A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Sun ‘n Fun day 2

April 25, 2015
Emilie Phillips

We spent a second whole day at Sun ‘n Fun. The highlights were the balloon launch and the night airshow.

Hot air balloons lifting off

Hot air balloons lifting off

As soon as we woke up in the morning, we walked over to see the hot air balloons launch. They were having a “race” where one balloon goes ahead and then all the others try to land as close as possible. We passed through the airshow jets on the way. Isaac thought all the jets parked together looked like a train.

Back at camp, the volunteers put on a tasty breakfast. Someone had even brought real maple syrup from up north. Then I broke camp while Tyson entertained a steady stream of visitors. He had posted on the Bearhawk forums that he’d brought his to Sun ‘n Fun. There were no other Bearhawks present, so everyone who was building a Bearhawk stopped by to talk.

After I packed the tent up, we discussed our plans for the day. Tyson wanted to go back to visit Russ some more and fly his friend’s float plane. I was hoping to see more of Sun ‘n Fun. So we settled on leaving around noon before the afternoon airshow closed the airspace. Then Russ txt’d saying his lake was already too windy and choppy for float plane rides. So we decided to stay the night. Too bad we hadn’t figured that out before I packed the tent.

After several more Bearhawk enthusiasts, we wandered back through the LSA expos and found our way to a restaurant with shaded table space. Tyson was overheating in the 90F sunny weather. Someone else apparently didn’t make it to lunch because there were paramedics assisting a person collapsed on the floor near checkout. After lunch we looked at more vendors in the big hangars (Tyson wanted shade). I looked at avionics. After flying a long cross country with my RV-4, I was quite aware of the deficiencies in my panel. We concentrated on the lower cost, experimental only, models. Dynon has the best features, but also the highest price. GRT has several options with less features, and lower price. And AvMap, which I had never heard of before, also has some lower cost options which looked interesting. I have to say, the Dynon dedicated buttons for tower and ground frequency is quite appealing. I invariably wobble a hundred feet off my intended altitude when tuning the radio. The other thing I looked at was sunglasses. I found one brand of prescription glasses that looked promising. Tyson checked out all the alternative technology engines and hangar kits.

Once we had exhausted the exhibits, we relaxed in the shade next to the smoothie cart. I could only see the tops of the airshow, but Tyson was much happier in the shade with a smoothie than out in the sun viewing the show. Then we met up with some folks from Avilution to learn about their new XFS open interface avionics software. They are planning on releasing the APIs and the source. They haven’t decided yet whether they will open source the project or not. And finally, we attempted to find the shuttle to the RAF fire pit, but with no luck.

Night show

Back at camp, the volunteers put on another tasty dinner. Tacos this time. Then we set up our chairs in an open area to watch the night show. I liked the night show much better than the day show. They made pretty smoke patterns. The glider with over-sized sparklers on its wing tips was elegant. And the ultralight trike shooting out pyrotechnics was really impressive, though a bit concerning since it has a fabric wing. The only downsides were the biting ants and Isaac needing three diaper changes.

Previous day: arrival at Sun ‘n Fun