Waitin' For Ya!


Homebuilt Corner at Sun 'n Fun

It’s the day before the day before Sun ‘n Fun, but things are happening all over Lakeland airport in Florida. Volunteers have already been busy for days, getting the infrastructure in place, and vendors are arriving by truck, trailer and airplane – and there’s still another day of setup before the gates open.

We’ve been in Florida flying a few airplanes for future pilot reports most of this week, and watched as the weather moving across the country came through yesterday. Today we awoke to clear skies and nice cool temperatures that extend a long way across the country – and it’s supposed to stay that way well into the week. It’s a pleasant change from the weather pattern of recent years, where thunderstorms have blocked easy access to the Florida peninsula. So at least for the start, you can’t use weather as an excuse for not joining us here for the show!

The homebuilt parking area is ready and waiting, with rows laid out neatly for hundreds of airplanes. Mary Jane is already accepting airplanes in Homebuilt camping, and those of you who’ve enjoyed her family’s hospitality over the years know that HBC is a great place to spend a few days. I took a golf cart ride around the grounds with a couple of volunteers who prepare meals for the rest of the volunteers, and the buzz is that everyone is ready for a good crowd.

So join us this week – either from your campsite or hotel here at the show or from wherever you are if you can’t make it – as we poke into the nooks and crannies of Sun ‘n Fun 2016 to find some interesting stories, a few unique airplanes, and maybe some sneak peeks at new products that you are just itching to put into your latest homebuilt project. And if you see any of us wandering around with Kitplanes hats or shirts, be sure to say hi!

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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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