Buehler Restoration Center
This 8,000 square–foot facility, located adjacent to the Florida Air Museum at Sun ‘n Fun, houses SUN 'n FUN’s year–round aircraft restoration activities. The facility, which opened in April 2006, was made possible by a $300,000 grant from The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust, with additional support from a State of Florida Cultural Facilities and Historical Grant.
The Buehler 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.
Examples of noteworthy restoration projects previously completed by SUN 'n FUN volunteers and staff include:
- A 1936 Aeronca LB to airworthy condition.
- The extensive restoration of the Florida Air Museum’s Stits “Playmate”
- Construction of a 7/8-scale replica of a 1918 British SE5A fighter-scout biplane that now hangs in the Gene Strickland Terminal at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.
- Current projects underway at SUN ’n FUN include the restoration of a 1941 Porterfield “Collegiate” including full reconstruction of the wings.
- Refurbishment of the organization’s Lockheed XFV-1 “Vertical Riser,” an experimental vertical take off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that has served for many years as a landmark on the SUN ’n FUN campus.