Patriotism Focus at Annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo

Katsuhiko Tokunaga
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

The Thunderbirds gave a spirited performance, much to everyone's delight. It was good to see the team back on the air show circuit again. (photo by Elena DePree)
The Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform on April 25-26th. (photo by Elena DePree)

PRESS RELEASE – Mark your calendars for the 41st Annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo presented by Visit Florida April 21-26, 2015 in Lakeland, FL.  Proceeds from all events are returned to aviation-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) curriculums through year-round programs and activities at SUN ‘n FUN’s Aerospace Center for Excellence.  Agreeing to help make attendance soar for the major annual fund-raising event on the SUN ‘n FUN Convention Campus, two jet teams will appear: The prestigious Breitling Aerobatic Display Jet Team, that illustrates the brand’s cherished values: performance, precision, aesthetic sophistication and innovation, is the first and largest of its kind.  Comprised of seven L-39 C Albatros jets reaching speeds of up to 435 mph with up to 8G accelerations while flying within 10 feet of each other, the Breitling pilots embody the very essence of daring, speed and audacity.  Having flown across 36 countries around the world, the Breitling Jet Team will commence their first “American Tour” by opening the SUN ‘n FUN airshow at 3 p.m. on April 21st and continuing to perform throughout the week.

Katsuhiko Tokunaga
L-39C Albatross of The prestigious the Breitling Aerobatic Display Jet Team ( Photo by Katsuhiko Tokunaga)

With a tradition of hosting military jet teams, SUN ‘n FUN is pleased to announce that the Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform on April 25-26th.  The sharply choreographed, drill-style ground ceremony kicks off the demonstration by showcasing the attention to detail and esprit de corps that defines enlisted members. As the jets take to the skies and fly only a few feet from wingtip to wingtip, the crowd gets a glimpse of the awesome skills and capabilities that all fighter pilots must possess. The solo pilots integrate their own loud and proud routine, exhibiting some of the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon – the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet.  While in Lakeland, the pilots, mechanics, medical staff and members of the USAF Thunderbird team will participate in community events, sharing information about career options and their commitment to excellence.  A student assembly featuring the Thunderbirds is scheduled for Friday, April 24th at 10:00 a.m. in the Aerospace Pavilion.

USAF Thunderbirds The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron “Rise Above” traveling exhibit will arrive on April 20th to share the inspiring legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen.  The heritage of America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel (about 15,000 of an estimated 20,000 have been identified) is told in their theater with a 160-degree panoramic movie screen and seating for 30 people.  The Red Tail Squadron success in triumphing over adversity during WWII still inspires people of all ages to rise above obstacles they may face.

The P-51C captured by Max Haynes
The P-51C captured by Max Haynes

Warbird Country will host the highest participation of aircraft on the ramp at SUN ‘n FUN.   Daily Warbird “Fly-Bys” are scheduled for 2 p.m. April 21-23rd.  The entire airshow on Wednesday, April 23rd will be a salute to Warbirds.  In 1944, the U.S. alone produced 114,000 combat planes and the Texas Flying Legends will be recreating combat scenes during the airshow on April 22-23rd.  Highlighting the drivers behind America’s success, the Texas Flying Legends serve to remind us of the values and freedoms that make our country great and challenge visitors to give back to their local communities.  We are proud to do our part to ensure that America remains “the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Celebrate with the pilots, volunteers and guests at SUN ‘n FUN as we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe. In the Southeast Exhibit Area, guests will find the International Visitors Center and the Veterans Plaza.  Both areas provide hospitality and environments where new friends can be made and old stories can be told.  Don’t miss the team from the Islands of the Bahamas as they enhance the welcome area with music from the islands!  Air America, celebrating 40 years since their departure from Saigon, will be hosting guests as well as presenting lectures on the grounds.  On Saturday and Sunday, classic cars and motorcycles will be in the area showcasing cars circa 1974 and older.  Register to participate in the Car Show and get free admission into the event. The 9/27 Club VIP hospitality with flightline seating is available for purchase again this year. Including reserved parking, guests are shuttled to the Warbird Ramp and the 9/27 Club.  Daily airshow schedules, registration and reservations for activities, and ticketing information can be found on the SUN ‘n FUN website at  A twilight midweek airshow is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22nd.  The evening program on Saturday, April 25th will include fireworks.  Watch the website for special offers. Florida residents are invited to consider the possibilities of three (3) airshows for the price of one!  Buy a ticket on Saturday for the afternoon unique airshow then return Saturday night for the fireworks.  Having shown your Florida ID on Saturday, there is no additional admission charge for you to return on Sunday.

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