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Academy to open largest aviation turf surface in world

Posted 3/19/2012   Updated 3/19/2012 Email story   Print story


Release Number: 010312

3/19/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The 306th Flying Training Group will open the largest aviation turf surface in the world in a ceremony at 1 p.m., Tuesday at the Academy Airfield.

The 1.41 million-square-foot sailplane landing area project is designed to increase the lifespan of the Academy's new glider fleet by providing a better landing surface than the natural grass that was there before. Vibration from landing impact and roll are prime causes of material failure in fiberglass and carbon-fiber gliders.

Planning for the project began six years ago and cost $3.8 million and took six months to complete. The projected lifespan of the turf is 25 years.

The Academy airfield averages more than 17,000 sorties and 5,700 hours of combined flight time per year.


NOTE: Media interested in covering this event should contact Public Affairs at (719) 333-7593 or (719) 333-7608 for access.

3/23/2012 6:23:19 PM ET
In the early 70's we had to have yucca pluckersto keep the field landable. Once landed a 2-33across the strip in high west wind with a roll outof about 20 feet.
Bill Drury, TN
3/22/2012 9:02:33 PM ET
Back when I was a cadet....we didn't have a fancy 3.8M turf surface to caress our feet as we dragged sailplanes around. We have good ole natural gopher hole riddled grassweeds to bounce our planes on.Then again we didn't have cell phones or laptops either.
R. Williams, Quantico
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