Thursday, April 4, 2019

Lakeland 2019

The entrance to Sun 'n Fun 2019.
I love living in Florida. As I left the house we had blue skies, thin high scattered layer with temperature in the mid-60s. Only 30 minutes from my driveway until I was parked at Sun 'n Fun. This would be a good day.

I got my ticket (no line) and walked through the entrance on my way back towards the exhibition area. The crowd was light, even for a weekday. I stopped to talk to Josh at Cruiser Aircraft and discussed the logistics of getting his airplanes to the show. All of the planes looked good. (and though I still don't care for the big "delta" on the tail, the new paint combinations are great.)

Next, I visited the Piper display area to look at the new $265K VFR trainer (They did not have one on display. They did have the IFR model.) It reminded me of the Cherokee I used to fly out of the grass strip at Slatington. Only this airplane only has two (or optional three) seats. I asked if it has an autopilot. The IFR plane ($285K) does but not the VFR trainer. So it is NOT a Technically Advanced Aircraft. This is important because I can use my LSA PiperSport for Sport Pilot, Private Pilot, and Commercial Pilot training since Sally does qualify as a TAA platform. I could only use the new Piper trainer for Private Pilot. I wonder what the fuel burn is? Too bad. Too expensive.

T28 Trojans
I walked the exhibitors' line looking at all of the new airplanes and enjoyed listening in on some of the sales pitches. I wonder if many sales are made at this show or if most of the folks are just "tire kickers". I spent some time in the sales halls looking for any must-have new gadget. I was able to keep my wallet securely in my pocket.

P3 next to a B25 
It was at this time I heard a very familiar noise. Not a whine, not a roar, but maybe a mixture of both.  The sound of four Allison T56-A engines. Fat Albert had arrived.

Finally, I walked out to the warbirds. The NOAA Hurricane Hunter P3 was there right next to the shiny B-25 Panchito. The P3 is a big bird. I saw a number of P51s a TBM and a small group of T28s.

Afternoon appointments called me back to reality, but it was a beautiful morning to spend some time with airplanes.