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 10.29.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 10.29.14 **
** Airborne 10.27.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne 10.27.14 **
** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.24.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.24.14 **

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 10.29.14: Antares Launch Failure, GAMA Responds, Another 'Roadable'???

Also: Dragon Returns, Quadcopter Flown At Airliner?, Classic Aero-TV: Redhawk, Diesel Flt School Airplanes, WWII Bomber Found The unmanned Antares rocket built by Orbital Science C>[...]

Classic Aero-TV: ‘Have it Your Way!’ – The SPA Panther

A New Single-Seat SportPlane Shows Great Potential For Serious Fun While at the Sport Aviation Expo 2014, ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell stopped by to talk with Dan Wese>[...]

AD: Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-21-07 PRODUCT: Certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, & 702) airplanes, Model CL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) airplanes>[...]

AD: Airbus Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-21-10 PRODUCT: Certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.31.14)

Ex-MACs This group is made of retired McDonnell Engineers, most of whom began their careers at MAC either on the F101, F3H or F4H programs.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC