SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Airshow Photography from the UK and around the world
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sylvancatharsis
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SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by sylvancatharsis »

I spent the better part of last week in Lakeland, Florida for SUN 'n FUN, the little brother to Oshkosh, this year celebrating its 50th Anniversary. The fun was in plentiful supply; the sun part proved a bit more elusive the first two days I was there but came out in full force for the weekend. Anyway, I shan't bore you with rambling commentary and I'll get straight to the photos.

Like many, I made the decision to migrate south for the Ghost Squadron, part of the Polaris Program and featuring a MiG-29, three Alpha Jets (one went tech on Wednesday but was back in the formation later in the week), and four L-39s.
ImageAd Astra by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageRed Star at Night, #avgeek's Delight! by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageDouble Alpha by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageCzech Mate by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageFour Out, Three In by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageAlpha Jets by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageInto the Sunset by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageThe Adversary (Formerly) by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

And the least divisive, most universally beloved aircraft on this forum was also present.
ImageLightning in the Forecast by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageOut of the Sun by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageFull Afterburner by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Mustang virtuoso Lee Lauderback performed in the original "Crazy Horse" after the sun had set. Utterly brilliant to see and hear a Mustang in the waning light and tranquility of evening, but not so easy to photograph. Eh, sometimes it's better just to watch and behold the spectacle.
ImageAn Old Horse, Still Going Strong by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

The Titan Aerobatic Team, formerly Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, illuminating their effusive smoke systems to make it look like the AT-6s have afterburners.
ImageTranquil Titans by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

I shot a few thirty-second exposures of the utterly phenomenal night finale
ImageGhostwriter Go! by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageBoom boom boom boom boom by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

(I tried using a C-47 as the foreground piece for long exposures of earlier acts, but kept knocking the lens out of focus and gave up.)

I drove to Lakeland straight off my flight from Tampa, arriving around 1545L, so I missed a good chunk of the daylight show, but I did get to see David Martin performing in this gorgeous Jungmeister. Shame I couldn't hear the engine over the obnoxiously loud PA system...
ImageHands-Free Flying Machine by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

SNF doesn't get the same fly-in turnout that Oshkosh does, but some gems do turn up, like this DC-3. (It came back for the weekend, so I'll have some static photos of it in much better conditions once I get around to editing them.)
ImageThe Grand Old Lady by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageDouglas DC-3 by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

That fence is less than photogenic...
ImageThe Old Meets the New by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageSOCATA TB.30 Epsilon by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

SNF in a nutshell:
ImagePiper J3C-65 Cub by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

And because I love me some Ercoupe...
ImageDouble Trouble! by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageErcoupe 415-D by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

(Both of those Ercoupes departed that evening, so glad I stopped to photograph them.)

Many, many, many more to come.

Amp
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by Amp »

Those evening shots are absolutely wonderful, as is the Dakota. The Epsilon is interesting too.

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sylvancatharsis
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SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Thursday

Post by sylvancatharsis »

Amp wrote:
Tue 16 Apr 2024, 8:29 am
Those evening shots are absolutely wonderful, as is the Dakota. The Epsilon is interesting too.
Many thanks!

Thursday's air show was cancelled due to a line of severe thunderstorms that picked the exact worst moment to pass through, though fortunately no harm or damage was done to anyone or anything on the show grounds, as far as I'm aware. The skies cleared up fairly quickly after the front passed, offering a glorious (albeit windy) eve for the Sunset Aerial Circus, which consisted only of a STOL competition (the Airythmia paramotor team was due to perform as well but the winds exceeded their limits), which was great fun to watch, especially since spectators can get up close and personal on the grass strip.

ImageSTOL Competition by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

The Faux-Storch with the Rotax engine. Nice.
ImageThe Storch That Wasn't by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Former USAF Thunderbirds pilot Trevor "Dozen" Aldridge, now STOLling it up in a sweet Super Cub
ImageSTOL Competition by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

No flaps, no slats, no wingtips, no problem!
ImageSTOL Competition by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageSTOL Competition by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

The Valdez Chinook, a winged cheat code. In the brisk wind, this wasn't so much a STOL as a VTOL.
ImageSTOL Competition by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Had a gander around the fly-in sections in the nice sunlight, notably the seaplane section, where I found this beauty:
ImageGrumman Mallard by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

And the spectacular 1931 Sikorsky S-39-C
ImageSpirit of Igor by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Everyone and their grandpa wanted to count this Ryan's rivets every time I tried to photograph it...
ImageRyan ST-L / PT-20 by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

One for the RCAF centennial
ImageChippie by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageAeronca 15AC by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImagePilatus P-3 Mk II by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageTiger Hog by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

As we all know, the L-39 Albatros was one of the most popular types used by the Thunderbirds.
ImageAlbatrosy by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

A few from before the storms, under quite different conditions.

ImageClassic Trainers by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

This is what Hurricanes look like when they're still wee babes:
Image"I want to be a Hawker Hurricane when I grow up!" by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Lovely Howard DGA-15P departing to beat the storm (it came back later in the day)
ImageHoward Go Home by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageLovely Luscombes by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageGrumman Widgeon by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Artsy-fartsy shot of the CAF's RC-45J
ImageHarbinger of a Coming Storm by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

And lastly, one from the Florida Air Museum, located on the airport grounds just past the ticket booths.
ImageFishbed in Retirement by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

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capercaillie
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by capercaillie »

Wow, there are cerainly a lot of different types on offer there and very well photographed in all the conditions Sean. They've certainly gone to town on the MiG29 paint job, the seaplanes are lovely and the Storch looks dreadful. Good to see a proper Canadian Chippie with the correct canopy as well.

The Slovak MiG21 is the one donated to the RAF Benevolent Fund by the Slovak Air Force and left in the Uk following its appearance at the IAT in 1994. (Small unobtrusive photo linked in) I'll remove it if you don't want it here!
ImageMiG21MF 7708 1SLP Slovak Air Force by Paul Downes, on Flickr

Cracking set though, really impressed with the fireworks.
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sylvancatharsis
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by sylvancatharsis »

Many thanks, Paul. Interesting about the Fishbed, and as an aside, it's always amusing seeing photos from past (R)IATs and so many long-out-of-service types, and yet there's Patrulla Aguila in the background with the same old Aviojets...

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SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo (final update Fri/Sat)

Post by sylvancatharsis »

The sun finally came out for the Friday, as did the star of the show:

ImageSuper Constellation by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageThe Connie by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Alas, the Connie departed after its display on Friday, so anyone who showed up Saturday hoping to catch its announced display spot would've been left disappointed.

ImageFluffy Lightning by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageHeritage Flight by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageMixed Formation by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageJungmeister by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImagePatty Wagstaff by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

The Thunderbirds' display on Friday was a "rehearsal" and they looked...not great. (Plus they were without one jet.) The Pass in Review flew right over the crowd instead of in front. Fortunately, Saturday's display was flawless.

ImagePractice Makes Perfect by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageRehearsals by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageTora Zero by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

This T-33AN was one of the highlights of the warbird section. Throw in some skywriting courtesy of Ghostwriter Airshows!
ImageHappy T-33 by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Nice static addition
ImageSnow Herk by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageHoward DGA-15P by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageWACO Elegance by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageSwift (Not Taylor's Version) by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageBulldog by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

And lastly from Friday, the wonderfully mad XFV-1 Salmon at the Florida Air Museum
ImageFish Out of Water by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

The pleasant weather stuck around for Saturday, which was something of a Mustang meet, with no less than six examples taking to the sky in various displays
ImageQuicksilver by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageJack Aces by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Finally bagged Gunfighter!
ImageGunfighter by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

More Mustangs found their way into the static display.
ImageOld Crow by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageGentleman Jim by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Non-Mustangs were present as well
ImageThunderbirds by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageUSN Legacy Flight by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageKevin Coleman by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageBaby P-36 by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

(Betcha thought that was a real P-36 for a second, right? Right?!? It's a half-scale sport replica.)

ImageSilver Star by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageAT-11 Kansan by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageOld Liner by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

Finally, the Saturday twilight and night shows

ImageGhost Squadron by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImagePolaris Dusk by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageRhino Gold by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageOn the Prowl by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageMustang Magic by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageSparkle Sparkle by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

ImageJust Plane Fireworks by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

A Thunderbird F-16 drawn with drones!
ImageThunderdrones! by Sean E. Kelly, on Flickr

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Blackbird
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by Blackbird »

A really enjoyable set Sean - many thanks for posting. The firework shots (especially in the first set) are superb 👏👏👏

Tangoringo
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by Tangoringo »

A great set of images there Sean and especially loving the Ghost Squadron ( hoping to see them in Houston later this year ) and the dusk/night shots. Thankyou for posting.

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microlight
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by microlight »

Great pictorial coverage , been a few times myself but not since 2013. To be honest the only major challenge are the thousands that decide to constantly shelter under wings etc to get some shade , making some unique items hard if not impossible to photograph. Good job we have cones , ropes and low level barriers in the UK
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sylvancatharsis
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by sylvancatharsis »

Many thanks all!
microlight wrote:
Fri 19 Apr 2024, 10:02 pm
Great pictorial coverage , been a few times myself but not since 2013. To be honest the only major challenge are the thousands that decide to constantly shelter under wings etc to get some shade , making some unique items hard if not impossible to photograph. Good job we have cones , ropes and low level barriers in the UK
The shade-seekers weren't the biggest impediment to static display photography, actually - it was the blasted bright yellow highway cones that were everywhere! There were some real military gems at the show - E-9A and two QF-16s, Coast Guard HC-130J, Army Redstone Test Center T-6D and very colorful MH-6M, etc. - but there were so many of those godawful cones plonked all around them that the aircraft looked like they were part of a crime scene.

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microlight
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by microlight »

Great photo opportunities missed due to lack of planning and nil thought by the organisers then , if you want shade ....buy a hat 😂 and use rope instead of damn yellow cones
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GeorgeP
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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by GeorgeP »

A fine set of images, Sean. My picks are the MiG-29 sunset image and that C-121A. Nice work!
Cheers,

George

Melbourne, Australia.

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Re: SUN 'n FUN Aerospace Expo :: Wednesday

Post by POD »

Very nice indeed...
Tiger Tiger!

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