Welcome to the 36th annual SUN ’n FUN International Fly-In & Expo.
In less than a month, the skies over Lakeland will begin to receive thousands of aircraft that will convert Lakeland Linder Regional Airport into the
busiest airport in North America.
Tuesday, April 13, is “Opening Day” of SUN 'n FUN’s 36th annual gathering of the world of general aviation for its Spring Break for Pilots &
friends. The 2010 SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo will attract an estimated 150,000 to 170,000 visitors from North America and more than 80
other countries, distinguishing it as the largest convention in the state of Florida and the first major international aviation event of the year in
the Americas. The annual SUN ŉ FUN International Fly-In & Expo is significant annual economic stimulus to the region’s tourism economy, producing
an estimated $27-$31 million infusion into the greater Lakeland and the central Florida corridor.
The annual event, staged on an 850-acre footprint of the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport campus, will engage all levels of aviation interests from
student pilots, active “veteran” pilots and “homebuilders” (people who design, build and fly their own airplanes!) to armchair aviation
enthusiasts and the curious who nurture the dream to fly, regardless of age. On the ground, one will encounter nearly every form of man’s
achievement in the pursuit of flight over the past century, from the one seat ultralight to a daunting C-17 military cargo jet.
The SUN 'n FUN core campus will feature a combination of aviation-oriented exterior tents and interior exhibits in five dedicated Exhibit Hangars.
Among its 35 plus exhibitors, the newly commissioned Hangar Echo (E) will be the location for a Starbuck’s “fuel stop” during the six-day event.
The week will provide face-to-face access to 475-plus exhibitors including the latest in aircraft avionics, membership organizations, fuselage
cleaning agents, pilot supplies, and the manufacturers of airplanes including Piper, Cessna, Embraer and Remos to name a few. The expansive grass
fields and hard surfaces of the airport will showcase a world-class concentration of vintage, warbird, homebuilt, factory built, rotorcraft,
ultralight, light sport, hot air balloon, aerobatic and current military aircraft that add to the rich experience SUN ŉ FUN guests embrace throughout
the week. A partnership with nearby Fantasy of Flight will provide a home for SUN ŉ FUN’s seaplane fly-in on Lake Agnes, highlighted by its annual
“Splash-In” on Thursday, April 15.
As most residents of Lakeland can testify, the skies southwest of the city are a constant changing matrix of airplanes from sunrise to sunset. A major
daily feature of the show is the SUN ’n FUN Aerial Showcase, an opportunity for exhibiting aircraft manufacturers to “showcase” their latest
aircraft front and center above the SUN ŉ FUN flight line.
Showcase Flying serves as the “opening act” of the popular SUN ŉ FUN daily airshow, which is known throughout the industry as one of the finest
and largest displays of aerobatic talent in the country. Each daily air show features the world’s most recognized aerobatic performers. SUN ŉ
FUN’s “start of the year” timing provides each performer with an opportune stage to present their unique, remarkable aerial maneuvers to fans,
as well as to potential sponsors and “talent scouts” from other air shows that take place later in the year.
This year SUN ’n FUN is privileged to present the United States Air Force (USAF) “Thunderbirds” Jet Demonstration Team as the headliner finale
of the weekend afternoon airshow. While the official ground and aerial precision performance of America’s Ambassadors in Blue is scheduled for the
weekend, the team will arrive at SUN ŉ FUN on the opening day of the show and are scheduled to command the skies in practice sessions at the
conclusion of the Thursday and Friday airshows, offering audiences on both of those days with an added SUN ŉ FUN memory to share with friends and
Click here for a detailed Thunderbirds schedule
Another signature attraction of the annual SUN 'n FUN show is the early-morning “dawn patrol” launch of its festive Hot Air Balloon “Hare and
Hound” Race on Saturday, April 17. Weather permitting, more than 25 balloonists are scheduled to ignite their burners, lift off above the shimmering
morning landscape of Lakeland and create an exciting, colorful start to the day’s activities.
One’s stay at SUN ŉ FUN will also be enriched with the opportunity for meet and greets and special appearances by a number of significant aviation
personalities. Among those who have confirmed their appearances are Jeff Skiles, First Officer aboard US Airways Flight 1549, who, under the command
of Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, assisted in the Miracle on the Hudson, safely landing the Airbus A320 on the Hudson River after losing both engines to
multiple bird strikes during take off; FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, who will address several forums regarding the current state of aviation in
this country as well as offering an overview of the state of general aviation; Congressman Sam Graves, representing the sixth District in Missouri and
member of the House Committee on Transportation, who will moderate the SUN ŉ FUN “Town Hall” meeting in a discussion with the leaders of general
aviation’s larger membership organizations.
This year SUN ŉ FUN has issued official sponsorship status to Flight Level Aircraft Auctions, who will launch their “Sellers Meet Buyers”
airplane auction program during SUN ŉ FUN. Flight Level will provide an opportunity to all interested SUN ŉ FUN registered airplane owners to sign
up for one of four early evening auctions that will be staged at an auction site in the southeast area of the SUN ŉ FUN show campus. Auctions are
scheduled between 5:30 and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of the show.
In keeping with SUN ŉ FUN’s educational mission, one will encounter 10 Forum tents with a daily schedule of presentations on aviation topics and
interests; a separate area devoted to hands-on workshops for aviation enthusiasts who are dedicated to learning the art and skills of aircraft
construction, maintenance and restoration; the campus of the prestigious Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA), a high school “career academy”
that operates throughout the year on the SUN ŉ FUN campus; the Florida Air Museum – Florida’s “official aviation museum and education center”
– which features a week-long schedule of its own forums, authors corner and autograph area, museum exhibits and museum gift shop specials; plus a
week-long schedule of exciting and engaging youth activities at the nearby Tom Davis Education Center.
This year SUN ŉ FUN will bring its “GreenSpace” exhibit, produced in partnership with the Lindbergh Foundation, to the core of the show campus.
This initiative represents SUN ŉ FUN’s commitment to provide evidence of the industry’s adoption of environmentally conscious practices in the
manufacturing and operation of aircraft. This is consistent with The Lindbergh Foundation, whose mission is to further Charles and Anne Morrow
Lindbergh's shared vision of a balance between technological advancement and environmental preservation.
In a plan to reduce the volume of refuse associated with events of this magnitude, SUN ŉ FUN will limit the sale of beverages by its authorized food
service providers to refillable, recyclable souvenir cups and bottled water in biodegradable plastic bottles. In the spirit of advancing the pilot
community’s well entrenched recycling practice, SUN ŉ FUN’s popular consignment “Parts Exchange” will be relocated to a more accessible
location on the site, adjacent to the newly commissioned Hangar Echo (E) and the entrance to SUN ‘n FUN’s expansive and popular campground.
Visitors to the 2010 SUN ŉ FUN International Fly-In & Expo can look forward to a selection of quality, fairly priced snack and meal options during
their visit. Food and beverage services will be available throughout the show campus with the greater selection menu items offered in the central
food court area near the Indoor Exhibit Hangars. SUN ŉ FUN’s Sunset Grill, which is rapidly becoming the place to “hang out” after the air
show, will offer a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Later in the day/early evening, Sunset Grill features a nightly schedule of
popular live music acts throughout the week. A trip to SUN ‘n FUN would not be complete without stopping at the traditional corn roast and music
stage in SUN ŉ FUN’s campground. Details about the music and activities within both the Sunset Grill and the Campground Stage will be posted on
the SUN ŉ FUN website.
The close of each day will be punctuated by a schedule of evening programs that will include:
Monday evening with SUN ŉ FUN’s Pre-Flight Night silent auction and dinner gala themed “Women of Aviation” in the Florida Air Museum and
Buehler Restoration Center;
Tuesday evening is a stellar line up of panelists with a “Women of the Air” theme (details to follow) in the SUN ŉ FUN Pavilion;
Wednesday’s Pavilion presentation will be the first-hand account of the “Miracle on the Hudson” landing from US Airways First Officer Jeff
Thursday, AOPA President Craig Fuller will discuss the hottest aviation issues and other topics during his annual Sun ‘n Fun presentation;
Friday night all SUN ŉ FUN guests are invited to fill the hours between the close of the afternoon airshow and the evening’s popular night airshow
by joining the Aire Traffic Band, an acclaimed ensemble of FAA Air Traffic Controllers who are also excellent musicians.
Saturday evening will be an insightful, entertaining evening focused on the theme “Aviation in Hollywood” by a panel consisting of Susan Butler,
resident of nearby Lake Wales, Florida, and author of East to the Dawn: The Story of Amelia Earhart, which served as the basis of the recent movie,
Amelia, starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere. “A Pilot’s Story” producer Rico Sharqawi; and Nick Spark, producer of the documentary The Legend
of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club. The evening will close with a screening of the Pancho Barnes documentary.
Click here for details on our lineup of evening programs
For details on the full schedule of events and activities throughout the six days of SUN ŉ FUN click the FLY-IN tab for event schedules, SUN 'n FUN
and FAA Forums, SUN ŉ FUN workshops, Florida Air Museum speaker schedules and youth activities, SUN ŉ FUN daily air shows, Evening Programs and
movies at the SUN ŉ FUN Pavilion and nightly Sunset Grill and Campground Stage entertainment.
Discounts for advanced weekly and daily tickets are available here.
Special discounts are available to members of the Florida Air Museum and the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA), given in appreciation for
historical involvement EAA had with the start of the event and to AOPA members on Friday, April 16, in recognition of AOPA Day. Special discounts are
also available to active military personnel and residents of Florida. A special Thunderbirds weekend discount package is available to Florida
residents, including free admission to children 12 years old or younger.
The entire SUN ŉ FUN staff and valued extended family of SUN ŉ FUN volunteers look forward to welcoming everyone to a week that is guaranteed to
amaze every level of aviation interest. Join us for a unique opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and fellowship with aviation enthusiasts
from around the world. Secure your ticket today, at www.sun-n-fun.org. Be part of the 2010 SUN ŉ FUN International Fly-In & Expo, April 13-18, in
Lakeland, Florida… aviation’s “Spring Break for Pilots & friends.”
"What? No more cake and ice cream left? To hell with this, I'm outa here!"