March 29, 2023

Day One at SUN ’n FUN

Phil Lightstone

New Innovations Announced at SUN ‘n FUN

 By Phil Lightstone
SUN ’n FUN 2023 opened to severe clear weather with outside air temps in the 30C’s.  While the aviation event, coined “Spring Break for Aviators” was cancelled during 2020 due to the pandemic, aviators and aviation enthusiasts flocked to Lakeland FL to take part in the aviation Expo.  With over 250,000 attendees, 2,500 volunteers, approaching 600 exhibitors, 389 educational forms, 32 presentations and 6,000 aircraft operations, it seems like the pandemic is thankfully in the rear-view mirror.

 Air Venture and SUN ‘n FUN are great venues to see the latest in aviation technologies but a perfect opportunity to purchase that must have aviator gadget, aircraft component, event souvenirs or a new aircraft.  Some cool new aviation tech announcements made at SUN ‘n FUN include: Bose A30 headset replacing the A20 (now 13 years old), featuring improved ANR, new digital electronics with three modes of noise cancellation, a new centre of gravity yielding a more stable fit, slightly better battery life (than the A2) and a five year warranty; CubCrafter’s new Carbon Cub equipped with Rotax’s newest 916 IS/C 160 HP engine with expected deliveries of orders placed today in  Q1 2025; and AeroPup’s new kit plane starting at USD $15,000 with an expected completion cost of USD $50,000 featuring a 1,600 lb gross weight and 130 kt cruise speed.

The Guest Experience is SUN ‘n FUN’s number one objective for 2023.  Eric Washburn, a SUN ‘n FUN Board of Director reports that the organization invested over USD $300,000 in IT infrastructure improvements, including the installation of over 30,000 feet of new fiber optic cable.  Powered by 10 Gbps internet pipes, the infrastructure was built to support in excess of 25,000 concurrent users, per sector (the site was divided into many sectors – think ATC sectors to provide optimization of Internet resources).

Mark your calendars for SUN ‘n FUN’s 50th event being held from April 9 to 14 2024.

(Photo: Phil Lightstone)