SUN’N FUN AEROSPACE EXPO

Jim Weed

Volume 44 Issue 09

Apr 27, 2019

One of the things I like about the Celebration weekend is that is corresponds to the second largest fly-in in America. Sun’n Fun is spring break for pilots. Held in Lakeland, Florida, it is a mere 45-minute drive south from Celebration.

    One of the things I like about the Celebration weekend is that is corresponds to the second largest fly-in in America. Sun’n Fun is spring break for pilots. Held in Lakeland, Florida, it is a mere 45-minute drive south from Celebration.

    The fly-in draws about eight thousand aircraft of every make and model. I personally have flown in several times to camp under the wing. In addition to manufacturers displays showing off everything from Cubs to jets there are vendors selling everything possible in aeronautical wares.

    There is also an airshow; this year the Thunderbirds performed their full show. Incredible hardly describes the precision of the four-and six-plane formations.

    One of my favorite areas is the warbird flight line. There is something fascinating in looking over a restored P-51 Mustang that is perfect in every way. Restored Ferraris and restored airplanes each have my respect for the time and dedication required to bring a historical relic back from despair.

    I came around the corner and saw a very special airplane. The F-82 was designed and built at the end of WWII but too late to be utilized. They were used in Korea. Like Ferraris, few were built, total production was 272 airframes.

    Five exist today, one is flying. The only flying example just finished a 200,000 thousand hour restoration earlier this year. The ten year project was funded and lead by Tom Reilly of Douglas, Georgia.

    So, the next time you think about the monumental task of restoring your Ferrari, remember, there are others who have persevered through greater tasks. The reward is still the same; preserving history for future generations.

 

Yes, this really was spectacular.

 

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