Saturday, April 2, 2011

Indy Transponder On Site At Sun-N-Fun Friday 4-1-11 (AirPigz)

(16 pix)
 With the damaging storm of Thursday over and gone, Friday began with a lot of mud on the Sun-n-Fun grounds. This scene above is oddly reminiscent of Oshkosh 2010 where muddy roads like this were all over. In another similarity to Oshkosh, wet grounds and mud weren't about to dampen the spirit of the event, and Friday wound up being a great day at SNF11.

 A quick run thru the commercial exhibit area first thing Friday morning revealed several vendors still in the process of cleaning up after the storm. Many of the temporary structures had collapsed as you would expect in such high winds. Some vendors were fortunate to only have displays damaged. Others, like the Air Cam people were left with a tremendous amount of damage to their aircraft.

 Three different Air Cam's can be seen in these pictures with devastating damage. A fourth airplane had been blown backward across the display area and also wound up with significant damage. Reports are indicating that the storm was possibly a tornado, and the very localized damage as seen here would seem to support that idea. 

 I then made a run thru some of the homebuilt parking area which wasn't as full as usual due to the frustrating weather early in the week. N18DW is a Dyke Delta built long enough ago to be wearing a 'Flying Over 30 Years' sign. If you haven't seen the really cool video of the electric RC Dyke Delta I posted recently, you should check it out. I keep bringing this very unique aircraft design up from time to time because it is such a remarkable accomplishment. Plus, how awesome is that shadow!

 There are a lot of Vans RV airplanes that have made the journey the SNF11. Here's an RV-6 or 7 that was arriving in the morning. It's sure easy to understand why the RV's have been so popular over the years... really great looking airplanes with very good performance. If I had a pile of cash, I'd definitely have me a snazzy RV-8 : )

 The morning sun made this Stearman look really nice. It was one of many airplanes that was taking advantage of some genuine good weather to finally get on the airport. Even tho the early part of the week at SNF11 has been full of challenges related to the weather, the weekend is shaping up to be great for both good attendance and excellent airshow weather. 

 After making a run thru most of the grounds at Lakeland Linder airport, I decided the best use of my time was to go back over the Fantasy of Flight Museum to try to catch the 'Splash-In' seaplane event on Lake Agnes. It was scheduled for Thursday, but the weather messed that up. As it turned out, it couldn't have been any nicer on Friday with a beautiful sky and lots of seaplanes with lots of people enjoying the show.

 This SeaRey in a Coast Guard paint scheme really caught my eye. With two seats, very nice performance, and a look that's really distinctive, the SeaRey from Progressive Aerodyne is a pretty slick flying machine. Way back in the day I used to fly some ultralights that were built by a company that's part of the family tree of PA. I even flew one of their weight-shift ultralights on floats!

 This Legend Cub was just about as close to perfection as you can get. With doors on both sides, amphibious floats, a place at each jury strut for you fishing poles, and even an small electric troll motor mounted on the struts between the floats, there's just no limit to the fun this gas miser could bring you. It had great performance too... what a joy to watch it fly!

 There were two specific competitions that were part of the Splash-In. First up was a bomb drop. You don't have to look very hard to see that each of the pix above has a bomb (round fruit) that just been dropped. 7 or 8 airplanes were making two drops each to see if they could hit a floating target. I'm not sure who won, and it didn't matter cuz everyone was having fun... and that was the point of it all : )

 I'd never seen a seaplane spot landing contest before, but I found out they're pretty cool. I was surprised how well everyone did in coming very close the imaginary line between two floating markers (the red tube and the green raft) - and once again I'm not sure who won. The swanky 'one float first' landing of the Super Cub sure looks to be about right on the line. The judges are in the boat behind the markers.

 This B-25 made for a nice airshow/fly-in picture... sunny skies, a Warbird, and people to enjoy it all. Friday ended up being a great day with lots to see and do, and an airshow that went very well. Keep watch for lots of airshow pictures from the upcoming weekend. Now that I have things somewhat under control for my SNF11 experience, I can focus on getting some great Blue Angels pictures!

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