Following is a brief report and photos from our flight to Sun'n Fun earlier this month:
(Update: See my new video clips at the bottom of this post).
To test the comfort and cross-country capability of the STOL CH 750, Roger and I decided to fly together (in one plane) to Lakeland, Florida, from Mexico, Missouri, carrying all of our personal items for the next 10 days with us.
We left early to have time to enjoy the ride and to avoid any potential weather. On the first day we made it all the way to Cedar Key, Florida, 750 NM (863 statute miles or 1,389 km.) away.

We left Mexico, Missouri, at around 7 am on Friday (April 9), heading straight for Sun'n Fun. Thanks to a light tail wind we flew much higher than we normally do... above 5,000 feet most of the day.

Passing over the Missouri River in central Missouri with typical morning fog / low level clouds over the river:

While we usually make our first refueling stop in Sikeston, Missouri (home of Lambert's Cafe, home of the famous "throwed rolls") we decided to keep flying since it was early for lunch and we had a nice light wind urging us on.

Our first refueling stop was Union City, TN (KUCY), followed by Shelby County, Alabama (KEET).

With fuel (and restroom) stops between two and three hours the aircraft is a truly comfortable cross-country airplane.
Here's a nice view of the full panel with the "wrap-around" windshield that offers outstanding visibility from both sides. :

The above photo does not do justice to the bright Dynon glass display. Even in bright sunlight both the Dynon EFIS and Garmin GPS can be read easily.
Below is our fuel stop in scenic Thomasville in southern Georgia (KTVI). Even the terminal building is picturesque:

Even though we'd lost an hour (traveling to the east), we were still making good time so we decided to continue heading south to the Gulf Coast:
Last year we spent a great afternoon fishing and visiting on the tiny islands just off the Florida coast of Cedar Key so we decided to stop there again:

Following the scenic coastline...

Cedar Key is a small fishing village with an airport (KCDK) on one of its islands. The runway goes clear across the island with sea water at both ends. Though the 2,300 foot runway is considered to be short for many planes (and pilots), it's more than adequate for the STOL CH 750 (even when landing long due to the unexpected crosswind/tailwind!). The chart shows that the runway is 11 feet above sea level but I think that's at low tide.
Here we're on short final at Cedar Key (Runway 05 over the Gulf Coast):

On the ground at Cedar Key in the setting sun:

We always enjoy our visits to Cedar Key: Unless you're flying overhead, it's not really near anything you'd typically go to so it's an interesting spot to visit. There are several hotels and restaurants with great sea food.
Along the shores of Cedar Key:

The next morning we departed for Dunnellon, Florida (X35) for fuel and to visit the Saints / I-Tec.
A view of clean rivers... amazing downward visibility through the bubble doors...

I-Tec has been working on a number of truly innovative projects, including the Maverick flying car:

They've also help build several STOL CH 701 and STOL CH 801 projects. Roger looks over their nicely-built 701:

Their STOL CH 801 was built in Ecuador and equipped with a massive belly cargo pod:

Our STOL CH 750 at the I-Tec ramp with the STOL CH 801:

We tried to stay out of the way as Steve Saint and the rest of the I-Tec crew readied the Maverick "flying car" LSA project for Sun'n Fun:

Later that afternoon, we headed on to Zephyrhills, Florida (KZPH) where we were met by Russell Lepre of FlightCrafters.

The next morning at the Zephyrhills airport, FlightCrafters hosted a "pre-Sun'n Fun fly-in" gathering for Zenith builders and flyers.
FlightCrafters staff and family members provided a complimentary lunch in their "professional builder assistance" facility located next to the airport.

Above are Roger Lambert's and Doug Norman's upgraded Zodiac XLs.
Below, Roger was busy with demo flights in the STOL CH 750, while Sebastian Dewhurst shows off his nice STOL CH 701:

Later that afternoon, Roger and I flew our last leg of the journey. Though it's only about 18 miles to Lakeland from Zephyrhills, we had to go the long route to approach from Lake Parker (the other side of Lakeland) per the Notam. Below, we approach the Lakeland airport (Sun'n Fun):

Landing on the "Orange Dot" (displaced threshold on the taxiway) at Sun'n Fun:

Getting help pushing our "heavy" plane to the Zenith display:
The STOL CH 750 at the Zenith display after the 1,000 mile trip, ready for six days pf "Sun'n Fun" and the flight home:

Update: I've added a post with pics of activities at Sun'n Fun, as well as the trip back home.

New Video Clips: I've finally had the chance to put together a few video clips of the trip to Sun'n Fun:
This first clip shows our flight onto the small island airport of Cedar Key:


This next clip is of our approach and landing at Sun'n Fun (Lakeland, Florida):


See my follow up post for more photos and videos of Sun'n Fun and the trip back home.

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Comment by Mike Ethridge on May 14, 2010 at 7:56am
Hi Sebastien enjoyed meeting you and Roger at the Zephyrhills flyin and as discussed have ordered the 750 kit. The trip videos are great and have allowed all of us to experience the trip to Sun and Fun. .
Comment by Bob Simmons on May 6, 2010 at 12:24pm
Translated, that means "I'd like to be in their place." And I have to agree.
Comment by billiau on May 6, 2010 at 12:12am
j aimerais etre a leur place
Comment by Bob Simmons on May 4, 2010 at 11:50am
Flying down the coast looked pretty cool. Looks like a trip I'll have to make someday.
Comment by dan glaze on May 3, 2010 at 8:49pm
hay roger, good to see you at sun n fun, did you get your home a/c worked out?? I ment what i said , one looooong test ride . Dan Glaze
Comment by Bob Simmons on April 28, 2010 at 10:15am
Trips like that are what makes me envy those guys. I like my job but I dream of being able to relax on trips that they do as part of their work. It just isn't fair. That's probably why I can't resist poking fun at at them. I'm jealous.
Comment by Elmer Webster on April 27, 2010 at 5:57pm
Only a thousand miles? That's like going on a weekend fishing trip here in Alaska. Seriously, 1,000 miles is lots of hours! I've been to Sun N Fun several times and I'd love to do it in my 701, BUT, it's just shy of 4,000 miles one way and the flight time is in excess of 40 hours from here....still, those little islands look very inviting!!! Guess I'll have to be satisified with the pictures. You guys have too much fun!
Comment by Bob Simmons on April 25, 2010 at 8:03pm
You can always tell how tough the 750 is to fly by the way Roger lays his wrist limply in the crook of the Y stick. And I think I see why they both wore sunglasses. Did you see the tan on Roger's legs? Or lack thereof? I guess I shouldn't talk though. I'm not exactly the bronze kid I used to be either.

Just kidding, Roger.
Comment by Mike Hammond on April 25, 2010 at 11:50am
Bob, the temperatures were great this year! High in the low to mid 80's and lows at night in the upper 50's. The wind was blowing 16 Kts, gusting at times to more than 30 Kts so it felt a little cooler than it really was. Next year Sun-N-Fun will be a couple of weeks early so the temps should be nice.
Comment by Bob Simmons on April 24, 2010 at 11:35am
I hope you knew I was just kidding about the haircut, Sebastien.

I've never managed to make it to Sun'n Fun. What are the Florida temperatures like in April? Looks pretty comfortable since there seems to be about a 50/50 mix of shorts and long pants in the pictures.

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