By JONI M. FISHER
At this year’s SUN ’n FUN, the Seabirds flocked to Lake Agnes at Fantasy of Flight for their 22nd Annual Splash-In.
Today is a good day to brag a bit. With the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo in the rearview mirror, it’s a great time to celebrate where we are as an industry, because there is a lot going right in general aviation these days. So let’s take a moment to recognize just a few of the folks who are setting the table for success.
“In the uniquely different manner the event is managed, there is the freedom to explore and innovate by any volunteer.”
That’s how Karl “Bud” Davidson begins his recounting of SUN ‘n FUN’s 40 years in a new book, “Unfreeze Your Bird: The History of SUN ’n FUN” debuting at SUN ’n FUN this year.
Bob Hoover put it another way: “SUN ‘n FUN always felt like a homecoming for me… [Read more…]
Thousands of spectators stream through the gates to SUN ‘n FUN each day. They come from down the street and around the world. When they step onto the grounds they encounter hundreds of aircraft of all shapes and sizes.
Flying overhead are biplanes built in the 1920s, transports from the 1940s, production aircraft that span several decades, and fighter aircraft at the cutting edge of today’s technology. Vendors take up residence seemingly on every square inch of ground that isn’t already taken up by campers or parking lots.
No single American industry was as adversely impacted by last year’s sequestration debacle as the air show business. By the end of the 2013 season, more than 60 shows in the U.S. had cancelled as a direct result of the Pentagon’s withdrawal of all military support.
Dozens of other shows experienced attendance drops of 60% and more. Many communities throughout the country were denied not just a weekend of entertainment, but the philanthropic contributions and local spending that normally accompany the more than 300 shows that are conducted in the U.S. each year.
The 40th annual SUN ’n FUN fly-in takes off tomorrow, April 1, at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport (LAL) in Florida. The Blue Angels are appearing at this year’s show, which also includes a car show for the first time.
When John McBean of Kitfox Aircraft announced earlier this year that the company wouldn’t be able to participate in any of the big airshows, it was a bad news/good news scenario.
The bad news: Air show attendees wouldn’t get to see the Kitfox up close and personal. The good news: The company’s success had created a backlog of orders that simply took priority over air show attendance.
Wipaire is welcoming pilots on their way to SUN ’n FUN to its facility at the Leesburg International Airport (LEE) in Leesburg, Florida, on Sunday, March 30.
Wipaire will provide cold water and soft drinks as well as hot dogs and hamburgers . Additionally, pilots and passengers will be able to enter Wipaire’s 2014 sweepstakes early.
A fairly bright man from the ancient world said something to the effect of give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum to place it on, and I can move the world.
Admittedly, it’s been at least 2,200 years since Archimedes supposedly uttered these words. So allowing for transcription errors and smudged copies, I’ve chosen not to use quotes. I can’t possibly verify that he said those exact words, or any exact words. But the meaning of what he had to say is clear. Better yet, it’s as true today as it ever was.
That Archimedes was one sharp guy.