Sun 'n Fun 2019 – the Pre-Show


One of the advantages of having a media badge at a large aviation event is that I get to wander around the grounds unmolested on the day before the show actually starts. While much of that time is simply saying hello to the many acquaintances we have among the vendor community, it is also a real chance to find out what they have that is new, and what we might be able to report on for the folks that are unable to make it to the show itself.

This year is no different here at Sun ‘n Fun 2019! We spent the morning watching empty booths fill up with hardware, and outdoor spaces fill with airplanes. We helped spot a few airplanes in their parking places for the week, and in so doing added a few to our “review” list for the coming year – with (hopefully) – previews this week. Look for notes on the latest Air-Cam as well as an old-is-new-again BD-6, the high-wing single seater that is once again being readied as a kit. We’re sure there will be others as they dribble through the mildly poor weather (nothing convective in the forecast… yet) in northern Florida and make it in to the show.

Of course, we’ll also take a look at the new avionics offerings from your favorite vendors, and report on any accessories that you absolutely, positively have to have for your latest homebuilding project – you can always add a little more power to compensate for the weight.

But the best thing about being here a day early? One of our favorite nuts and bolts shops, B&B, was actually open for business, and I (and anyone else who happened to be onsite) got first crack at some of the more limited goo-gahs and doo-dads!

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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