Florida Air Museum Receives Restoration Grant

SUN ‘n FUN CAMPUS, LAKELAND, Fl. – The Florida Air Museum at SUN ‘n FUN has received a $30,000 grant that will be used to build facilities to support its growing aircraft restoration and preservation activities.

The grant was awarded by the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust and will be used to enhance existing facilities at the museum’s Emil Buehler Restoration Skills Center, which is located in the heart of SUN ‘n FUN’s educational corridor. SUN ‘n FUN and the Florida Air Museum previously received funding from the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust specifically to support the construction of the Restoration Skills Center which is named after the founder of the Perpetual Trust – Emil Buehler.

“This generous grant will permit expanded restoration capabilities by the Florida Air Museum in the management of its collection and, at the same time, increase the instructional content of workshops offered by the museum throughout the year and during the annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo,” said SUN ‘n FUN President John Burton. “Equally important is that the Buehler grant will broaden the hands-on curriculum available to students enrolled in the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA).”

CFAA is a pre-engineering, aerospace and avionics preparatory career academy administered by Kathleen High School and the Polk County School System which is located on the SUN ‘n FUN campus and adjacent to the Buehler Restoration Skills Center.

“We are very appreciative of the continuing support from the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust,” Burton said. “It has enabled SUN ‘n FUN and the Florida Air Museum to meaningfully expand the educational mission of the organization in the highly skilled disciplines of aircraft restoration.”

The grant will underwrite the design and construction of a professional, environmentally friendly, 900-square foot paint booth. The paint booth will include a highly specialized and professionally rated air compressor.

The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust was established in 1984 to perpetuate the memory of Emil Buehler and his commitment to aviation science and technology. A German immigrant to the United States, Buehler was a pioneer in aeronautics as well as a designer of buildings. He was actively involved in many of the significant aviation events that took place in New Jersey in the late 1920s and early 1930s. His involvement in aviation eventually included funding of a wind tunnel for testing space vehicles that became known as the Emil Buehler Mach 3 wind tunnel.

SUN ‘n FUN, a 501(c) (3) not–for–profit organization based in Lakeland, Florida, is best known for its annual Fly–In held each April. The Fly–In is the primary source of funding for SUN ‘n FUN’s expanding year–round aviation education programs. These include operation of the Florida Air Museum, the state’s “Official Aviation Museum and Education Center,” which is also supported through grants from the Division of Historical Resources and Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Department of State. In addition, SUN ‘n FUN has initiated education programs for aviation enthusiasts of all ages – especially young people – featuring valuable “hands on” learning experiences, including the new Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA) in partnership with the Polk County School Board, Polk State College, the University of South Florida Polytechnic, Gulf Coast Avionics and other education-minded organizations. A growing scholarship program provides financial support to ensure SUN ‘n FUN’s education programs are accessible to all. For more information, please visit www.sun-n-fun.org or call the SUN ‘n FUN offices at 863–644–2431.