Sunday, April 3, 2011

Indy Transponder On Site At Sun-N-Fun Saturday 4-2-11 (AirPigz)

(16 pix) 
 My Saturday morning at Sun-n-Fun 2011 started at the commercial exhibits not far from the camping area. This yellow and white biplane stood out right away as something special. Obviously not 'Pitts' special, but very cool nonetheless. It's the Fk12 Comet, a Rotax 912 LSA that promises fun in a way pretty much no other LSA could even dream about. The wings are fabric covered, but the structure underneath is all composite, and the fuselage is mostly welded steel tube with aluminum tube for the aft section. Lots of interesting and innovative thinking in this light, sporty, aircraft! 

 The American Legend display of modern Cubs included one with no fabric on it so all of the structure was visible. The use of modern materials and a variety of interesting design changes takes the timeless original Cub design even closer to perfection. I'm still dreaming about the one from yesterday on amphibious floats!

 After being hit so hard by the tornado on Thursday, the Air Cam display was looking almost back together. I was glad to see they hadn't given up after losing 4 airplanes... hopefully they'll head back home with several new orders on the books to take some of the sting out of a really rough year at SNF11.

 This awesome DC-7 was at Oshkosh in 2010 but for some reason I never got around to doing the $5 tour thru it. Today I decided I really needed to check it out. What a great experience. I wound up spending some time with the operators and really enjoyed talking airplanes with them. They're into all kinds of cool stuff that I'm going to posting about in the future, and I'll have a detailed post up before long on the DC-7 too.

 These two Stearman trainers were parked in the vintage aircraft area, and as you can clearly see they were camping there too. You just can't beat camping with an airplane that has two wings and a round engine. This is really living!

You may have noticed that I'm a bit of a Pitts Model 12 fanatic. I just can't resist posting pictures of them from time to time. Not only are they just gorgeous to look at from a design point of view, but almost every one of them you see has a fantastic paint job. This one belongs to Kendal Simpson, aka Acronut.

There's a good variety of warbirds to check out this year. Lots of T-28's or course, and this B-25 was interesting with the big guns in the nose and the access hatch opened up. It made for another good spot to use my camera-on-a-stick procedure.

For some reason, seeing those huge props and spinners on the P-3 just scream out 'airshow' to me... and a flag jump obviously does too. I don't think I ever remembering seeing a flag jump that includedcanopy relative work like this tho. I liked it.

 The F-22 Raptor was pretty high on most people's list of things they wanted to see today, and I was no different. I was able to get positioned in a really cool spot which allowed me to get the picture looking up the tail pipes after engine start. Wow, what a cool sight! There's a lot of heat being made there. You can also see the heat in the takeoff pic. Love the heat!
 The flight display (which most effectively turns kerosene into noise) had only been underway a few minutes when the pilot got a cockpit warning that something wasn't right. Fortunately the problem allowed him both the chance to get some altitude and then plenty of time to set up an approach. He landed with the P-51 that would have later been part of a Heritage Flight off his right wing.
 It would appear that there was something actually wrong with the airplane since it was towed back from where it had rolled out on the runway. I didn't hear any verified word on what the situation was, but ultimately all that mattered was that it all ended well.

 The special spot I was in that allowed me to get the great view of the F-22 from behind also gave me this view of the P-51. Pictures of great airplanes are really nice, but wow, I wish you could have heard what I heard about 3 seconds after I took this pic. I just don't know if there's a better sound on Earth than a Rolls Royce Merlin!
 I'm planning to get some great pix of the Blue Angels up in the next post... stay tuned : ) 

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