OK, we know our followers read our blog to keep up with the travels of our family aboard our 50 foot Sea Ray Motor Yacht the “Pilot’s Discretion.” We assure you that we are making significant improvements to our floating home to prepare her for the next chapter in our cruising life and we will be chronicling those improvements as well as sharing our future cruising plans in posts in the near future.
For now, we hope you will indulge us as we go off on a brief tangent about all things flying machine related (after all, our boat is named after an air traffic control term related to an altitude clearance). With the exception of 2020, as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, springtime in Florida means warming temperatures and the Sun N’ Fun Fly In Aerospace Expo in Lakeland Florida. This year the fly in played host to thousands of pilots and hundreds of airplanes of every type and size from single seat home-builts all the way up to the US Air Force’s massive C17.
This years event represented two notable events for our Navy’s Blue Angel flight demonstration team. First, 2021 is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Blue Angels at the direction of Admiral Chester Nimitz. This years Blue Angels show in Lakeland represents the first demonstration of the Blue Angels since switching from the F/A18 Hornet to the F/A18E Super Hornet.
To the non pilot, the differences between the legacy Hornet and the new Super Hornet might seem hard to discern but the Super Hornet has lots of improvements all pilots love. More power, more fuel, more payload are all noticeable improvements to the Super Hornet. When you give a plane with the Super Hornets capabilities to the Blue Angels, you get a very loud and impressive improvement to their already legendary air show.
In addition to the Blue Angels we also enjoyed watching the F-22 Raptor demonstration as well as a very cool formation flight pairing our most advanced fighter, the F-22, with the legendary WW2 fighter the P-51 Mustang.
The combination of the roar of the Raptor in full afterburner and the sweet sound of the Mustang’s V12 Rolls Royce Merlin engine was at least as mesmerizing to a pilot as any Pavarotti aria or Rolling Stones live show.
All in all, our day at Sun N’ Fun 2021 was a perfect way to celebrate our son Ronan’s 15th birthday with the added bonus that we finally are feeling like our year in isolation as a result of Covid 19 may be fading into the history books.
Here’s hoping 2021 brings good health and new adventures for our family as well as yours.