Academy to open largest aviation turf surface in world

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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.