Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sun 'n Fun 2011, "Spring break for pilots"

Even though my Sun 'n Fun fly-inn visit was dominated by bad weather, I will not make this post into another tornado one. My Pic(k) of the week 14 covered this a few days ago.

Sun 'n Fun Air Traffic control tower
The weather did cause disruptions to the daily airshow on the first three days. Unfortunately the day I had to leave the weather cleared and I missed the demo of the Blue Angles, the world famous jet team of the US Navy flying F-18's. I did photograph them before at the Reno Air Races in 2009.

Because of the above, I concentrated on shooting static vintage aircraft and warbirds. In the end, I did come home with some interesting imagery.

Historical Flight Foundation DC-7B
One of my personal highlights was a visit to the one and only flying DC-7B operated by the Historical Flight Foundation. The amazing story of the restoration which took over 6 years can be found here.

Historical Flight Foundation DC-7B cockpit
Shooting the cockpit of this 1950's prop-liner, which is almost fully original, I felt the urge to give the image an antique look.

Lockheed 12 used in the movie Amelia, at Sun 'n Fun 2011
Another beauty queen was this Lockheed 12A used in the movie Amelia.

P-51D Mustang
The nasty weather didn't ground WW II warbirds like this P-51D Mustang.

F4U Corsair
It continues to amaze me how dedicated the owners of some of the aircraft are. Hours of polishing paid of, after this Corsair F-4U won the "Grand Champion post-WWII price.

B-25 Mitchell WWII bomber
They try hard to keep these flying machines as close as possible to the original, such as the (non-loaded) machine guns in the back of this B-25 Mitchell bomber.

Grumman Mallard
Given the amount of rain in the first days of Sun 'n Fun, seaplanes like this Grumman Mallard almost didn't need the surrounding lakes to be in there element!

Because of a limited attendance due to the weather, it is hard to make a fair comparison between the Spring Break for Pilots (Sun 'n Fun)  and the even larger event up North, "Air Venture" in Oshkosh, WI. I do however believe that if one puts in the effort to travel over 8000 miles (13000 km) and needs to pick one; Air Venture wins!

Expect another post on a neighboring aviation museum in the next few days.

Click that shutter,
BJORN

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