Sun 'n Fun International Expo and Fly In

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flying in mirror formation
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flying in mirror formation

The Sun ’n Fun International Expo and Fly In at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport is the biggest aviation event in Florida. In fact it is the second largest event of its kind in the world with around 200,000 visitors, exceeded only by the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture event at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

It runs over six days in March/April each year finishing on a Sunday. The event first started in 1975 and the 43rd annual Sun ’n Fun will take place from April 4 to 9, 2017.

During the show, Sun ’n Fun is the busiest airport in the world, with over 60,000 aircraft movements over the six days. Around 5,000 aircraft visit Lakeland with everything from homebuilts to warbirds and the latest military and general aviation aircraft.

There are around 500 exhibitors and a number of workshop events as well as a car show, food concessions, midway rides and merchandising.

The whole event is spread over 2,200 acres but you can catch shuttle trams to get you around the vast site.

There is an air display each afternoon plus a couple of evening airshows with fireworks. Both the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Navy Blue Angels are regular visitors to the show (at the weekend).

In 2015 both the Thunderbirds and the European Breitling Jet Team displayed in their first ever American tour. The EAA Warbirds of America organisation offered rides in their WWII Boeing B–17 Fortress “Aluminum Overcast” and the Ford Tri-Motor.

You can either buy a one day ticket or a full event ticket giving you access for the whole event. Admission to the Florida Air Museum is free during the Sun ’n Fun fly-in with the purchase of a Sun ’n Fun ticket..

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