Sunday, April 9, 2017

Look out more airplanes!

Barbara gets sworn in at the Eagles Lodge on Saturday, and we decided to stay at Holiday Travel one extra day, which gives us an extra day to get packed up!!

The winter is officially over, we left our “Winter Quarters”. Barbara is now an official Eagle and my initiation is set for April 28th so we'll have to be back around Leesburg for that. 

Our first stop for the 2017 travel year was the Thousand Trails in Orlando. It's free, there is lots of room and there's an AIRSHOW!!

Home built airplanes
This particular Airshow is called Sun 'n Fun and it's a Fly In, which for our motorcycle friends is like a Rally except instead of riding your motorcycle and camping you fly your airplane and camp! Like the Goldwing Motorcycle Rallies there are lots of seminars on subjects from safety to how to build your own plane! The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) are the big organization here and on top of all the above they have a week long airshow going on!

De Havilland Chipmunk, we used to get bored flying in these in my ATC (AIr Cadet) days!

My favorites are the “Warbirds” World War 2 era airplanes, all privately owned and performing aerobatics for the crowd.

Bring your tent and camp next to your airplane!
In case that gets boring there are aerobatic solo displays, team displays, private jet displays and fly by's from the various light airplanes and kit manufacturers of their products. Oh yes and the Blue Angels perform 3 times during the course of the event. Talk about airplane heaven! I was in it.

Microlights everywhere
To help Barbara keep her sanity we decided to spend an extra $20 each for preferred seating which turned out to be a bargain! Once in the shaded area with seating provided we discovered air conditioned bathrooms, free bottled water, and Barb's favorite – free massages!! We more than made up for our $20 with bottles of water.

P51 fighter fro WW2
This event is unlike the Airshows elsewhere. Instead of fences between the public and the static and operational areas to keep people out, they have a wagon to drive you around the whole flightline so you can get up close to the aircraft! As you ride around there are all kinds of things taxing around you. A wonderful idea! Then when you get finished with the ride you get off and you can WALK around the airplanes and talk to the pilots and crews, They trust everyone to be responsible and safe, and everybody is! Amazing.
How close would you like to get?

Walk right up and get a perfect photo!

Talk with the pilot? No problem

Warbirds in formation aerobatics? Oh yeah!

This airshow had something else too. NIGHT FLYING. Normally the show is over and everyone is leaving for home long before the sun goes down. Not here. The show stops for a couple of hours then as the sun sets the show starts again with aerobatics IN THE DARK! The aircraft have multicolored lights and pyrotechnics so you can follow them thru the air. One act had a powered hang glider with flares on the wings, shooting fireworks sideways out of the plane as it buzzed around. The commentator did mention that the pilot had taken some care in developing the act due to the fact that the nylon wing of the aircraft tended to catch fire if the flares or the fireworks came into contact with it!! And as a postscript he mentioned that the pilot was handicapped having lost the use of his legs some years ago in a hang gliding accident!

OK not a good picture, but did YOU ever try taking a shot of a powered hang glider in the DARK??

With all the static displays of aircraft, manufacturers displays of engines, instruments, parts and materials for building airplanes, the various associations for particular makes and models of airplanes, vintage, home-built, kit-built, warplanes, jets, the seminars, dinners, movies and talks by famous aviators it's no wonder this even lasts a week. In fact it's amazing they can fit it in in so short a time. But alas we had but one day, and that lasted from 10am to 9pm just at the show.

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