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Event Report
Event Reports - Sun 'N Fun 2005

Get Ready... Sun 'N Fun is Coming! April 6, 2005
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Article by Mike Whaley
 
Well, it seems like just yesterday that we were at Sun N Fun 2004, but it's that time again. The shop crew is finishing up the loading of the truck, the front office staff is trying to take care of the usual business plus assemble all the info packs, plans, and supplies and making last-minute arrangements for various things, and we're all getting into "airshow mode" once again. Most of us have been through at least 3 or 4 airshows by now... that experience has helped to insure that it's a relatively smooth process, overall. The old hands know what needs to be done and what to expect, and the new folks are looking forward to it with great anticipation. This year the setup of our tent area will be a bit different than previous years, with both a Skybolt and Pitts Special on display. We are also looking forward to seeing many old friends, some of whom we usually only get to see once or twice a year at Lakeland and/or Oshkosh. We're looking forward to kicking off a great summer with a great airshow. We hope to see you there! If you can't make it, stay tuned to this section as we'll be posting photos and text regularly right from the show.


Monday, April 11 April 11, 2005
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Article by Mike Whaley
 
Monday was the final setup day, and things went pretty well. We have a new layout for the tent area. This year, we have Rob Moler's beautiful Firebolt on display inside the tent, and Steen employee Barrett Brummett's Pitts S1-C outside on the corner. We also have a basic S1-C fuselage assembly on display. Our engine supplier George Coy of Gesoco brought us an exciting new radial engine that's on display... a new 125hp5-cylinder engine based on the cylinders used in the M-14 series. This engine is aimed at the Sport Pilot market, and should be available around the end of this year. We also have the cutaway M-14P on display as in shows past. Our

Our Yellowbird Skybolt (N3HW) is parked right in front of the Aerobatics tent, and will be flying in the airplane showcases each day. We now have a smoke system installed in the Yellowbird.

The flight line was filling up pretty well, even though the show hasn't started yet. The weather is absolutely beautiful... a light breeze, a few small cumulus clouds, and temperatures in the low 80's. There's a front to the north, which will hopefully clear out of the Southeast U.S. (and hopefully, points north and west as well) in the next day or so... hopefully that will lead to a very large turnout this year. At sunset, we were treated to seeing the P-38 Glacier Girl arrive. This plane was buried under over 200 feet of ice since WW2, and was dug out and restored a few years ago. Other interesting planes that arrived on Monday include a C-54 from the Berlin Airlift group and the very attractive Thatcher CX-4.

Tuesday should turn out to be a very good day. We'll bring you more photos tomorrow!


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This Stits SA-7 is the testbed for the new turbocharged Corvair engine being developed by our friends at The Corvair Authority. This Stits airplane is a bit odd in that it isn't covered in Stits fabric.  
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This is a nice lineup of RANS airplanes... two S-7 Couriers and an S-6S Capella.  
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Two nice Cubs... the yellow one is the new Legend Cub.  
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The Legend Cub is a nice-looking machine.  
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This WW1 replica looked like it was just waiting for the Red Baron to show up.  
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Beware the Hun in the Sun!  
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A spaceship waits for the mother ship to return...  
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... Oh wait, it's just a Dyke Delta. This is a 4-seat airplane... the pilot sits in front, and there are three seats across the back.  
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This turbine-powered Aerocomp can haul a LOT of cargo... but it will never win any beauty contests!  
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This is a one-off carbon-fiber design called the Raptor. It only has 45 hours on it so far. Rate of climb is about 10,000 ft/min and it's fully pressurized.  
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Some warbirds are quite colorful.  
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A very friendly-looking DC-3 patiently awaits the start of the show.  
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The TBM Avenger is a large beast of a plane... this nice example is from the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Dallas.  
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Each prop blades on this Sea Fury is larger than the wings of some of the smallest homebuilts.  
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Glacier Girl, the P-38 that was restored after being dug out from under 238 feet of ice in Greenland, arrived at Sunset. What a beautiful sight.  
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One guess at what kind of RV this is.  
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This Aeronca C-3 wasn't exactly the sleekest plane ever designed, but many people learned to fly in them.  
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The C-3's cockpit is pretty basic.  
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The Thatcher CX-4 is a very attractive, single place aluminum light plane.  
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Dave Thatcher was kind enough to invite your fearless Webmaster to try the CX-4 on for size... it fit pretty well!  
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Wicks Aircraft has finally discovered the long-lost Holy Grail of Wing Ribs.  
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The Yellowbird Skybolt is parked right in front of the Aerobatics tent.  
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Barrett Brummett and Mike Hughes refill the Skybolt's wing tank with smoke oil in preparation for tomorrow's fly-bys.  
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Mike Hughes ande Mike Jones get the prop display ready. This year we have both MT and Hoffmann props on display.  
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We can't wait for the show to start!  
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Barrett's Pitts S1-C is parked on the corner of hte display this year, with a Pitts fuselage frame nearby. It's quite eye-catching.  
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Rob Moller's Firebolt is in the tent usually occupied by the Yellowbird. This beautiful plane actually has a Skybolt fuselage, but has the Firebolt wings, canopy, and landing gear. The plane was built bu Steve Corum.  
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Our friends at Gesoco are on the north side of our tent. In addition to the cutaway M14, they have a really neat little 5-cylinder, 125 hp radial that uses the same cylinders as the M14. It should be available around the end of the year.  
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How often do you see a flyable Super Connie? It was flown into the grass field with little difficulty.  
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BONUS PICTURES: Kermit Week's Fantasy of Flight is just down I-4 from Sun N Fun. We highly recommend a visit, as they fly planes almost every day.  
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The Outback blimp was staying at Fantasy of Flight. Here it's seen over the L-1049 Super Constellation that's staying on the site.  
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The Stampe is hand-propped... and yes, the prop does spin "the other way".  
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This French Stampe biplane was going up for a flight demos.  
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The Stampe takes off from the manicured grass runway.  
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Back from another successful mission!  
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This New Standard D-25 biplane gives rides on a regular basis. It later came to Sun N Fun to give rides there.  
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The Outback blimp comes in for a landing.  
     

Tuesday, April 12 April 12, 2005
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Article by Mike Whaley
 
Tuesday was a really beautiful day, weather-wise, and it turned out to be a great day all around. Turnout seemed to be pretty good in terms of attendees and the planes that arrived on the flightline. We saw quite a few old friends as well. One unexpected pleasure was meeting Don Fairbanks. He is the guy who built N5DF, the first Knight Twister Imperial. This plane was featured in many magazines in the 1960's and it did so well on the race circuit that it is now on loan to the Motor Sports Hall of Fame where it's on display. Don related that when Vern Payne was designing the Imperial to meet the then-new rules requiring at least 75 square feet of wing area, the first example (Don's plane) had an airfoil that had a vicious stall. At Don's urging, Vern revised this on the Imperial planes to use the M6 airfoil, which is what was used on the Gee Bee racers and many other airplanes. (The rule change was due to the first, second, and third places in the first biplane race all being taken by Knight Twisters with 55 sq. ft. of area, which was felt by race officials to present the possibility of people racing planes with too little wing area for safe flight.)

Barrett also performed fly-bys with the Yellowbird, a first for us at Sun N Fun. They went very well. Dave Stone announced, telling the crowd a little bit about the airplane, while Barrett flew by with the smoke on. They only give fly-by airplanes three passes, but each one was very impressive. We plan to show different things on different days.

We're looking forward to seeing some of you here... stay tuned for more!


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The Yellowbird is on the aerobatic flightline right across from the Aerobatics tent.  
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The Skybolt waits for the next chance to fly.  
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This is the staging area for the flybys.  
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Barrett starts the engine for takeoff.  
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The climb rate on Yellowbird is rather high, to say the least.  
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Our newly-installed smoke system works quite well!  
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Barrett returns from a flight.  
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Bruce Bohannon was here in the Exxon Flying Tiger, performing time-to-climb demonstrations... very impressive. This highly-modifed RV-4 has been to 49,000+ feet.  
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David discusses airplanes with a visitor.  
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Don Fairbanks came by the tent, and we had a nice chat. He is the builder/owner fo the first Knight Twister Imperial, the famous N5DF which is now on display in the Motor Sports Hall of Fame.  
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We have both MT and Hoffmann props on display in the tent.  
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Innodyn was showing off its small turbine engine. This has been attracting a great deal of attention over the past year or two.  
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The Legend Cub does a graceful flyby.  
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Steen's Mike Jones tries to recover from a long day.  
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You don't see a lot of Cessna 182s with a tailwheel. This is known as a "Texas Taildragger".  
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The tent's been closed up, and most of the crew kicks back for a little while before putting some food on the grill.  
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A Kitfox comes in for a landing on the grass strip.  
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This Pitts Special S2 was giving rides.  
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The New Standard D-25 was giving rides as well. (This is a great way to get the wife or girlfriend interested in flying, guys... hint, hint...)  
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The Stearman never seems to look old.  
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This gaggle of Nanchangs and Yaks obviously knows just which way to go!  
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The Seawind amphibian did flybys as well.  
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The Seawind was on display. It's now offered only as a certified aircraft.  
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There are several Republic Seabees here as well.  
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There are at least two or three Albatrosses in attendance.  
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These Globe Swifts put on a graceful show.  
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YIKES! This was pretty darn impressive.  
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The Aeroshell team put on a great display, as always.  
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Meanwhile, over at Paradise City, the ultralights and light planes were flying. This is a diesel-powered amphibian trike.  
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The sky to the south of the airport is literally filled with ultralights whenever the airshow isn't going on, and the winds aren't extremely high.  
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The Skyboy is a unique design.  
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This Aventura II is produced just up the road from us in Rockledge. It's a really nice little plane that can land virtually anywhere.  
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This is an ultralight version of the Breezy homebuilt. It appeared to fly quite well.  
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This MIniMax was scratch-built by a gentleman from Miami. The workmanship looked really good.  
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This is an 80% scale, single-seat, ultralight version of the Pietenpol Air Camper. Cute!  
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Hummel Aviation has a new version of the UltraCruiser which goes a bit faster and has more horsepower.  
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This is how you ground-test your PPC's engine.  
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This is about as minimal as you can get... a back-mounted motor and a parachute. Here, the pilot is testing the thrust before takeoff.  
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And he's off... up, up, and away!  
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Anyone welding up a metal tube fuselage can appreciate the time and effort behind this Powered Parachute fuselage.  

Wednesday, April 13 April 13, 2005
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Article by Mike Whaley
 
Wednesday was another good day. The tent was pretty busy, and Barrett put on quite a show with both fast and slow fly-bys of the Yellowbird. The airshow was good as well. The weather was nice and there were plenty of people attending the show. The rest of the week will be as good, hopefully!


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Gene "Gino" Salina (right) of Pittsburgh and Robbie Walker stopped in... Gino's known Curtis Pitts, Pat Ledford, and Phil Quigley since the 1940's. He has a one-off, two-person, low-wing monoplane called "Big Hickey" that Curtis built in the mid 1960s. It flew for 10 years and is now being restored.  
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The new 5-cylinder radial that George Coy had on display next to our tent drew much attention.  
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Kristin Whaley works on the computer looking up some info for a customer.  
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There was a lot of interest in the Yellowbird Skybolt, we've flown daily.  
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Barrett does a VERY slow fly-by in the Skybolt. It probably took him about 3 minutes to fly the length of the runway, at an airspeed of about 55mph.  
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Barrett begins the high-speed run...  
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Barrett zooms by at 200mph  
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The sound of those 350 horses is very nice!  
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The Exxon Flying Tiger is on display, as usual.  
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There seems a lot of interest in both the piston and jet versions of the Adam Aircraft planes.  
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The Adams A-700 jet is a really neat looking plane.  
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Our friends at Liberty Aerospace had several of their certified Liberty XL2 on display. This fine airplane is a cousin of the Europa design.  
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The legendary BD-5 lives on.  
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This is a neat little seaplane made in the Czech Republic.  
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The Sportster is a very attractive, golden-age looking plane.  
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The Safari helicopter is essentially a smaller version of the well-known Bell 47.  
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With the new Sport Pilot regulations, Zenith Aircraft's excellent line of aircraft are drawing even more attention than they always have. This is the 4-seat CH-801 STOL plane.  
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William Wynne and crew had their Corvair-powered Zodiac CH-601XL taildragger on display in the Zenith display area. This is a perfect match of engine and aircraft.  
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Gus Warren was bombarded by questions about the Corvair engine. Gus, Grace, William, Kevin, Steve, and the rest of the "Corvair Gang" love to help folks learn and really do enjoy this kind of thing.  
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The Corvair conversion is virtually a direct replacement for an O-200, and reliably produces 100-120 hp at a cost of well under $4,000. It's an excellent choice for many light sport aircraft. There were at least six Corvair-powered planes that flew into SNF this year.  
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Patriotic paint schemes are seen more and more commonly in the last few years... this is a rather elaborate one.  
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There are quite a few turbine-powered planes here this year.  
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A few biplanes showed up early in the week.  
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This is a Buddy Baby Lakes.  
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The Little Toot isn't a very commonly-seen biplane. It's quite attractive, though.  
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Warbirds, warbirds, everywhere!!!  
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This rare P-40 joined a Yak and the P-38 "Glacier Girl" during the first part of the airshow to make a lot of really low bombing/strafing runs.  
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Glacier Girl comes in for a very fast, very low flyby.  
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The Yak follows the P-38.  
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The P-40 roars by on a run.  
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Glacier Girl sounds a lot more like a jet than a piston-powered fighter!  
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The P-40 is a welcome addition to the fly-in... they are quite rare.  
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The Yak is a lesser-known fighter, but just about as impressive.  
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Another run...  
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Yes, they really were that low! This is the view from our campsite.  
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Yeeee-haaawww!!!  
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Gene Soucy tries to make his wingwalker airsick... didn't work.  
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What a view that must be!  
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Wow...  
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Sun 'N Fun alwasy has some great performers.  

Thursday, April 14 April 14, 2005
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Article by Mike Whaley
 
Thursday was a busy day, with beautiful weather. The only hitch in the day was when a T-6 managed to ground-loop on a taxiway near the end of the day... nobody was hurt but the plane suffered significant damage and takeoff/landing operations had to be moved to a taxiway for a couple of hours while the plane was hoisted up so it could be towed off the runway. KLAL actually had to be closed for about 10 minutes between sunset and the re-opening of the runway. We were listening to air traffic control at the end of the day, who were handling a landing about every 45 seconds. ATC communications at Sun N Fun are mostly one-way, except when the controller specifically asks a plane to reply. Generally, though, traffic control is nothing like what you're used to hearing. A decent paraphrase of the conversation would run like this: "Yellow Cub, you're fourth to land behind the blue T-6. I want the T-6 to turn a hard left onto the downwind right now. Everybody, fly as far down the skinny little runway as you can, the farther you fly the shorter you taxi. We're all going for the taxiway of 27 Right, wou're all doing great, hot damn you're all doing a great job today. The KR-2 about to touch down, you've got 4,700 feet of runway to go before the turnoff, I need you to get down there as fast as possible for a T-33 on short final right behind you. Yellow Cub, follow the T-6 onto the downwind. Cessna Skymaster, stretch your downwind out for about another 10 seconds before turning base, you're behind a Pitts and a T-33. Red Knight, please give a quick shot of smoke for the Skymaster. Thank you. You're all doing a great job today and making this look easy, you all deserve a beer tonight. Skymaster, do you see the T-33, please go ahead and respond." "Roger, jet's in sight and I can use that beer about now." "Thanks, better land first though. Just go on and turn when you're clear, and follow the biplane in. Remember, when you folks get over the runway, you need to go long, long, long, just like a Hail Mary pass in the Super Bowl. Long-EZ, turn right for downwind and follow the Yellow Cub one mile ahead of you, watch out for overrunning him, I don't think he can go much faster. KR-2, you've still got 4,500 feet to go. Red Knight, lookin' good. Skymaster, the farther down you land the closer the beer is. Yellow Cub, ..." And so it went, the controllers calling out directions that sounded almost like an auctioneer. "Glasair, Glasair, turn base, turn base, turn base, turn now, now, now... sold American!"


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We had quite a few visitors in the tent.  
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The tent was pretty busy.  
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The 5-cylinder radial prototype drew a great deal of interest.  
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George Coy discusses radial engines with some interested passers-by.  
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Rob's beautiful Skybolt/Firebolt was admired by many people.  
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Barrett makes a high-speed run while David narrates.  
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Like Barrett's Pitts, the Skybolt can produce either a solid or "staccato" smoke trail. We are still adjusting it to get a clean shut-off (it was just installed a couple of weeks ago), but here you can get a glipse of its potential.  
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A Navy N3N flies by. This plane was used for the initial training of many thousands of pilots before, during, and even after WW2.  
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Randy Harris of Bearfeat Aerobatics flies a highly-modified 300hp Skybolt through some grueling, yet beautiful maneuvers.  
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Randy takes the Skybolt through its paces.  
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The larger size of the Skybolt and the beautiful and elegant color scheme make it easy to see.  
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Here, Randy flies through a 360 degree flat turn.  
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The Legend Cub flies overhead. Pretty!  
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The mid-morning rotorcraft flyby time was interesting. The gyrocopters flying overhead gave one a vague sense of being in a James Bond movie.  
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Not everything at SNF is aviation-oriented. This unique little BMW Iseta was beautifully restored to better-than-new condition.  
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Nearly everyone walking by just had to stop and stare at this tiny little car. In true SNF fashion, it was left unlocked for display with little worry about sustaining anything worse than some noseprints on the windows.  
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T-28s await their turn in the warbird airshow. Each year, the color schemes for these planes seem to get more and more varied.  
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A rare two-seat trainer conversion of the Spitfire was on display. Unfortunately, it didn't participate in the flying parts of the airshow.  
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This rare P-40 was a welcome sight. It just wouldn't be the same plane without the shark teeth!  
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Lee Lauderback has added a second TF-51 to his stable. Nearly identical to the familiar "Crazy Horse", "Crazy Horse 2" has a polished, bare-metal fuselage while the first one is painted silver.  
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The first part of the airshow was dedicated to Warbirds... they were eveerywhere.  
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The finale of the Warbirds section of the show was the traditional Missing Man formation in tribute to all the airmen, soldiers, and sailors who lost their lives while serving their country.  
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The Aeroshell team are sort of like the Thunderbirds of the warbird aerobatic world. Their formations are always quite close and rock-steady, and their showmanship is supreme.  
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What could be better than a Pitts? TWO of them!  
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This B-25 sure was an eye-catcher.  
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A nice pair of O-1 Bird Dogs came in together.  
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There are probably more authentic and unused color schemes available for the O-1 than almost any other warbird out there.  
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This is a seat inside the Sikorsky S-39 "Osa's Ark". This plane appeared briefly in the film "The Aviator."  
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This Cessna T-37 demonstrated why it's often referred to as "The World's Largest Dog Whistle"..  
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The Red Knight T-33 takes off for a short flight/photo op.  
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The Red Knight flies by with smoke on.  
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The T-33 comes back as the sun sets.  
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Poor coyote just can't win.  
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A Pistol-Packin' Mama if ever there was one.  
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You know, the Thunderbirds scheme looks pretty good on a Long-EZ...  
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Note the stiff, direct crosswind. The landing was a little bouncy as a result, but they got it down safely.  
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This Pitts S2-B was hopping rides for those who wanted to try out aerobatics.  
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Near the end of the day, a T-6 ran off the taxiway and collapsed the gear, suffering damage to a wing. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Air traffic was shifted to a taxiway while they worked to get it off the runway.  
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Right at sunset, crews were able to get the T-6 towed off the runway. Since the taxiway can't be used as a runway after sunset, there were about 15 minutes when the airport was closed down while awaiting the go-ahead to re-open the main runway.  
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The sun sets over a T-6.  

Friday, April 15 April 15, 2005
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Article by Mike Whaley
 
Friday the 15th dawned cool and clear. We saw a few folks scrambling around trying to find out where to get their income taxes done, but otherwise, it was a typical day at Sun N Fun.

The last part of the day was spent preparing for the traditional Friday night biplane builder cook-out. This is a low-key social gathering for various friends and customers... it's always good to catch up with everyone and do some hangar flying. The party went well, our chief cook (and bottle-washer) Jeff Long cooked up a ton of delicious burgers, dogs, and chicken and there were large quantities of other food and drink to be enjoyed. Everyone had a great time and we're looking forward to the next one!


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Randy Harris of Bearfeat Aerobatics and his assistant John talk to Mike Whaley. Randy's plane isn't exactly your typical Skybolt... it has a lot of plywood on the wings and a lot of other mods for the high-stress airshow flying he does.  
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David takes the microphone in the announcer stand to narrate Barrett's fly-by passes.  
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Barrett takes off. The rate of climb on the Yellowbird is very fast and the climb angle is very steep.  
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The "It's A Small World" Department: Paul ran into three guys he went to college with, whom he hadn't seen in 20+ years.  
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Lori and Gordon Penner of IAC 34 chat with Barrett Brummett.  
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Bruce Bohannon's Exxon Flying Tiger... a very much modified RV-4.  
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Van's Air Force treated us all to an outstanding display of formation flying. Amateurs or not, these guys really fly like pros.  
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A Cessna O-2 makes a flyby. This was a mainstay of the USAF's Forward Air Control fleet from the mid 1960s until the late 1980s.  
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This was a very effective display, showing all the stuff that you can pack into a GlaStar.  
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Merritt Island-based Aerocomp had their new single-engine CompAir Jet on display. Like their other offerings, what it lacks in sleekness is compensated for by sheer internal payload volume.  
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Actually, it's not really all *that* boxy.  
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A new USAF T-6A Texan II taxis to the warbird line. Pitts S1-C/SS owner James Shoenberger got to bring one of these to SNF from NAS Pensacola (it looked very similar, except his said NAVY on the side...) Shame they didn't get to perform in the show... last year's T-6A demo was WAY cool, to say the least.  
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Two exciting planes... a twin-engine, six-place Rutan Defiant in the foreground, with the new M14-powered Radial Rocket behind. The Radial Rocket is a lot like a mini F8F Bearcat.  
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The Virginia Aviation Dept. used a little tongue-in-cheek double entendre to get their point across.  
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Aeroshell kicks off their performance with lots of smoke.  
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There weren't any mosquitoes left after this show.  
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You can NEVER have too much power, can you?  
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This monoplane made some LOOOOOW passes!  
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Glacier Girl heads out for the Heritage flight.  
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Yes, kids, you're not imagining things. That's a real, live F-4 Phantom II!  
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The F-16 put on a fast and LOUD demo.  
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The F-16 is captured in slowflight in this patriotic shot.  
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This is the one moment that Sun N Fun attendees will probably remember above all others. It can't get any better than this.  
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Break!  
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Just to add to the spectacle and noise that is the F-4... he used his drag chute on landing. You don't see that done so much anymore.  
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The Friday Night Biplane Cookout got going right after the end of the airshow.  
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We met up with a lot of old friends, and met some new ones as well.  
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Sandy Lanza tries to shake off the paparazzi.  
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Jeff Long ably mans the grill, serving up some great burgers, dogs, and chicken. Mmm mmm good!  
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There was quite a spread of food and snacks to be enjoyed.  
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After a long, hot day at the airshow, it was nice to kick back and relax with other aviation nuts.  
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Food, drinks, and conversation flowed freely.  
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Paul introduces folks to his young son Ethan... almost everyone who sees Ethan says "Wow, he looks just like his daddy!"  
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Paul hopped into Ed's hot-air balloon, Wild Goose...  
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And in true aviator fashion, he tests it's ability to roast hot dogs. (This could be a very handy skill to have if you ever land your balloon out on a deserted island someplace.)  
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Of course, what's a balloon-borne hot dog blasting without an appreciative audience to cheer you on?  
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Our friend Doug Ripley brought his family by a little bit late... no problem, we still had food (and plenty of beverages) left!  

Saturday, April 16 April 16, 2005
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Article by Mike Whaley
 
Saturday turned out to be cool and windy... windy enough to force the cancellation of the sunrise balloon race. Shortly after we officially opened the tent, our friend Jim Taylor (who heads up the Acro area for SNF) came over and asked us if we could fill in for a forum presenter who had to return home earlier than planned. While it didn't turn out to be a huge throng of people, it went well and we enjoyed the opportunity to talk informally with people and answer some questions about Steen and biplanes in general. We even had the good fortune of seeing Barrett make some flybys during the forum time. The rest of the day wasn't incredibly busy, but it wasn't dead either. So far, attendance seemed to be fairly good... what the attendance lost in terms of sheer numbers seemed to be balanced by the apparent "seriousness" level of many of the people we talked to... many folks were beyond the stage of just seeing all the sights, and had very specific inquiries about our planes and products. There were also many current and former owners of our aircraft who stopped in to say hello. "I wish I had never sold my Skybolt" (or Pitts) is a phrase we hear many times each day during airshows... as is "Before long, I started to look around for another one!"

Jeff Long and Rick McGahee spent much of the day in the RV cooking up some of the most incredible spaghetti and sauce you've ever tasted. Jeff won't tell us what the secret recipe is, but so long as he keeps coming to airshows and cooking stuff like that, we'll let them keep their secrets. After a very hearty dose of pasta and garlic bread, it was time to head back towards the flight line for the Saturday night airshow. They made two large pots full of sauce, which paid off later when we were able to feast on meatball subs for lunch. For all the hard work and stress that comes along with attending an airshow like Sun N Fun, it can never be said that we ever have a shortage of excellent food to enjoy!

The winds again cancelled the traditional balloon glow that usually launches the night airshow. With the temperatures dropping into the 50's and a direct crosswind gusting up to 20 mph, it got really cold, really quickly! We discovered that we could sit on the taxiway and soak up some of the residual heat from the asphalt, but that didn't help all that much... the die-hard airshow fans managed to stick it out through the whole show, which was very good, but many other folks who hadn't brought blankets or good jackets ended up retreating to warmer areas or cowering behind aircraft, vehicles, buildings... anywhere they could block the wind. Even here in sunny Florida, April weather is generally fickle as we transition from winter to summer, so you never know quite what to expect.


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Aaron Ludwig looks forward to Sun N Fun each year. He can't wait until Aunt Kristin and Uncle Mike get started on their airplane, so he can help them build it (we're very much looking forward to having his help, too!)  
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Paul, Sherry and Ethan Goetsch enjoy some time together after Paul's forum.  
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Charlotte Johnson is a real cutie... a very happy baby almost all the time! Someday maybe she'll help Ethan and Aaron build a plane (maybe with a little help from the grown-ups.)  
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Barrett demonstrates the Skybolt's climb rate after a fast pass.  
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This was pretty cool... a Pitts S2, the Skybolt, and a Pitts S-1-11 were parked side by side near the acro tent. The difference in size between the S2 and the bigger Skybolt was readily apparent.  
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A highly polished Twin Beech comes in for a smooth landing.  
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This Beech C-45 was on static display near the forums area.  
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It's not a biplane, but the Cirrus VK-30 is still one of the most beautiful homebuilts ever designed. (Making VK-30 t-shirts for the then-tiny Cirrus Aircraft Corp. was your webmaster's first aviation-related "job", way back in 1989 or so...) This one was on display near the museum.  
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In WW2, British aircraft observers were taught that "there are fighters, there are targets, and there are Lysanders." This unmistakable plane is now very rare, but the Florida Air Museum has one!  
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Any scale airplane modeler worth his or her salt would break into a cold sweat at the sight of a real live Lysander, which has numerous unusual and interesting features! This plane proves the adage that "utility has a beauty all it's own."  
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More unusual details. One thing that stands out about the Lysander is it's size... it's a lot larger than most photos make it appear.  
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"Greenhouse" is the only appropriate word for the canopy area. These planes were often painted black and dropped into tiny fields in Nazi-occupied France during the dead of night to pick up and drop off Allied spies.  
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The Eclipse Jet garnered much attention when it flew in. One firm just placed a firm order for 239 of these... it seems quite likely that the much-hyped "personal jet revolution" could actually happen.  
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The M14-powered Radial Rocket sounded great during the fly-by session. With the right paint scheme, you could probably fool a lot of people into thinking it's a Bearcat.  
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Randy Harris comes out of a loop in the Bearfeat Skybolt.  
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Another non-aircraft display at Sun N Fun. This ducted fan powered car is unique to say the least.