The Lindbergh Foundation's day-long series of forums about alternative fuels and cleaner aviation technology was under way Thursday in Sun 'n Fun's new Central Florida Aerospace Academy building when the storm hit. Everyone in the building was told to move into the hallways, away from doors and windows, as the wind whipped and rain poured. The electricity went off, and people were told not to leave the building because powerlines were down. The hallways filled with forum attendees and soaking-wet refugees from the weather outside. Some forum speakers continued on with their captive audience, using laptops to show their powerpoints, until volunteers came into the rooms again and herded everyone back into the hallways, anticipating a second assault of weather.
Before the event was interrupted, speakers from Cessna, LoPresti Aviation, Swift Engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and more, spoke about ongoing efforts to find alternative fuels and more efficient engines, driven by the need to replace 100LL as well as the desire to minimize environmental impacts. Later forums that were scheduled to examine clean propulsion alternatives and electric-powered aircraft were cancelled.