Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sun-n-Fun 2012

It's Friday morning and I'm in Lakeland FL attending the annual EAA Sun-n-Fun convention. This was totally unexpected as just 48 hours I had no plans on being here! We had arrived Thursday afternoon after a flight from Petersburg WV in a Cessna 172 XP. Originally the plan was to get a ride over to Sun-n-Fun for camping on the air show grounds but it was getting late and the sun was already close the the horizon. Jeff and I set up camp at Winter Haven along with 3 other tents. There were bathroom and shower facilities for campers as well as picnic tables and a fire pit. By Friday morning we decided that simply staying at Winter Haven and riding the $5 shuttle back and forth was the best plan. First stop was in the Ultralight area. The powered parachutes had already landed after their early morning calm air flights and the heavier ultralight and LSA aircraft were in the air. I believe this is an Eagle, designed in the mid 70's.
Just Aircraft - Highlander. 110 mph cruise, 300 ft ground roll takeoff and landing with 100 hp Rotax 912S
Airplanes, CAP and Mennonite(?)
Shades are a must when watching air shows...
Rotax 912iS Fuel injected 100HP. A digital control unit manages fuel flow from start to finish resulting in a 21% decrease in fuel usage.
Display for 912iS.
Savannah S - Rotax 912S. Cruise 111 mph, stall 30 mph, 1200 fpm climb.
Jeff trying on for size...
Space and weight limitations limited me to carrying my general use Sigma 17-70. For air shows a little more reach is desirable.
Maybe all my dog of a 150 needs is a few more propeller blades...
Transitioning from hover to forward flight.
Vought F4U Corsair
L39 and Mig 15 in formation.
On friday night when returning from dinner we were greeted by a campfire, Smores and flying talk
The winds had already picked up on Saturday as we left in the shuttle from Winter Haven for Lakeland. Turning out of the airport I caught a momentary view of the tent in the distance and noticed it didn't look quite right. Returning, we found one of fiberglass poles had snapped allowing the tent to collapse in the wind. It's good we went back to check because a line of showers passed through later in the afternoon bringing 40+ mph winds and a brief shower. Our stuff would have been soaked.
Again on Saturday the Thunderbirds flew. Loud and fast. I'm always amazed as how quickly fighter jets go from takeoff to blasting across the sky at unreal speeds.
Thank you to our shuttle driver Tracy for the lift back and forth to the show and also with the help when the tent collapsed!

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