Behind every great fighter pilot is the plane that taught him to fly: one of those is the North American SNJ-2. From April 4th – 6th, Central Florida airshow fans will get a first-hand glimpse of this aircraft and the air-combat tactics and maneuvers that helped win World War II and the Korean War.
Sun-n-Fun’s mission is to preserve and enhance the future of flight. Aviation experts predict an upcoming shortage of pilots, aviation mechanics and aircraft designers, but GEICO Skytyper and solo pilot Tom Daly sees it as an opportunity.
“In today’s economy there are actually jobs in aviation,” says Daly, the Dean of Aviation at Dowling College in New York. “We need to point students in the direction of this exciting field and airshows give young people a chance to get up close to aviation history.”
The 75-year-old planes flown by the GEICO Skytypers airshow team demonstrate low-altitude, precision-formation techniques demanded of Allied pilots flying missions everywhere from Korea to Kenya.
“Most of our team earned their wings in the military and this performance pays tribute to the brave pilots of the ‘Greatest Generation,’ ” says Steve Kapur, GEICO Skytyper pilot and team marketing officer. “We consider it a privilege to fly these warbirds on behalf of GEICO at air shows all across the U.S.”
There are fewer than a dozen planes of this variant left in the world, but the show is anything but old-school. These six remaining SNJ-2s are updated for the GEICO Skytypers with computerized skytyping technology. Flying at 10,000 feet in a line-abreast formation, the team creates giant messages in the sky visible in any direction for 15 miles.
“Think tweets or text messages, but with letters taller than the Empire State Building,” says Kapur.
Each skytyped letter takes four seconds to create, which is 17 times faster than the more traditional skywriting method.
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