Over thousands of years, humanity has conquered miraculous aspects of flight such as stealth and space exploration — but it still holds an element of magic for us. That pioneering, adventurous spirit is still going strong. We go higher, faster and farther; every day we press the bounds of flight. It’s amazing to compare how long it took us in the course of human history for the Wright brothers to accomplish those first flights, versus how quickly we went from Kitty Hawk to landing on the moon.
At the Air Force Academy, flight is a part of life. Look up most days, and you’ll see a constant parade of aircraft, from T-53s, to the Wings of Blue parachute team, to the gliders of the Soaring program. The various flight programs we offer give our cadets hands-on experience in the study of flight.
Choose your path
Our cadets participate in the Introduction to Soaring Program, which includes glider flights and aerobatic maneuvers to give them an introduction to the fundamentals of flight. Every year roughly 600 cadets take part in the powered flight program, where principles of engineering are applied to real-life scenarios during nine flights in a single-engine, propeller-driven aircraft.
Our elite aero club is another opportunity to fly. Our cadets regularly take top honors in intercollegiate flight competitions, and participate in demonstrations around the nation.
We also have a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Program, where every year 200 cadets use the Department of Defense’s Raven system to learn about ground control, flight and recovery operations.
We’re not just teaching young men and women to fly, we’re teaching them to lead and succeed. Roughly 95 percent of all glider flight courses are taught by cadet instructors, and there are also opportunities for cadets to become RPA instructors.
Globally impactful experiences
There is more to flight than simply learning to fly. Research plays an important part of life at the Air Force Academy and impacts flying operations around the world. Our research on aircraft noise reduction techniques led to a design that can effectively allow an aircraft to fly more than 2,000 feet lower without being detected.
Our graduates have gone on to become pilots and test pilots, inventors and innovators, astronauts and heroes. Regardless of whether you decide to make a career in the Air Force or take what you learn at the Academy to a civilian career, we provide a premiere path to the world’s best aviation careers.
If you want to see just how high and far you can go, come soar with us at the U.S. Air Force Academy.