Bay Area Hero Will Bring Exciting Homecoming To SUN ‘n FUN

SUN 'n FUNThe 2021 SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is excited to welcome home U.S. Air Force Major Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson as he joins an exclusive airshow lineup as the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team pilot and commander.

Graduating from Bloomingdale High School in Valrico in 2004, Gunderson received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy at age 17 and graduated in 2008. He dreamed of being in the seat of a fighter jet after seeing them perform at SUN ‘n FUN and other airshows he attended near his Central Florida hometown.

Gunderson is looking forward to the homecoming and said, “I am extremely excited about returning to my home state of Florida and flying at SUN ‘n FUN. I attended many SUN ‘n FUN events as a kid and loved seeing the military jets, so it’s an honor to pay that forward to future aviators.”

The F-22 Raptor provides the USAF with a lethal combination of stealth, maneuverability, weaponry, and surveillance capabilities that make it unmatched by any other fighter, current or projected.

“We are very pleased to welcome Cabo and his team to Lakeland,” said Greg Gibson, Airshow Director and CMO for SUN ‘n FUN. “The Raptor is one of my personal favorites. The incredible maneuverability and its ability to demonstrate such agility and power while literally disappearing from the enemy in combat is truly amazing. I hope everyone will come to join us to see what I mean when they see it perform in person!”

The F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team is based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, VA, and consists of 19 elite members that include the pilot, safety officer, superintendent, team chief, multiple crew chiefs, avionics specialists, public affairs, and aircrew flight equipment technicians. Together, the team visits local schools, hospitals, and participates in various community events in addition to performing aerial demonstrations. The team is responsible for representing Air Combat Command, the United States Air Force, the Department of Defense, and the United States of America at more than 20 air shows annually.

Fans can see “Cabo” put the Raptor through its incredible demonstration profile April 16, 17, and 18 at SUN ‘n FUN, and he will perform in two presentations with the aircraft daily. First, he will give an incredible high-performance display of jaw-dropping speed, precision, and maneuverability, followed by the patriotic Heritage Flight, where the Raptor will be joined by a vintage P-51 Mustang in a moving formation tribute flight to honor our nation’s aviation heroes from all eras. SUN n’ FUN is honored to welcome Maj. Gunderson home to celebrate the past, present, and future of aviation.

The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is April 13th-18th. Come join the excitement and watch in awe as Maj. Gunderson joins the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and dozens of other performers in daily airshows, as well as hundreds of aircraft displays and outdoor exhibits in this historic return of one of the Bay Area’s mainstays in family entertainment.

Support The Mission

The mission of the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) is to “Engage, Educate, and Accelerate the Next Generation of Aerospace Professionals. The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo and dozens of other events year-round produce the majority of the revenue that goes into supporting this mission. By attending our events, you are helping us deliver top-quality, industry-leading STEM education and scholarship programs to thousands of young men and women each year. The opportunities that ACE provides give young people a competitive edge as they navigate their educational journey that can ultimately lead to a rewarding career in the world’s incredibly diverse and rapidly growing aerospace industry. You can help! Please click the links below to explore how you can share your knowledge and expertise as a volunteer in over 3500 available positions, become a patron of the Florida Air Museum, or donate to assist us financially. Regardless of how you assist, whether by attending our events, visiting the museum or donating financially, we sincerely appreciate your support!

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