Friday, October 28, 2005

Colorado Springs - Air Force Academy

Unfortunately, the AFA restricts the areas which the public can view. We were allowed in the Visitor Center, the Chapel, and the Hall of Fame. The Visitor Center provided lots of information on the life and schooling of the cadets. It was very interesting, although quite promotional - Andy decided to enroll after watching the video. The Chapel is very interesting. There are three separate chapels within the one structure: Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish. The Chapel is made with 17 spires, and over 100 tetradrons to give it it's unique styling.

The Protestant Chapel (on the upper/2nd level) is very elaborate. It has one of the largest pipe-organs. The ends of the pews are shaped like old propellers, and the backs of the pews are tipped like plane wings. The ceiling is vaulted with strips of stained glass windows.

The Catholic and Jewish Chapels share the first floor. We couldn't go in the Jewish Chapel because of a special tour. The Catholic Chapel had the Stations of the Cross built into walls of stained glass windows which made the wooden pews just glow with colors. The rear wall of the altar was designed with colored tiles and two angels.

We had wanted to watch the cadets perform their aerial exercises, but that section of the Academy was closed to the public (unless you had a AFA or DOD badge). But you could see some of the planes from I-25. They have a "soaring" program. All of the cadets have to fly these 2-person gliders. Would've loved to have seen that from close-up. Hey Nick! Maybe some day you can give your Aunt and Uncle a tour? And I'm still waiting on my flight on a fighter plane, don't forget!


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