kids.

On a side note, I visited my Boeing projects at Roy Rehm’s shop in Gardnerville, NV.  After my original 1929 Boeing 100 was severly damaged during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Roy contacted me about buying it as he was working towards building several; one for himself, one for a museum, and several for other customers. I wasn’t interested in selling it but was interested in having it rebuilt. In the end, Roy began building eight aircraft, three of which are for me.

I originally acquired the Boeing 100 when I acquired the Tallmantz Collection in 1985. The previous owner was famous movie pilot Frank Tallman and had it painted in Navy colors. After Roy picked up my damaged airplane from Miami I made the decision to restore it back to its orginal factory civilian configuration and colors. Not one to pass up a great opportunity, I also commissioned Roy to construct a Army P-12 C/D and a Navy F4B-2 version for me. Each of my three aircraft will have slight differences in armament, landing gear, ailerons and paint schemes and be powered by the orginal engines.

My original Civilian Boeing 100 will be the first of the eight to fly. The wings are now finished and painted. The fuselage is on the gear with the engine is mounted with the instrument panel installed. The fuselage is scheduled to be covered next summer with assembly and testing to follow in late 2009. It seems like a long way away but Roy is still building lots of parts for the other aircraft.

Soon, I’ll be the only kid on my block with a complete set or the famous Boeing Biplanes!

Thanks to everyone for helping!

Kermit

I had the opportunity to have lunch with an old friend of mine, Joe Kittinger, and some of his River Rat buddies.  They flew during the Vietnam Conflict and are planning to have their 2010 Annual Convention in Orlando and use Fantasy of Flight for an off-site “flightsuit” party!  I hope to be in town to enjoy the festivities and maybe fly a P-51 or something for them! 

I have known Joe since coming to Central Florida.  He came to my Fantasy of Flight Grand Opening Party in 1995 and used to fly the Rosie O”Grady banner planes around Orlando. 

Joe has an interesting history and is one of aviation’s greats!  While testing the limits for the Astronaut Program, Joe set an altitude record for the highest free-fall skydive.  He launched in a gas balloon from New Mexico and stepped out at 103,000 feet!  I believe he is the only human to go faster than the speed of sound WITHOUT an aircraft!  Do a websearch on him for the full story!  He was also at Roswell when the UFO crashed after WWII but never would confirm anything about the event.

I was honored to be included with Joe and 14 other aviation notables at the 25th Anniversary of the “Gathering of Eagles” at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama in 2006 .  It was the 25th Anniversary of the Program and we were invited to talk to 800 students from the War College graduating class about things like Succes in Life, Leadership, Values, etc.  Another friend was there, Lee Archer (highest scoring Tuskegee Pilot) so I flew my P-51C “Ina the Macon Belle” up for the festivities.  This was Lee’s paint job during WWII and the plane became the centerpiece of two giant BBQ events.

While at the “Gathering” I saw a great opportunity to twist history slightly and have some fun.  I mentioned to Joe and some of the other ”Eagles” that Niel Armstrong had actually “borrowed” a statement from Joe when he landed on the Moon.  The statement I attributed to Joe as he stepped off the Balloon Gondola and into Space was, “One small step for mankind . . . One giant leap for Joe Kittinger!”

Kermit