Events

March 15, 2018
 

Wings of Blue

Courtesy photo
The Wings of Blue Demonstration Team poses for a photo. Wings of Blue demonstrations are tailored to the show site. Jumpers in the demo can vary from four to 14 and can jump from altitudes of 2,500 to 15,000 feet above the ground. Demonstration jumpers typically wear smoke grenades to add to the visibility for the crowd on the ground.

Age 49 and still going strong

In the spring of 1962, a group of Air Force Academy cadets made their first parachute jump. Using condemned SERE rigs and local aviation pilots, these cadets made several jumps in the Colorado area.

When word of their jumping got back to the superintendent, academy leadership faced a dilemma — punish or reward. Wings of Blue club status resulted in May 1964 after receiving a challenge from the Commandant of West Point to compete in a para meet. The club grew and became well-known in the skydiving community. They are now the internationally known U.S. Air Force Academy Parachute Team Wings of Blue.

Highlights

• September 1964, parachute club members made their first jumps on academy property.

• Spring of 1967, the signature instructional course, Airmanship 490 basic free fall was started.

• In spring of 1970, permission was granted to award the “basic parachutist” badge to AM-490 grads.

• Spring of 1976, the name changed from U.S. Air Force A Parachute Team to Parachute Team Wings of Blue.

• In September 1977, two new UV-18B Twin Otters arrived, which are still used today.

• In 1978 the team transitioned from the use of round canopies to the square design and were among the first group to jump the revolutionary design.

• In 1994 the 98th Flying Training Squadron stood up as the official home for the Wings of Blue.

• In 2008, the 98th FTS was officially called Air Force parachute team. They also made the first official Air Force wing suit jumps.

• In 2009, the team accomplished the first-ever live video feed on the Jumbo Tron into many of our venues across the nation.

Courtesy of wingsofblue.com

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