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Sun N Fun 2004

Here are some shots from Sun-N-Fun 2004.I went with a flying buddy from my R/C club that is actually the person who got me involved in full scale General Aviation. It's a short drive from my house to Lakeland Linder Field, where Sun-N-Fun is held each year. Jamie's an old veteran at Sun-N-Fun, and had a great strategy to see everything. We met at the gate, where it pays off in spades to get the flightline pass for a couple bucks more. We both get a small discount for being AOPA members, so you might want to keep that in mind if you're not a member. Anyone can join AOPA, you don't have to be a pilot to show your support of General Aviation. The same goes for the EAA, which is the real force behind this event. Consider joining both and enjoying the camradery of other folks who share your interests in airpcraft.

OK, here's the strategy, 'cause there's a whole lot of ground to cover:

First, we went in to the hangers where the companies and vendors are set up. We go early in the show, while everyone's still fresh and happy, second or third day, so things are smooth and people are happy to see you. This beautiful Grumman (click on picture for full size photo) was parked right outside the vendors' area. It was immaculate.

I picked up a Lightspeed headset with ANC for about $30.00 less than regular price. Could've bargained her down more maybe, but it was already a good price to begin with. Puttered around for a while and drooled over all the cool avionics and doo=dads you can get for your plane, then ambled out onto the tarmac to see some airplanes. Many people think that the best time to get a bargain is right at the last minute, but I think that the salesguy is more likely to be jaded and out of patience by the end of a huge event like this and won't try so hard to make the deal.

Anyway, There's just about every kind of plane you can imagine on display. This is a Van's RV8. I've seen a couple of these RV's at various airports I fly into, and they are some nice looking and flying planes!


There's also some pretty wild stuff to be seen, as well. This thing is built on a real row boat and has a plastic porch chair for a seat. The Game and Fish commission uses it to check shore lines and rivers at low and slow flight levels. I heard someone say that it can fly comfortably at 28 miles per hour. Amphibious, too!
The Cessna 195's were there in force. Here's a whole line of them. This picture makes a good desktop. Feel free to use any of my pics for yourself, just don't sell them without my permission. Just click on any pic to download the full size one.
Now, there's a lot you can see without the flightline pass, but the real show is going on out on the flightline. There are literally acres of planes lined up out there. The pics I've got here are just a tiny sample of what we saw. One thing to remember when you go is that it takes quite a while to walk around this place. Take water. Jamie knew about a tractor ride located just inside the flightline gate, and for five bucks they'd drive your ass all over that event. The tractors pulled these big wagon-type trailers behind them that had about a dozen rows of benches on each one, and went slow enough to allow lots of picture oportunities. All you have to do is pay attention to where the stuff you want to go back to is, so you can go back on foot later. They took us up every row of aircraft out there.


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