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AOPA Sits Down with Eric Crump, ACE’s NEW Executive Director.

We could not be more excited about Eric joining the ACE team. Find out how Eric helps bring passion for helping youth get into aviation careers and more in the interview below. Click link for interview The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is the largest community of pilots in ...

Aerospace Center For Excellence Is Proud to Announce NEW Executive Director

LAKELAND, FL: The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) is thrilled to announce that Eric Crump has been named the organization’s new Executive Director commencing June 1, 2022. Crump, a lifelong lover of all things aviation and aerospace, opened the Polk State College Aerospace program in 2012. Since its inception, he ...

March 8th is Aerospace Center for Excellence Day

  March 8th was declared as Aerospace Center for Excellence Day by Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs in 2016. That Tuesday marked a new life as an educational facility of a Boeing 727 known as the Piedmont Aerospace Experience on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus. This was just the beginning of the unique ...
CEO Gene Conrad


LAKELAND, FL: The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) and SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo (SnF) Board of Directors are thrilled to announce that Gene Conrad has been named the organization’s new President/CEO commencing April 11, 2022. Conrad, who was born in Oshkosh, WI and resides in Lakeland, FL, has been ...
Project: STRATOS

Project: STRATOS 2022

The Aerospace Center for Excellence is excited to announce the re-imagination of Project STRATOS: an aviation leadership and art competition. Project STRATOS finalist will continue to receive prizes and recognition associated with the 2022 SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-in. New this year, competitors will be provided the opportunity to participate ...

Flourishing in Aviation through ACE Internship Opportunities

Getting to Know Our ACE Collegiate Intern: Elizabeth: What drew you to work with the Aerospace Center For Excellence? Ever since I entered the aerospace community, I have always wanted to be a part of something great. When I reached high school, I attended Central Florida Aerospace Academy and noticed ...

President and CEO, John “Lites” Leenhouts Will Retire After 2022 Aerospace Expo

President and CEO John “Lites” Leenhouts has been at the helm of SUN ‘n FUN for over a decade and has worked in the industry for 48 years. During his tenure, the organization has transformed not only the operating state and organizational culture but also the perspective from which it operates. ...

Redbird Flight Simulators arrive on the ACE campus!

We are grateful to Redbird Flight Simulations (Redbird), who makes aviation accessible by using modern technology and careful engineering, for their continued support of the Aerospace Center For Excellence (ACE) and its educational and tourism eco-system! ACE recently installed 20 desktop training devices designed to support a variety of learning ...


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Florida Air Museum Scholarship Awarded

Congratulations to Taiason Cole from Ridge Community High School Class of 2015. He is the winner of the annual

Aerospace Discovery At Florida Air

Aerospace Discovery at Florida Air Museum is proud to announce that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate
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