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Event Report
Event Reports - Sun 'N Fun 2004

Tuesday, April 13
Sun 'N Fun 2004
Created: 04/13/2004
Updated: 07/07/2004
Link(s): N/A
 
Article by Mike Whaley
 
Monday found the Steen crew working on the myriad of last-minute details. By mid-afternoon, we were growing increasingly concerned about the weather. About 4PM, the fire inspector came by checking on tent certs and permits. He was a rather optimistic sort of fellow. He said that they had just closed the Sunshine Skyway bridge in Tampa due to severe storms, which were headed this way. When you have two aircraft under tents and everyone's staying in RV's, that is a bit disconcerting. As it turned out the storms amounted to drizzle, though the winds in the wee hours of the morning were enough to blow over the chuck-wagon tent in the middle of our campsite. Not a huge loss, and we were relieved to find nothing worse than a little water blown in on the display tents.

The weather in AL and GA however caused a lot of planes not to make it in for the opening day of the fly-in. Even the typically numerous types such as RV's had only a few examples on the flightline. The weather cleared throughout the day and is expected to be nice throughout the rest of the week, so we are expecting that a lot of folks will be able to make it in tomorrow and the next day. We are preparing for a surge of visitors in the next couple of days.

As opening day unfolded, despite the low turnout by air, it still seemed like pandemonium through most of the day... a lot of people came into the tents to either find out about us for the first time, or to check on the progress of our projects. Not surprisingly, the Pitts Model 14 project was a hot topic of conversation. We have the prototype assembled in one tent, the extra space provided by our sister companies Shapes Group and Aircraft Shapes with the factory Skybolt (N3HW) in the other. There were many folks with questions about the Model 14 and the new Skybolt versions.

We also have our cutaway M14 engine on display, which came to us from George Coy of Gesoco. This engine is real eye candy and countless people stopped by to see how this popular Russian radial engine looks inside.

Curtis came by for to visit and check the recent progress since he visited us just a few short weeks ago. Budd Davisson came by to chat and bring us up to date on the Bearhawk.

We're looking forward to a great day tomorrow... we hope that we can see many of you this week! We'll have more updates soon, so stay tuned.


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The calm Monday after setup before the Tuesday onrush. The Model 14 barely fits into the tent! Thanks to Aircraft Shapes for the additional turf. Under the wing you can see one of the Gulfstream hush kit mixers produced by our sister company Shapes Group.  
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Steen's sister companies, Shapes Group and Aircraft Shapes had displays as well with many of the aircraft and aerospace parts they produce. The large round cookie cutter is a 727 hush kit mixer. Many smaller parts are on display in the background.  
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Our cutaway M14 gives clear insight to the stout internals. Like a good Ukrainian woman - "Strong like buuuull, smart like traktor".  
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The factory Skybolt and displays in the Steen Tent. A look under the cowl is always in order.  
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Curtis chats with Jere about the Model 14 aileron controls. There are no traditional slave struts - the upper ailerons are driven by torque tubes inside the streamline tubing of the interplane struts. It's always a great pleasure to see Curtis... he's the epitome of a nice guy!  
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The difficulty that the weather caused for pilots is evident in the fact that this Starduster and Christen Eagle (both quite nicely done) were the ONLY biplanes in the entire homebuilt parking area, having snuck in before the storms. However, the weather should be great for the rest of the week so we expect to see a lot more biplanes show up in the next few days!  
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William Wynne's brand-new Corvair-powered Zenith. It will fly as soon as the paperwork arrives back from the bureaucrats. William is "The Guy" regarding Corvair engine conversion amd application.  
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This little Davis DA-2 flew in from Louisiana. The DA-2 won Best Homebuilt design at the EAA convention in Rockford IL in 1969, and this example was built in the early 1970s. The V-Tail has a mechanical gimbal mixer. This classic is for sale...  
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This Q2 had gotten its airworthiness certificate merely hours before the show, so it was trailered in (sideways)! Not too many airplanes are trailered by leaving the wings on and taking off the tail! Beautiful workmanship.  
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Absolutely beautiful Lancair. That's all perfect paint - not vinyl stickers!  
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The Zenith CH-801 is a popular 4-place STOL aircraft.  
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Incoming - (Front to back) RV-4, Adams A700 jet, and a Lancair. As always, a very wide variety of airplanes here!  
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The Adams A700 twin jet is a unique entry into the exploding light-jet marketplace. It is similar to he A500 twin engine piston aircraft. Both will be in production soon.  
     

Click on an image above to view the full-sized version:

Other entries in this series:
     Anticipation...    April 8, 2004
      » Tuesday, April 13    April 13, 2004
     Wednesday, April 14    April 14, 2004
     Thursday, April 15    April 15, 2004
     Friday, April 16    April 16, 2004
     Saturday, April 17    April 17, 2004
     Sunday, April 18    April 18, 2004
     Monday, April 19    April 19, 2004

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

Go to Event Reports archives

 
  Steen Aero Lab      1451 Clearmont Street NE   Palm Bay, FL 32905 USA     
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