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Event Report
Event Reports - Sun 'N Fun 2005

Friday, April 15
Sun 'N Fun 2005
Created: 04/15/2005
Updated: 04/25/2005
Link(s): N/A
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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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!  

Other entries in this series:
     Get Ready... Sun 'N Fun is Coming!    April 6, 2005
     Monday, April 11    April 11, 2005
     Tuesday, April 12    April 12, 2005
     Wednesday, April 13    April 13, 2005
     Thursday, April 14    April 14, 2005
      » Friday, April 15    April 15, 2005
     Saturday, April 16    April 16, 2005
     Sunday, April 17    April 17, 2005
     Monday, April 18    April 18, 2005
     Bonus Photos    April 19, 2005
     Best Of: Part 1 of 4    April 20, 2005
     Best Of: Part 2 of 4    April 21, 2005
     Best Of: Part 3 of 4    April 22, 2005
     Best Of: Part 4 of 4    April 23, 2005

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

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