Warbirds Thin On The Ground At Sun 'N Fun 2006 | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 02.23.15

Airborne 02.24.15

Airborne 02.25.15

Airborne 02.26.15

Airborne 02.27.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 02.23.15

Airborne 02.24.15

Airborne 02.25.15

Airborne 02.26.15

Airborne 02.27.15

Sun, Apr 09, 2006

Warbirds Thin On The Ground At Sun 'N Fun 2006

Thinner Still In The Air Over Lakeland Linder

The unmistakable baritone of a Packard Merlin engine splits the sky above Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, and hundreds of necks crane to see the unmistakable silhouette of a North American P-51D Mustang flash by. "P-51 Mustang, the Cadillac of the sky!" some "Empire Of The Sun" fan shouts excitedly.

Cadillac of the Sky? Yeah... in Cadillac's dreams.

The Mustang's roar hasn't faded when the basso profundo of a big radial signals the arrival of an F4U Corsair overhead. The two mighty fighters lap the field, reminding a cohort of elderly men of the sounds of their youth, and introducing a new generation to these magical sensations.

But is this all there is? From the first day of the show, we were struck by how few the warbirds were, and how narrow the range of types. Then, there were only four fighters, zero bombers, and a boatload of trainers and liaison planes on hand. Twin engine types comprised a Twin Beech and a pair of military C-47s.

Saturday's airshow was a little better. A PBY showed up, and it made a formation takeoff with a Grumman Albatross. The O-2s are always up for flying. But the T-34s aren't; many of them are flying less while the T-34 Association works out alternate methods of compliance with a fatigue-related AD that has thinned the herd of those once-commonplace trainers. Those that remain stay closer to their homes.

Rumors say that the warbird paucity in 2006 is due to a dispute over fuel bills from Sun 'N Fun last year and lots of bad blood between the event and the warbird community--one of a number of segments of aviation that is increasingly dissatisfied with SnF management and conduct. We were unable to confirm those rumors. Certainly fuel costs have limited operations, especially for money-conscious operators. For whatever reason, the warbirds are few this year, and we were warned that this in the offing.

It's a good thing to have a flying Mustang and Corsair, of course. It's great for the public to see these rare planes, to perceive their speed, to hear and even to feel their mighty power. A couple of fighters are immeasurably better than none at all, and these fighters are beautifully restored and are flown with elan.

But, but, but. But just a year or two back, the warbird ramp was crowded with mighty single- and multi-engine planes from many nations. Where did they all go?

FMI: Read ANN's Coverage of Lakeland 2006

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 02.27.15: CS300 Flies, Nimoy Goes West, NTSB's Hart OK'd, PBOR II

Also: Bell 505 Update, Mooney Update, UAV Hysteria, AAR Sells Telair, True Blue Power, More UAV Waivers, Flyers Rights The Bombardier CSeries CS300 airliner made its first flight t>[...]

Counting Down! ANN's Infamous April 1st Edition's Just Around The Corner!

Get Your Wacky Ideas In NOW! ANN E-I-C Note: Folks... we gotta warn you... based on all the nonsense we've had to endure in 2014-2015 (which we are duty-bound to lampoon), this may>[...]

CHP Selects Becker Digital Audio And Polycon Wireless Intercom

Systems To Be Installed In New Helicopters And Fixed Wing Fleet Becker Avionics has reached an agreement with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Office of Air Operations, which wi>[...]

ANA Selects Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Engines For New Aircraft

Latest Order Valued At $130 Million For Dreamliners Rolls-Royce has been selected by All Nippon Airways (ANA) to provide Trent 1000 engines, worth $130 million, to power three addi>[...]

Klyde Morris (03.02.15)

Klyde Fears FAA's Enforcement Objectives... FMI: www.klydemorris.com>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC