LAKELAND, FL – February 26, 2013 – President John R. “Lites” Leenhouts assured staff and volunteers, “It is business as usual in preparation for our annual event despite all national budget concerns. The 39th Annual SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In & Expo, April 9-14, 2013, at the Lakeland Linder Airport will proceed as planned. Sponsors, exhibitors and vendors along with Airshow performers will be in place for the audiences and media entering the grounds.
“Over the six-day period, activities and displays that showcase the history as well as the future of aviation are augmented by guest speakers and evening programs. As visitors tour the grounds, they will be offered tram rides to arrive at restored vintage aircraft or modern light sport aircraft. Sit in a simulator and experience flight or visit the RedTail display where the history of the Tuskegee Airmen is offered in an IMAX setting.
The very newest designs in sport aviation are introduced by manufacturers at the SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In each year as it has become known as the opening event of the aviation season. Forums, workshops and safety programs help aviation enthusiasts and even novices in the first stages of building a personal aircraft. They are offered throughout the week around the grounds and in classrooms at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy as well as the Federal Aviation Authority Safety Team Headquarters.
An airshow each day from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. offers aerobatics and precision flying with a variety of performers. Thrill to Lakeland’s own Black Diamonds Jet Team. 3,000 volunteers make the annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo a reality. If Federal funding is restricted or limited for this event, aviation enthusiasts who are retired military, air traffic controllers, weather experts, engineers, and AP mechanics will offer a number of proficiencies and assume the roles needed to make this event the very smooth and safe operation. Bob Knight, SUN ‘n FUN Chairman of the Board, made the statement that “SUN ‘n FUN is in its 39th year and started long before there was a tower at Lakeland Linder Airport. Safety is our number one objective and we sincerely appreciate our professional volunteers.”
During the week, special recognition events will honor groups and significant events in the history of aviation.
- Tuesday, April 9 – 60th Anniversary Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
- Wednesday, April 10 – T-6 Texan 75th Anniversary Day
- Thursday, April 11 – Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) 70th Anniversary
- Friday, April 12 – Air America Day
- Saturday, April 13 – EDUCATION DAY
- Sunday, April 14 – Florida Residents Day
Details about the recognitions and activities can be found at www.sun-n-fun.org/FlyIn.aspx.A workshop for Aerospace Educators will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2013. More than 300 teachers will be offered instruction from leaders in the field of aviation. Former Astronaut Story Musgrave will be the luncheon speaker. Author of “Max Goes to Jupiter”, Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, and 12-time Regional Grammy Award winner for “Janet’s Planet”, Janet Ivey, are among the educators furthering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in aviation in the classroom.
A KIDS ZONE, Women’s Pavilion, Corn Roast Area, food and beverage vendors, nightly entertainment and other hospitality features make SUN ‘n FUN a place where everyone can find something to enjoy.
In 2011, USF Polytechnic estimated that the annual event has a $64m economic impact on the I-4 corridor. An average of 200,000 visitors from more than 80 countries are introduced to Lakeland and the surrounding communities and often return annually because of the southern hospitality. Mark your calendar to attend Florida’s largest convention, SUN ‘n FUN, in 2013 and support the future of aviation!
About SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In, Inc.
SUN ‘n FUN is not only an annual event and Florida’s largest convention, it is a year-round commitment to the future of aviation. SUN ‘n FUN’s mission is to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events, inspiring and educating people of all ages. SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In, Inc., is a 501c3 corporation. Located at the Lakeland Linder Airport, the SUN ‘n FUN campus on 160 acres is the year round home of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy and the Florida Air Museum Aviation Center for Innovation and Exploration with educational training centers donated by the Tom Davis Foundation. The most recent addition to the campus is a FedEx retired Boeing 727. Active aviation programs include the Lakeland AeroClub, Civil Air Patrol, Future Eagles, flight training schools, and an arm of Junior Air Force ROTC. STEMtastic™ aerospace Saturday camps, Destination Aviation and STEMtastic™ summer camps, Wings ‘n Things, Teacher In-Service workshops as well as public/private school aerospace outreach events are offered year-round.