The 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, saying, “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 F22 Raptor Demonstration Team is based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia and consists of 19 elite members, including the pilot, safety officer, superintendent, team chief, multiple crew chiefs, avionics specialists, public affairs and aircrew flight equipment technicians.
“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 join us to see what I mean when they see it perform in person.”
Gunderson will perform in two presentations with the aircraft daily from Friday to Sunday, April 16, 17 and 18. 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.
The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo takes place in Lakeland from Tuesday, April 13 to April 18. The F22 Raptor Demonstration Team will join 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.
For more information, visit www.FlySnF.org.