Sun ‘n Fun International Fly In & Airshow at Lakeland this weekend!

Filed under: Entertainment,Florida News |

Another great Central Florida event returns this weekend at the 40th Sun ‘n Fun International Fly In and Expo featuring the US Navy Blue Angels.  Aviation enthusiasts know it is the 2nd largest airshow in the world and Florida’s largest convention. More than 200,000 people will converge in Lakeland, Polk County to see a daily airshow, visit over 500 exhibits, earn education credits at workshops and forums, introduce children to the world of aviation and view more than 4,500 aircraft from homebuilds to warbirds on 2,200 acres. There will also be two evening air shows offering spectators an illuminated sky set to music and narration.

For those that don’t know and are contemplating a visit, Sun ‘n Fun is a “Fly-in” and airshow that is held annually at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. The event was founded in 1974 and this year celebrates 40 years of success with a bigger and larger show than ever before. Participants in the fly-in include owners who fly their aircraft to the event from all parts of the United States and Canada. Many pilots fly their own vintage, homebuilt or restored ex-military aircraft and this is what makes the event so unique.

Nowhere on the planet do you get the chance to see so many different flying machines as you do this weekend in Lakeland!

Yesterday, we paid a visit to the show and the first thing I can tell you is that you’ll get your daily workout very easily as you make your way to the viewing area. On the way you’ll see nearly 500 vendor booths as well as some great places to sample some fine grub and beverages! You can find everything from an Amish bakers to a Corn Roast, Hot dogs, a grill with burgers, fries, chicken tenders and there’s even some Greek cuisine to compliment the American cuisine.

Airshows run today, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 5.30pm and you’ll get to see some magnificent aircraft as the US Navy Blue Angels take center stage to compliment the many other planes brought to you by Areoshell, Areostars, F22 & Heritage, Warbirds and many others. The Geico Skytypers also feature and we were lucky enough to get to fly with them yesterday morning as the aerobatic team was kind enough to let us jump aboard the SNJ2 World War II era planes as they put in a practice session. It was a once in a life time opportunity to ride along with the team and to see what formation flying is all about.

Frankly, words simply can’t describe the feeling as you fly just feet apart from the other planes in formation. It was an exhilarating experience to fly with the wind in your hair and the 150 mph wind flashing past your face.

I was in plane number 4, piloted expertly by Bob Johansen, and we were the tail plane flying mainly behind the lead plane. Sitting in such a privileged position, I was able to capture some great video and photographs of the neighboring planes as the four of us roared across the Central Florida skyline.

The flight lasted around 30 minutes and passed by in a flash. Then it was time to get set ready for the Blue Angels to perform… and boy did they do just that! The Blue Angels for those unfamiliar is the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron rather like the Royal Air Force Red Arrows in the United Kingdom. The Blue Angels team was actually formed in 1946,making it the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team  in the world, after the French Patrouville de France that was formed in 1931. The Red Arrows were formed in 1964.

In a typical year, the Blue Angels’ six demonstration pilots fly the F/A-18 Hornet in more than 70 shows at 34 locations throughout the United States each year. It’s here that they employ many of the same practices and techniques used in their aerial displays from back in 1946. An estimated 11 million spectators view the squadron during air shows each full year and this weekend Central Florida has the chance to enjoy the spectacle.

Guests to the event can also enjoy some live music after the air show as tonight “Southern Rock’s Finest” perform while on Saturday visitors can enjoy the night airshow and fireworks.

General admission is $37 per adult and $15 for 11 to 17 year olds. Children under the age of 10 get to go for free! General parking is $10.

Check out our video and more photographs at You can also pay a visit to the vents own web site at

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