It seems by next week we will have elected a new president of the United States!  During the primaries, Fantasy of Flight had visits from the Ron Paul Blimp, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain!  McCain’s daughter was with her father on the campaign trail and she wrote on her blog that Fantasy of Flight was the coolest place they stopped!

Yesterday, Sarah Palin, made a stop and spoke to several thousand people.  The place was crawling with Secret Service as well as officers from the local Sheriff’s Department.  Only several days before we were approached about doing an event here and all the Fantasy of Flight employees came together to pull off getting the facility ready for the event.  The GOP rented our Maintenance Hangar and Thursday the Hangar was dumped of airplanes and cleaned.  By Friday evening there were bleachers, giant American Flags, a central platform with a podium set up, all with sound and lights!  People started arriving before the gates opened at 9:00am and Sarah arrived and spoke around noon. 

Not ever wanting to let an opportunity go by, we placed flyers under everyone’s windshield wipers promoting our Roar ’n Soar the following weekend on November 8th and 9th.  This will be our second annual event, which will host Vintage Aircraft, Racing Boats, Cars, R/C Model Aircraft, Skydivers, Aerobatics, etc.  We hope everyone will come out and join us next weekend!  For further information check out http://www.fantasyofflight.com/roar-n-soar/.

Sarah just happened to leave with an autographed Gee Bee book, “All of Life is a School” for her two youngest children!  I tend to be apolitical and only hope that we all reach beyond ourselves and follow our dreams!  Best of Luck to everyone!

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

pic2.jpgI just learned how to put pictures up on my Blog so check them out.One is of a new friend that came for a tour of Fantasy of Flight that I met at the Living Legends of Aviation Dinner I attended last January in Beverly Hills. I was inducted several years ago and my new friend was inducted this year. He had his private Boeing 707 up at the Oshkosh Fly-In.

 

pic1.jpgThe other friend is a well-known film director from New Zealand. He did a couple of films about “Rings” and another recent one featuring a very Big Gorrilla! I got a chance to fly in one of his absolutely gorgeous SE-5 reproductions with another friend of mine outside of Wellington, NZ while he stood in the middle of the airfield with an HD Camera. I was very fortuante to spend my Birthday at his house with his family on my last round the world trip. They gave me a signed statue of the Big Gorilla grabbing an airplane on the top of the Empire State Building!

Kermit

PS – Now that I know how to insert photos I will go back and insert earlier posts!  If you click on the picture it might show up larger and clearer.

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