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Event Report
Event Reports - Sun 'N Fun 2006

Wednesday, April 5 - Part 1
Sun 'N Fun 2006
Created: 03/31/2006
Updated: 04/17/2006
Link(s): N/A
 
Article by Mike Whaley
 
Wednesday continued with more nice weather and lots of visitors. All is going well!


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Dave Stone (in red shirt) narrates from the announcers's stand as Barrett Brummett flies by in the Skybolt during the manufacturer's showcase. Our 325hp IO-540 and the 4-bladed MT prop gives the Yellowbird a unique sound that's really hard to miss!  
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Dave tells the crowd about the Skybolt.  
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While you can't do any real acro during the fly-bys, at least we could use the smoke and do some high-speed runs and moderately fast pull-ups. High-performance takeoffs were also demonstrated. Even while flying the back side of the pattern, the Yellowbird drew attention with its sound!  
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Barrett completes a pass. Turn this photo over, and it could pass for a picture of a rocket launch from KSC.  
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The other end of the biplane scale could be represented by Waldo Wright Flying Service's 1929 D-25 New Standard biplane, made specifically for the purpose of barnstorming and sightseeing. Your author rode in one of these in 2002 and it was a great way to experience the nostalgia of open-cockpit flying... highly recommended!  
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You can see activity of all kinds. This helicopter was hopping rides all day long, except during the airshow when everyone who isn't participating is grounded.  
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Eclipse had their VLJ on display, and also flew during the showcase. Most experts believe that this plane and others like it will soon revolutionize the air travel landscape. Many orders have been placed.  
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Van's continued to reap the rewards of offering excellent aircraft kits, as their booth was quite busy. This is their new 4-place RV-10... could this challenge the dominance of planes like the Cherokee, Arrow, and 182 like the other RV's have outpaced their certified equivalents? Only time will tell!  
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This sleek craft is a SportCruiser from Czech Aircraft Works (CZAW), which has become a major player in the LSA manufacturing world.  
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Zenith had many planes on display in their corner display area. On the right is Phil Maxson's Corvair-powered CH-601XL Zodiac, the red and white one is the Zenith factory's Zodiac, and to the left you can see the CH-701 STOL and it's larger cousin the CH-801.  
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The Sparrowhawk gyro was on display. Since the problems with high-thrustline gyros have become better understood, it seems that gyrocopters designs have become somewhat larger and more complex in general than the familiar layout pioneered by early companies such as Igor Bensen and Ken Brock.  
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There were quite a few planes from Canada at Sun 'N Fun. When you consider that it's still snowing up there and it's in the 80's here, it shouldn't be too surprising!  
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This "Super Caravan" drew a lot of admirers. That's one big airplane for one engine... turbine power is becoming increasingly popular in gen-av aircraft.  
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News Flash: Godzilla Junior was recently reported in the vicinity of Lakeland, Florida, and was reportedly asking people if they knew anything about Sport Pilot training... film at eleven!  
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Not to be confused with Steen Aero Lab, an Italian company named just "Aerolab" offered this attractive low-wing sport airplane. They plan to offer other versions with high and parasol wings as well.  
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This is a Cieslak Model 2.  
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OK, this one really blew us away. This is Graham White's stunning restoration job of an ultra-rare Continental IV-1430 inverted-V 12-cylinder engine, producing 1500 hp. 23 were built for the nearly-forgotten "Hyper" engine technology development project from the WW2 era, but only 3 still exist... and this is the only one that can actually run! (We *think* we heard it running, though we didn't get a chance to see it firsthand. Assuming that the incredible commotion heard daily from the engine demo area was indeed this engine... and I don't know what else it could possibly have been... let me tell you, it was loud even in our booth and the RV camping area!) Graham is from Lake City, FL.  
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Front view of the IV-1430. The engine turns the opposite way of most, so the prop is really a reverse-indexed DC-3 unit. We're fortunate to have folks like Mr. White who appreciate the value in preserving obscure machines like the IV-1430 for future generations to understand what was once cutting-edge technology.  
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A popular display was this real Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) on display by the NASA tent.  
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This photo is dedicated to everyone who's ever struggled to fix a balky airplane engine. Just imagine having to troubleshoot THIS thing... and don't forget it's all radiation hardened, highly heated, vibration resistant, operated between sea level pressure and a hard vacuum, uses cryogenic fuel, and by the way, it's man-rated and reusable. YIKES!  
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I've heard of hot-rodders replacing engines in their cars, but a truck with a Rolls-Royce Griffin... that's a new one! Note the two shafts for the counter-rotating props. Griffins were used on the Fairey Firefly and the Avro Shackleton, and a few other (mostly one-off) aircraft. The dimensions were intentionally made close to that of the Merlin to ease the adaptation process between the two.  
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The Vari-Viggen was one of Burt Rutan's first homebuilt designs, and is still a sought-after airplane. This one is a static display at the Florida Air Museum.  
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This is a Cirrus VK-30, the 6-seat homebuilt design that launched the Cirrus Design Corp. It's certainly among the sleekest homebuilts ever designed.  
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This Quickie is on display by the Museum pavillion.  
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The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association had this Huey and Loach on display near the front gate.  
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Go ahead, come up with a pun for this. You know you want to. (We haven't been able to determine whether the 19-shot beer launcher was actually used in combat.)  
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For many, the educational forums are one of the best reasons to attend Sun 'N Fun. There are a wide variety of topics covered during the one-hour sessions, and there's no charge to sit in and learn something new.  
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William Wynne talks to a crowd during an engine forum. William always has a lot of valuable and interesting observations, try to catch his forums if you can.  
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Patrick Panzera mans the booth for CONTACT! magazine, the prime source of info on alternative aircraft engines of all types. The indoor vendor booths are always very popular, especially during the heat of the afternoon.  
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This is a wind tunnel used to demonstrate basic aerodynamics.  
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This Lysander is rarely seen in the US. It's a large, ungainly, and completely cool aircraft... truly a monument to functionality and utility!  
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This P-63 King Cobra is owned by Fantasy of Flight, but lives at the Florida Air Museum.  
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The Emil Buehler Restoration Skills Center is a place where folks can learn the many skills needed to build or restore aircraft of all types.  
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The Lockheed XFV-1 "Pogo" VTOL aircraft is looking good. Hopefully the restoration will be finished soon, though it's an all-volunteer effort so it's hard to set a definite timeframe.  
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One side of the shop has aluminum construction. This is a Zenith CH-701 STOL airframe. I was told that they have an STC from the FAA for the paint cans.  
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This is a wing section.  
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Here, the finer points of building aluminum flight surfaces are taught.  
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Whatizit? It's a harmonic prop balancing system. The prop in this demo is small, but the technique for balancing a full-scale prop is the same.  
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This is a section of a Cozy fuselage being built over a simple wooden form. First the foam is inserted and the inside surface is glassed; later, the outside surface can be glassed.  
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These folks are working on various aspects of composite construction.  

Other entries in this series:
     Sun 'N Fun 2006 - Much Excitement Awaits!    March 31, 2006
     Monday, April 3 - Part 1 (Pre-Show)    April 3, 2006
     Monday, April 3 - Part 2 (Pre-Show)    April 3, 2006
     Tuesday, April 4    April 4, 2006
      » Wednesday, April 5 - Part 1    April 5, 2006
     Wednesday, April 5 - Part 2    April 5, 2006
     Thursday, April 6    April 6, 2006
     Friday, April 7 - Daytime Activities - Part 1    April 7, 2006
     Friday, April 7 - Daytime Activities - Part 2    April 7, 2006
     Friday, April 7 - Pitts Tribute and Night Airshow    April 7, 2006
     Saturday, April 8 - Part 1    April 8, 2006
     Saturday, April 8 - Part 2    April 8, 2006
     Sunday, April 9    April 9, 2006

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

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