START TO SUN 'N FUN
Shades of Oshkosh 2010 are looming over
Sun 'n Fun 2011 as a relentless parade of storms dumped inches of rain
on the grounds at Lakeland Linder Airport. SNF President John
Burton told AVweb's Mary Grady that plans are in place to
cope with the deluge and a great show will emerge from the soggy
Click here to listen. (8.2 MB,
SPORT UNDER INCREASED SCRUTINY
The FAA has let the Light
Aircraft Manufacturers' Association (LAMA) know that major changes are
coming in the oversight of the emerging aircraft sector. LAMA President
Dan Johnson spoke with AVweb's Mary Grady at Sun 'n Fun
2011 in Lakeland, Florida.
Click here to listen. (4.7 MB,
THE NEW CORVALIS
Cessna CEO Jack Pelton says the
company has continued to innovate, even during the worst economic spell
in aviation in recent memory. He spoke with AVweb's Paul
Bertorelli about the new Corvalis TTx and other observations on the
state of the industry.
Click here to listen. (5.3 MB,
UPDATES THE ALTAIRE PROGRAM
Piper is ready to make some major
moves with its Altaire single-engine jet program. Piper's Jacquie
Carlon spoke with AVweb's Mary Grady at Sun 'n Fun 2011.
Click here to listen. (5.1 MB,
The Society of Aviation Flight Educators
(SAFE) has some ideas about how to make flying safer and keep student
pilots interested. Do you? AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with SAFE
Chairman Doug Stewart about a symposium in early May in which you
can help find the answers.
Click here to listen. (5.1 MB,
AVIONICS ATTRACTS HEAVYWEIGHT PARTNERS
Aspen Avionics has
carved out a big niche with its retrofit glass products, and now it's
forming alliances with long-established avionics companies like
Honeywell, Avidyne and S-TEC to add more products and capabilities.
AVweb's Paul Bertorelli spoke with Aspen CEO John Uzekacy
at Sun 'n Fun.
Click here to listen. (5.5 MB,
DEPRECIATION PLUS DISCOUNTS
The shows are a great place to
find deals on airplanes, and AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with
Jeff Owen about how a new promotion for Diamond Aircraft products
sweetens the pot even more.
Click here to listen. (3.6 MB,
Builder-owners of Epic LT aircraft have finished two
planes that have been approved by the FAA in the amateur-built category,
and about a dozen more are coming down the pike. AVweb's Mary
Grady spoke with CEO Doug King about the company's
Click here to listen. (5.0 MB,
FLIGHT TRAINING RETENTION ROADSHOW
On the heels of a study
that revealed opportunities to increase the number of flight students
who complete their training, AOPA is holding input sessions in six
cities in the coming year. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with AOPA's
Click here to listen. (5.8 MB,
FUN RALLIES BACK FROM STORM
Within 18 hours of a devastating
tornado-packing thunderstorm that caused millions of dollars of damage,
Sun 'n Fun attendees could barely notice. AVweb's Mary Grady
spoke with SNF President John Burton about how many hands did a
lot of work to make that happen.
Click here to listen. (6.9 MB,
AIRCRAFT STILL EYEING COLORADO
Extra Aircraft announced last
year that it was going to build Extra 500s in Montrose, Colorado, but
the process is taking a little longer than expected. Extra owner Ken
Keith told AVweb's Russ Niles the last hurdles should be
Click here to listen. (3.9 MB,
CHAIR REP. SAM GRAVES
AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with
House GA Caucus Chair Sam Graves about progress on FAA
reauthorization and other issues after his appearance at a town hall
meeting at Sun 'n Fun.
Click here to listen. (4.3 MB,
PILOTS FOR PATIENT TRANSPORTATION
Most pilots are familiar
with Angel Flight, and quite a few have volunteered their airplanes and
time. Now there's a new organization called Patient Air Lift Services,
or PALS. In this podcast from Sun 'n Fun 2011, the organization's CEO,
Joe Howley, gave us a briefing on how the new group
organized just 10 months ago works.
Click here to listen. (4.1 MB,
We wondered how long it would be before
someone developed a Bluetooth headset that drops the wires from the
audio jack to the headset and now someone has. Jake
Carlson of Air Gyro Aviation showed us the Mach 5 headset at Sun 'n
Sun 2011, and he describes it in this podcast recorded at the show.
Click here to listen. (2.3 MB,
VISITS SUN 'FUN
not much you can do to a beautifully restored DC-7B passenger airplane
to make it more interesting than it already is except, perhaps,
to pair it with a strikingly young captain. 23-year-old Glen Moss showed
us around the venerated DC-7 (the last flying passenger version) and
shared her story with us at Sun 'n Fun 2011 in Lakeland, Florida.
AT SUN 'N FUN 2011
modernized version of the airplane Louis Bleriot used to cross the
English Channel isn't for everyone. "You really have to fly it all the
time to get it where you want it," cautioned builders Pascal Kremer and
Robert Bassley, who were both at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida with
the airplane. In this video, they explain the challenges (and joys) of
piloting the modern Bleriot.
CESSNA'S NEW CORVALIS TTX AT SUN 'N FUN
breakout star of the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In thus far is Cessna's new Corvalis
TTx, which features sharp-looking leather interiors and an ultra-modern
Garmin Intrinsic avionics package. Cessna Aircraft's Kirby Ortega showed
us the high points during a break in the rain on the first day of the
OPENS AT LAKELAND
you're attending the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland Linder Airport this
year, you'll notice a new addition to the Sun 'n Fun campus. The
building where seminars and educational presentations are being held is
the new home of Central Florida Aerospace Academy, which will soon be
fully operational as an aviation high school for up to 500 students. (In
the meantime, it means access to air conditioning and running water
during your Sun 'n Fun seminars.)
NEW TRAINING IDEA
single company has created more pilots than Cessna, and to continue its
tradition in training pilots, the company has teamed up with Red Bird
flight simulations and King Schools to offer a unique new training
program that takes advantage of computer self-learning technology.
Green Flight Challenge challenges engineers and flight students to
conceive (and fly) an aircraft capable of 200 passenger miles per gallon
of fuel meaning it has to go fairly fast, but not burn much fuel.
At Sun 'n Fun, AVweb took a look at Embry-Riddle's entry, based
on a Stemme motorglider.
NEW G2000 FLIGHT DECK
has so many new products out there, we're having trouble tracking them
all. The latest is the G2000, a fully-integrated flight deck meant for
high-end piston airplanes. Here's Garmin's Ben Kowalski to explain how
the system works.
UNIQUE TAKE ON AIRLINE TRAINING
the best, fastest way to become an airline pilot? Have a lot of twin
time and a new company called Airline Training Solutions has a
way for you get there in a hurry. Russ Niles spoke with the company's
Sterling Malone at Sun 'Fun 2011.
NEW ROTAX OPTION
always enjoy a visit to the Liberty Aerospace display at an air show
but at Sun 'n Fun, we found a little something unexpected. What's
that Liberty XL2 doing with a Rotax engine (912F) instead of the trusty
Lycoming IO-240? CEO Keith Markley explains why they're getting the
Rotax STC'd for Asian markets and (no surprise here) it's down to
BEECHCRAFT'S IMPROVED KING AIR 250
good to be King. But when you're the King Air 250, your challenge is
staying modern and finding ways to improve history's most successful
turboprop. In this video, Don Mercer explains how Hawker Beechcraft has
discreetly improved the 250.
NEW PORTABLE RADIO
is best known for its innovative glass displays for expertimental
aircraft. At Sun 'n Fun 2011, it revealed a surprise: a new,
full-featured portable handheld radio.
CLASSICS GREAT LAKES REVIVAL
Great Lakes biplane was the light sport aircraft of its day, and now
Waco Classics is planning to offer a revised model with a Lycoming
engine and updated structural and avionics additions. At Sun 'n Fun,
AVweb's Russ Niles talked to Peter Bowers about the Lakes.
Overshadowing all the product announcements and seminars this year
was a tornado that touched down during the middle of Sun 'n Fun on
Thursday afternoon. AVweb was there soaked and diving for
cover and we begin this year's media round-up with a few links to
the videos and podcasts we produced during (and about) the storm.
Our Video Record
SUN 'N FUN STORM FOOTAGE
than 24 hours after a storm ripped through the airport, Sun 'n Fun 2011
was getting back to normal. But that was hardly the case Thursday, as
this dramatic footage shows.
RIPS SUN 'N FUN
destructive storm cell packing high winds, torrents of rain, and
marble-sized hail hit Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida about noon on
March 31. At least 40 airplanes were damaged or destroyed, but there
were no reports of any serious injuries.
POST 491'S SUN 'N FUN RECOVERY
F1 tornado roared through Sun 'n Fun at Lakeland, Florida on Thursday,
square in the path of it was a completed Kitfox that Explorer Post 491
hoped to raffle away. It was not to be. The storm destroyed the
airplane, but not the post's spirit. AVweb's Russ Niles reports
on how the Explorers are not just recovering but thriving.
POLICE DESCRIBE SITUATION
AVweb's Mary Grady talks
with Lakeland police officer Terri Smith on the porch of the busy
media center at Sun 'n Fun early Thursday afternoon, in the aftermath of
the giant storm that disrupted the show.
Click here to listen. (0.7 MB,
BUILDING COLLAPSE BRIEFLY TRAPPED 70 PEOPLE
considerable confusion about a persistent rumor that a building had
collapsed at Sun 'n Fun trapping 70 people during the storm on Thursday.
Bob Oehl was there trying to hold up support structures of the
tent building, and he assured AVweb's Russ Niles that the event
Click here to listen. (7.5 MB,
SURVIVED SUN 'N FUN" T-SHIRTS FOR SALE
The Sun 'n Fun
tornado last week was certainly a dramatic enough event, and affected
enough people, that a T-shirt to commemorate it was inevitable. By
Saturday, show-goers were turning up with gray T-shirts that proclaim,
"I survived Sun 'n Fun 2011," with a graphic of a spinning tornado
tossing tents, airplanes, and various critters into the air. The actual
tornado that hit the airport, while it was certainly damaging, was not
quite so dramatic as the one on the T-shirt, but for those who were
there, it's now officially a t-shirt-worthy event. The shirts are for
sale online at PilotMall.com for $25.
INSIDER BLOG: SUN 'N FUN 2011 GREEN SHOOTS
latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli has
a novel idea for discussing Sun 'n Fun: Let's banish the word
recovery and just talk about what we liked which was
plenty, actually. Frankly, there was more new stuff and market vitality
than anyone expected.
COVERAGE FROM SUN 'N FUN 2011
For quick access, here are links to our daily coverage of the
March 29, 2011
March 30, 2011
March 31, 2011
April 1, 2011
April 2, 2011
April 3, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011