Thursday, April 11, 2013

What if your "Hobby" went wild on you...

No, this is not a blog about quilters gone wild, although we all know a few maybe...(I know one whose first name begins with a "P"). This is a blog about the "Fantasy of Flight"...

Enter into the picture Mr. Kermit Weeks.

Kermit is actually a year younger than me, being born in 1953. I had never heard of him until today, but he is a National Aerobatic Champion in the United States... does he not look like one! Oh ya, he is also one very, very, very, rich man. His Grandfather left him a 2 1/2% Royalty from the Bass Straight Oil Fields in Australia, and so far, it has pumped over 4 Billion (with a B) Barrels of Oil. You do the math.

Kermit's passion in life is Airplanes, so he started collecting them when the money started flowing. He currently has over 170 aircraft, from the early 1900's up to the end of WW11. He is not really into jets at all, and loves the vintage aircraft.

He originally set up in Miami, but in the mid 80's bought 250 glorious acres near Polk City, in central Florida, about 25 minutes from Winter Haven.

Judy is waiting for the shuttle to take us over to the Splash In, that was being held right on the property today. Water craft were flying everywhere...


Many of Kermit's planes are on display, and above is only one of the hangars he has built as part of the complex. He also has a full restoration and shop area that employs many people simply working on restoring vintage aircraft. This is American History in the making folks.

Above is a wood working shop to build new wooden frames and spars... Kermit has an old Folker Plane from the WW1 that he is restoring. The wood on it is over 100 years old.




Judy got a new job today as "Rosie" the riveter. During the Second World War, all the men went overseas to fight, so that left 6 million Rosie's to stay and build the planes and tools of war. The person behind the test screen is holding the rivet while Judy rivets it, if that is the right term to use...

Check out the short youtube videos of the plane...


Kermit flew up to the Hangar in this plane... a Skirosky, S29... like only 1 of about 20 made. It is fully restored, and can land on land, or in water... it did both today!

Check out this crazy little Army Copter, that they used to spot enemy artillery. It could go up with 2 people in it, but only for 20 minutes, as it ran out of fuel by then. It burned 45 gallons of fuel in 20 minutes!


Kermit had a great presentation all built around WW11, and I got to shoot down some German Planes that were approaching...

These were the pilots of my bomber... they had all the real radio calls, and sounds, you name it...very cool.

It is very dark, but I had my Jeep hat on, so had to try out the old army jeep on the set.

Yes, Kermit knew I could fly model planes, so he let me take this Bomber up for a flight... Judy is helping me with the pre-flight test... we were only up for 15 minutes.

Emmie, Paige, and Gwenny would have to all pedal real fast to get this puppy up in the air... they sold them here as toys, for about $350.00.

Ya, I did the flight simulator above, and we won't talk much about my landing...

We went down on the shuttle to the waterfront area, where Kermit built a launch ramp for water planes... I loved this one above... look where the pilot sits!

It had these two motors mounted high on the wing, and I could not believe how quiet they were...

Heading out to the lake...

Let her go....

For about $69.00 you could take a ride in a bi-plane, and for about $229.00 you could go for a 1/2 hour flight in one of them and actually fly it... with zero experience... ( I could have done that...)

We ended up spending the whole day there... great to be able to meet Kermit, and have him explain his plans for the future for this property. A true Disney type experience. Amazing what you can do with an endless supply of money!

Till tomorrow...



  1. Awesome day! No doubt about that!

    While studying for his degree in business, our son also became a commercial pilot. We have flown with him many times and the thrill of flight is magnetic.

    I sense you would have been a great pilot. Hey, it's never too late, is it?

  2. What a interesting day you had. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Amazing some of the interesting places that we can come across while on out tours.Looks like you had a wonderful day.
    Don't rush back to Ontario quite yet!

  4. Glad you made it down safely from your bomber flight without getting shot out of the sky!

    Great tour for an airplane buff - lots of terrific photos of all those old aircraft.

    I guess I should be thankful Paulette's hobby is only quilting!

  5. Clever way of introducing this story as we can all relate to our hobbies gone wild. Maybe it's a good thing money holds the rest of us back. Thanks for sharing your fascinating day!