Perfect weather for all but one afternoon led to thousands of people coming out every day.

2022’s edition of the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo at Lakeland Linder International Airport is now in the books and what a week of fun in the sun it was!  We’re going to focus on the air show part of the week long event below.

The Air Force Thunderbirds put on several breathtaking performances.

Throughout the week, hundreds of pilots made their way to Lakeland in their personal aircraft (of all shapes and sizes) to be a part of the fun and dozens of aerospace businesses arrived to set up booths in the vendor village.  While a decent percentage of the visitors came to see both of these areas, the big draw was the static display area and of course the performers that were in the air each day.

Thunderbird’s #5 and #6 showing some precision flying.

This year’s lineup included several aerobatic performers such as; Adam Baker, Aeroshell, Bill Stein, Chefpitts Airshows, Chuck Aaron, David Martin, Erik Edgren, Gene McNeely, Grant Nielsen, Greg Colyer, Greg Koontz, Jeff Boerboon, Jeff Shetterly, Jerry Kerby, Jim Bourke, Jim Peitz, Ken Rieder, Kevin Coleman, Kyle Fowler, Manfred Radius, Michael Goulian, Patty Wagstaff, Philip Steinbach, Phillips 66 Aerostars, RJ Gritter and Rob Holland.  Joining them in their warbirds were; Class of ’45 (F-4U “Korean War Hero” flown by Jim Tobul & P-51 “Quiksilver” flown by Scott “Scooter” Yoak), Larry Kelley (B-25 “Pancito”), Lee Lauderback (P-51 “Stallion 51”), Lou Horschel (P-51 “Mad Max”), RT Dickson (P-51 “Swamp Fox”), Thom Richard (P-40 “American Dream”) plus a plethora of other warbirds from around the country.  There was also a solid line up of active duty military performers such as the SOCOM Para-commandos, the A-10C Thunderbolt Demo Team, the F-18 Rhino Demo Team and of course the Air Force Thunderbirds.

The Rhino Demo Team kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

There were also dozens of aircraft in the two static display areas where the B-1, C-17, KC-135 and KC-46 stole the show along with “Doc” which is one of only two flight worthy B-29s surviving today.  The US Army had a solid display of aircraft including an AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Chinook, HH-60 Blackhawk, an MH-6 “Little Bird” and a Shadow 200 RQ-7 Drone.

“Doc” is one of only two flight worthy B-29s on the planet.

Here are links to all of the photo galleries you can see on our Facebook page along with an interview with Thunderbird #5 Major Kyle “Gumbo” OliverArrival of the Air Force Thunderbirds, 4/8/22- Static Display Gallery #1, 4/8/22- Static Display Gallery #2, 4/8/22- Performers Gallery, 4/8/22- Thunderbirds, 4/9/22- Static Display Gallery, 4/9/22- Performers Gallery, 4/9/22- Thunderbirds.

Air Force Heritage Flight on Friday with an A-10 and a P-51.

With Sun ‘n Fun ’22 in the rear view mirror we can start looking forward to what Sun ‘n Fun ’23 will bring (we already know the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be headlining!).

The Air Force Thunderbirds brought the thunder with every flight.