Spring Rains Challenging for Sun 'n Fun Launch

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As exhibitors prepped for opening day at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Fla., on Monday, a huge frontal system spread rain and wind across the region, slowing down their efforts and keeping the pattern mostly quiet. Nonetheless, by Monday evening, all of the major exhibitors were set up and ready to welcome visitors for Tuesday's opening day. Weather reports showed a chance of rain and thunderstorms at about 40 to 50 percent for the next few days, with clear weather expected for Friday and the weekend. The mood among exhibitors so far seems to be cautious, as aircraft sales haven't yet shown signs of robust recovery. But for those ready to buy, Sun 'n Fun is the season's first big general aviation show, with some of everything on site, from ultralights to light sport aircraft to turbines and light jets, plus all the latest avionics and pilot gear.

Cirrus is showing off their 10th anniversary limited edition SR22, with a slick paint job and just about every possible option installed. The company's executives will be offering an update on Wednesday about their new investors and future plans. On Tuesday, Cirrus will launch an online video update about progress on their Vision SF50 jet. Piper will announce a new partner offering a new private pilot training program, and introduce Global Wings as a new dealer serving the Caribbean region.

For more about how Sun 'n Fun organizers are dealing with the rain, and a look at highlights of this year's show, click here to listen to AVweb's podcast interview with John Burton, chairman of the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In.