Fantasy of Flight launches essay contest

Fantasy of Flight, Central Florida’s aviation attraction, is launching a student essay contest as part of its 2011 Legends & Legacies: A Symposium Series, which brings together legendary World War II heroes to share their firsthand accounts of flying during the war.

The 2011 “Legends & Legacies” series will combine World War II aviation heroes, who will offer a glimpse of what it was like to fly in the heyday of aviation as they protected their country, with their families, who have their own unique insights to share. The series will also include heroes from the war who served on the ground protecting and supporting the men and women in flight. Each symposium will feature several open-forum/question-and-answer sessions, followed by meet-and-greet/autograph signing sessions.

The expanded series features six topics scheduled for 2011: “They Dared to Fly: Featuring the Tuskegee Airmen” in honor of National Black History Month, Feb. 10-12; “Breaking All Barriers: The Amazing Women of WWII,” in honor of National Women’s History Month, March 4-5; “Calculated Risk: The Extraordinary Life of Jimmy Doolittle,” April 15-16; “D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy,” May 13-14; “The Pacific War: Power and Pursuit,” June 10-11; and “The Great Escape: Heroes Underground,” Oct. 14-15. The series events are included in the price of Fantasy of Flight general admission of $28.95 plus tax for adults, $14.95 plus tax for youth (age 6-15) and five and under are free with full paying adult. Group rates are available.

The symposium series kicks off in February with an essay contest saluting the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. Essays must focus on leadership, excellence, advocacy, and determination, virtues that helped the Tuskegee Airmen achieve success, or about how these principles helped one achieve a goal. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of the essay contest, open to students from fourth to 12th grade. Awards include $75 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place for each grade level. Entries must be hand-delivered or postmarked by 5 p.m. on or before Jan. 15, 2011.

For more information: 863-984-3500 or