Academy 'all in' at weekend airshow

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Two F-22 Raptors taxi by show center Oct. 8, 2011, after their fly-by during the “Legacy of Liberty” Open House and Air Show. The F-22 Raptor is the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft and its combination of stealth, supercruise and maneuverability represents a leap in technology. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman DeAndre Curtiss / Released)

Two F-22A Raptors taxy by show center at the Legacy of Liberty Open House and Air Show at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 8, 2011. Air Force Academy graduate Maj. Henry Schantz will pilot an F-22 at the Rocky Mountain Airshow in north Denver Aug. 24-26, 2012, to kick off the F-22 Demonstration and Heritage Flight Team's 2012-2013 season. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman DeAndre Curtiss)

Cadets with the Air Force Academy's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics club help children make paper airplanes at an aeronautics booth during the Cool Science Festival Hands-on Science Carnival Oct. 15, 2011, at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. Other Academy STEM booths featured models of future aircraft and a solid rocket demonstration. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cadets with the Air Force Academy's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics club help children make paper airplanes at an aeronautics booth during the Cool Science Festival Hands-on Science Carnival Oct. 15, 2011, at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. The club will set up demonstrations and static displays at the Rocky Mountain Airshow in north Denver Aug. 24-26, 2012, to enkindle children's interest in science- and engineering-related careers. (U.S. Air Force photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Cadets from the Academy's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Outreach Club will join their flying and jumping classmates at the Rocky Mountain Airshow in north Denver Aug. 24-26.

The airshow, held by Colorado Sport Aviation at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, will also include demonstrations by the Air Force parachute demonstration team Wings of Blue and the Academy's glider teams and an F-22 Raptor flight by a Class of 2000 Academy graduate.

The Cadet STEM club received its pass to the show by way of Debby Standefer, Colorado Sport Aviation's public relations director. Standefer sent an invitation to Astronautics Department Head Col. Martin France, who extended it to Capt. Caitlin Thorn, the Aeronautics Department's deputy director.

"I asked the cadets if they were interested, and they said yes," Thorn said. "We're hoping that kids get a general idea of what STEM is and show them that science projects are cool."

The displays aim to focus children's interest, Thorn said.

"We've got a whole bunch of different ideas," she explained. "We're going to bring out our FalconSat satellite and some rocket (displays) that we show on a regular basis. We also have an explosive ordnance disposal bot, and we're going to bring supplies so kids can make gliders."

Wings of Blue will kick off events Aug. 26 at 12:05 p.m. The glider team will perform at 1:25 p.m. on both days.

Maj. Henry Schantz, the F-22 Demonstration and Heritage Flight Team commander, will take off at 3:30 p.m. each day for the first airpower demonstrations of the team's 2012-2013 season. Schantz graduated from the Academy with a bachelor's degree in management and flew F-15 Eagles before moving to F-22s in 2005.

"By performing aerial demonstrations at airshows, open houses and trade shows around the world, the F-22 showcases its outstanding capabilities while highlighting the exceptional people of the U.S. Air Force," Schantz said. "Although our demonstration is an amazing feat of technology and ingenuity, the primary purpose of the demonstration is a positive representation of our country's military."

After the F-22 demonstration, Schantz will fly alongside a P-51 Mustang in a heritage flight.

"This encourages the retirees and supporters of the past while linking the actions and values of our earlier force to the force of the future," he said.

Admission is $20 per adult for one day or $50 per adult for the entire weekend. Tickets for seniors and active-duty military are $17 for one day, and kids' tickets are $13 per day.

Gates open for the airshow at 4 p.m. Aug. 24 and at 8 a.m. Aug. 25-26. The Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival launch will take place at 6:30 a.m. Aug. 25-26. Gates close at 9:30 p.m. Aug. 24 and at 5 p.m. Aug. 25-26.

To reach the show from Colorado Springs, drive north on Interstate 25 to Exit 216 for U.S. Highway 36 West. Follow Highway 36 to Interlocken Loop. Turn left onto Interlocken, then turn right to stay on Interlocken. Take the second left, at Airport Way, to enter the airshow.

Colorado Sport Aviation is an all-volunteer non-profit dedicated to serving and promoting recreational aviation through the Rocky Mountain Airshow and an annual regional fly-in, according to its website, www.cosportaviation.org.