“Marvel of Flight has seen phenomenal growth since its inception in 2011 and the City of DeFuniak Springs, in connection with countless community businesses and organizations, looks forward to providing an even more exciting event for everyone to enjoy,” says City Manager Sara Bowers.
Marvel of Flight was created as the 2010/2011 class project of Leadership Walton, a program of the Walton Area Chamber. The class was challenged with bringing alternate forms of tourism throughout the county, while promoting economic development.
This year the event continues to grow and the lineup of airfare participating is even more impressive. “Panchito”, a B-25 Bomber with a wingspan of 67 feet 6.7 inches and length of 53 feet 5.75 inches, will be on display! “The addition of B-25 “Panchito” puts the City of DeFuniak Springs on a national stage in terms of fly-ins and aviation festivals” says Ryan Adams, Airport Services Supervisor for the City of DeFuniak Springs.
In addition, the Red Dragons Eastern Block Warbirds will be on display. Even a novice to airplanes, can recognize that this is a tough rugged aircraft. The Yak 52 was originally used for aerobatic training off of unimproved airstrips and was first delivered to the Russian military in late 1978. The Chinese Nanchang CJ6 aircraft are not quite as aerobatic as the Yak, but are larger and faster. The first CJ6 was delivered to the Chinese military in the mid-1960s. Both aircraft served as excellent trainers for military pilots transitioning into jets or learning advanced aerobatic maneuvers. Red Dragon Pilots are Fast rated Pilots of The Red Star Pilots Association, a Federal Non Profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation and operation of such radial engine aircraft as the Nanchang CJ-6 and Yak 52.
Jon Blake of Dothan, Alabama offered this about their airplanes: “Our team offers people an opportunity to see these stunning Red Star airplanes up close and personal. A chance to see airplanes that only a few years ago would have been impossible here in the United States.”
The array of events include: aircraft judging, vintage bi-plane rides, helicopter rides in a Vietnam Era Huey and Cobra, free rides in the RE/MAX Hot Air Balloon, tandem sky diving, pilot seminars, live entertainment, an Aviation Themed Interactive Exhibit & Displays by NASA Kennedy Space Center, flight simulator, arts & crafts, free kids activities, door prizes, car show, model rockets, RC planes, great food, and much more! This is an alcohol-free day of “hometown” fun for the entire family! The admission fee is one food drive donation item to benefit the Matrix Community Outreach Center.
“The City of DeFuniak Springs is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. Marvel of Flight is not just a day when the community joins together in celebration of our love and passion for aviation; it’s a way of life,” reported Ryan Adams, Airport Services Supervisor for the City of DeFuniak Springs. “It is truly an honor to be partnering with some of the most highly regarded names in aviation such as; NASA Kennedy Space Center, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Civil Air Patrol and Monarch Aviation. With the help of countless volunteers from a multitude of local agencies and civic organizations, Marvel of Flight has grown into the largest Fly-In of Northwest Florida. "
Marvel of Flight is brought to you by the City of DeFuniak Springs. Community Partners include the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, DFS Police Department., Walton County Sheriff’s Office, DFS Fire Department, Experimental Aviation Association (EAA), Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts of America, and many others. The Walton High School AFJROTC will present colors at the opening ceremonies. Local companies supporting the event include: McDonald’s, Monarch Aviation, Gulf Power, ERAU-Worldwide, Preble-Rish, CHELCO, Cope Center, Aarons, Enterprise, Walmart, SunTrust, Healthmark, Triangle Chevrolet, Southern LINC, Eastern Aviation, Best Western, CH2MHill, WZEP 1460, and 4C BBQ.
New this year, guest will have the opportunity to win a grand prize including a two night stay in South Walton. Two grand prize drawings will be held, one is specifically for pilots flying in for the event and the other is for anyone that attends. Attendees must be present to win, the grand prize drawings will be held on the stage at 2:30.
For more information, call the airport staff at 850-892-2000.
Event Admission Fee: One food drive donation item to benefit the Matrix Community Outreach Center.