Fantasy takes flight at annual event

Scale modelers and pilots of radio-controlled aircraft will once again make the trek to Central Florida’s Fantasy of Flight attraction April 15, 16 and 17 for a competition of vintage and World War I era models and radio-controlled aircraft. Gadling fans of vintage aircraft are invited to attend.

The Blue Max: Scale R/C Challenge and Fly-In is a three-day event that takes place at the 250-acre Fantasy of Flight facility in Polk City, Florida. Open to the public, the event will feature a Static Judging and Fly-In Competition with awards for static display and aerial maneuvers. Entries are limited to aircraft that originally flew between 1903 and 1919.

“More than anything else, flight symbolizes our longing for inner freedom-a means to light the spark of our imaginations-and so my mission has always been is to use flight to inspire mankind to take the next step on its journey,” said Fantasy of Flight founder Kermit Weeks.

During the fly-in competition, pilots will be judged on their flight skills, including five mandatory maneuvers (takeoff, figure eight, fly past, landing and flight realism) and a choice of five of 15 additional maneuvers such as a barrel roll, bomb drop, and stall turn, among others. This year’s competition will consist of just one round of flight competition, down from three last year.

Pilots or would-be pilots will enjoy the world’s largest privately-held vintage aircraft collection, exhibits from aviation’s storied past and symposiums. This year, in celebration of the ideals upon which Fantasy of Flight was founded, one Blue Max participant who best demonstrates a shared commitment to the attraction’s mission, will take home a first-ever special award.

“Perhaps not everyone has the dream or the capability of flying a full-size aircraft, but many more can appreciate and perhaps participate in building models and flying R/C aircraft. added Weeks noting “Whether it’s a $10 toy store model build by a child or a vintage aircraft crafted by an expert, these so-called toys have the power to inspire and the power to change lives.”