'N Fun Features National Debut of EAA 'Countdown to Kitty Hawk'
LAKELAND, Fla. - (March 11, 2003) - An
authentic reproduction of the Wright brothers' "Flyer"
will be the centerpiece of a 24,000 square-foot exhibit
celebrating the 100th anniversary of powered flight at this year's
Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In, which will be held April 2 - 8 at Lakeland
Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Fla. Sun 'n Fun is the first
of several stops for the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA)
"Countdown to Kitty Hawk" Pavilion, which culminates
it's year-long national tour in Kitty Hawk, N.C., as a key element
in America's official Centennial of Flight Celebration Dec. 13-17,
2003. "Countdown to Kitty Hawk will be the featured element
of Sun 'n Fun's celebration of aviation's 100th anniversary,"
said Sun 'n Fun President and Convention Chairman John Burton.
"We're grateful to EAA for selecting Sun 'n Fun as the site
for its national debut." Other stops include Dearborn, Mich.;
Dayton, Ohio; Oshkosh, Wis. (for EAA AirVenture); Seattle, Wash.;
and the First Flight Centennial Celebration in Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Sun `n Fun attendees will be able
to re-live aviation history when they tour the impressive exhibit,
which is presented by Ford Motor Company and supported by
Microsoft Flight Simulator and Eclipse Aviation. Countdown to
Kitty Hawk is actually a series of events honoring the Wright
brothers' first powered flight and the innovation and
determination it takes to make world-changing dreams a reality.
"The Wright brothers were, in effect, the first
homebuilders," said EAA President
Tom Poberezny, "so it was only
natural that our organization took the lead in celebrating their
accomplishments and the remarkable 100 years of aviation history
that followed. We hope everyone who visits the pavilion comes away
with an appreciation of the significance of that event."
The centerpiece of the exhibit is
EAA's 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction built by Ken Hyde of The
Wright Experience in Warrenton, Va. The aircraft will conclude its
national tour with a flight at the Wright Brothers National
Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., Dec. 17, 2003 at 10:35 a.m. -
100 years to the minute from the first powered flight.
components of the Pavilion include:
- Digital reproductions of Wright
brothers' documents from the Library of Congress archives. ·
Microsoft's Flight Simulator cradles of the 1903 Wright Flyer,
which allow visitors to actually try their hand at flying the
historic aircraft. · A theater and live presentation area
where actors will assume the roles of the Wright brothers in a
specially-written "What's Wright With Flight!" play,
and Darrell Collins of the National Park Service will deliver
his stirring "Miracle at Kitty Hawk" presentation.
(Schedules posted daily.) · Exhibits on the history of Henry
Ford and the Wright brothers.
- A special weekend visit by
either Amanda Wright Lane, great grandniece of the Wright
brothers, or Stephen Wright, their great grand nephew. · EAA
Young Eagles information. · Interactive and Web-based
exhibits, including a contest to select Eclipse Aviation's
"Greatest Aviation Innovations of the First 100
Years." This will allow attendees to vote for aviation's
greatest innovations online or at the Countdown to Kitty Hawk
Pavilion. Voters will be eligible to win deluxe travel
packages to the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty
Hawk and witness the re-enactment of the first powered flight
on Dec. 17, 2003.
This year's Sun 'n Fun EA Fly-In
features a new format. The event will open on a Wednesday (April
2) and continue through the following Tuesday (April 8).
Previously, the event began on a Sunday and ran through the
following Saturday. "We encourage people to arrive early to
avoid potential traffic congestion," said Burton, noting that
the popular daily air show begins each day at 2 p.m. "We also
suggest our guests arriving from the Orlando area and points east
of Lakeland use the Polk Parkway to ensure a safe and smooth
arrival by avoiding construction on Interstate Highway 4."
For information on the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In, including
admission/registration fees and other key points of interest,
Sun ‘n Fun Fly–In