We had had enough of California winter – rain, clouds, cold. Thinking we would find some sun, warmth and airplanes, we used some Southwest credits and flew to Florida for Sun ‘n Fun 2010 in Lakeland Florida, about an hour drive east of Tampa. Well, we found lots of airplanes and aviation stuff.
The 36th annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo – April 13 – 18, 2010 attracted an estimated 150,000 to 170,000 visitors from North America and more than 80 other countries. That makes it the largest convention in the state of Florida and the first major US aviation event of the year.
The Lakeland Linder Regional Airport campus has something for everyone of all levels of aviation interests from student pilots, active “veteran” pilots and “homebuilders” to armchair aviation enthusiasts and the curious who dream to fly, regardless of age.
475-plus exhibitors demonstrate and sell the latest in aircraft avionics, membership organizations, fuselage cleaning agents, pilot supplies, and the manufacturers of airplanes including Piper, Cessna, Embraer and Remos to name a few. The expansive grass fields and hard surfaces of the airport showcase a world-class concentration of vintage, warbird, homebuilt, factory built, rotorcraft, ultralight, light sport, hot air balloon, aerobatic and current military aircraft.
Each daily air show features some of the world’s best aerobatic performers and the United States Air Force (USAF) “Thunderbirds” Jet Demonstration Team provided the finale of the weekend afternoon airshows.
We met several people who come every year as volunteers. Most stayed in the RV campgrounds and enjoyed the commaradery and perks – something to keep in mind for another time.
The weather really cooperated through Saturday. Some high overcast that kept the temperature comfortable, but didn’t limit the air show performances. The store was sold out of hats, but had plenty of rain ponchos – until Sunday when the sky opened up and it poured down rain.
We enjoyed the trip, even if there wasn’t a lot of sun.
Plan ahead – March 29 – April 3, 2011
37th Annual SUN ’n FUN International Fly-In & Expo
SUN ’n FUN International Fly-In & Expo
at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL)
4175 Medulla Road
Lakeland, FL 33811
Plan to celebrate the Centennial of Naval Aviation & showcase the popular Blue Angels Precision Jet Demonstration Team!
March 29 – April 3, 2011