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Friday
Apr302010

Fantasy Of Flight: Hangar #1 Overview - Lotsa Airplanes!

 In addition to a beautiful entrance area that includes an excellent gift shop and the gorgeous Compass Rose diner, Fantasy of Flight includes some interesting diorama’s depicting WWI and WWII settings.  The bulk of the aircraft however are on display in the two main hangar areas.   In this post are some pix of the first hangar area.

 The flying boat is the Short Sunderland which has a wingspan of 112’, so you can quickly see this is a mighty big hangar!  You can see the Sunderland has wheels in this pic, but they’re actually just beaching gear to get it in and out of the water… the Sunderland is a seaplane, not an amphibian.

 It’s also very cool to see both a Stinson Tri-Motor (black and gold) and a Ford Tri-Motor (white and red) in the same hangar.  These pix are taken from an elevated walkway that runs around the perimeter of the hangar so you can get a great view of the airplanes from above in addition to seeing them from ground level.

 

 A closer view of the Sunderland that shows by its windows that it has two levels inside the cabin.  You can go inside the flying boat to check out the interior, but access to the cockpit area is not available.  Below the Sunderland’s wing trailing edge is the little light blue, unusual flying-car concept, the Trautman Road Air that I detailed the other day.  The German biplane at left is a Focke Wulf FW-44 Steiglitz, a WWII era primary trainer designed by Kurt Tank who also later designed the Fw-190.  In front of the Sunderland is a Stampe biplane, and as you can also see, there are a few antique cars placed around as well.

 

 Moving around the walkway now getting a great view of the airplanes from the golden age of air racing.  FoF is pretty much Gee Bee headquarters these days!  The yellow and black one is a Gee Bee Z replica, one of two that have been built.  This is not the one used in the Rocketeer movie, but is actually a slightly more true to the original one built in 1996.  The two-place open cockpit one is a Senior Sportster replica, and the bright white and red one is the Gee Bee R-2 replica that Delmar Benjamin flew for many years thru the 90’s.  The all red #33 is a Brown B-2 ‘Miss Los Angeles replica built back in the early 70’s.

 

 Here you can see the stairs that lead you into the Sunderland.  A Fokker Triplane is at right along with a really nice Spirit of St Louis replica that’s out of view.  The area at right contains a lot of interesting smaller displays including some cockpit sections that are very educational.  There’s even the only airworthy Hiller Hornet tip-jet helicopter tucked into that area!  There’s a lot more in this hangar than even these pix show, and all of it is well displayed and very interesting to see. 

 You have to look closely to be able to tell, but the huge hangar doors were open which helps you to realize that it’s pretty easy for them to pull these aircraft out and let them do what they were meant to do… fly!

check out FantasyOfFlight.com/collection for more info on the specific aircraft

 

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