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Zooming through the skies 

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The Thunderbirds will scream above Colorado Springs in their red, white and blue F-16s this weekend, joining much older aircraft in a free air show at Peterson Air Force Base.

"Just come out and enjoy it," says Air Force Lt. Paradon "Sil" Silpasornprasit. "This is a chance to see up close what these planes can do. It's an opportunity you shouldn't miss."

It's the first such air show at the base in five years and will feature the Thunderbirds, or U.S. Air Force Fighting Falcons. The F-16 jets, which are capable of exceeding twice the speed of sound, will loop, bolt and fly in formation over a crowd anticipated to reach 150,000.

But the Thunderbirds aren't the only reason to go, Sil says.

The show's theme is the evolution of flight --through the Air Force's lens of military warfare, of course. As such, the skies will be filled with a variety of aircraft that had roles in two world wars, as well as Vietnam.

And the U.S. Air Force Academy's parachute team, Wings of Blue, is planning a jump. They will descend to grounds rife with music, food vendors and even a hangar full of activities for kids.

Michael de Yoanna

capsule

"The Evolution of Air and Space," Thunderbirds Air Show

Peterson Air Force Base

Sat., June 4, 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Gates open at 7 a.m. and close at 6:30 p.m.

Admission is free.

Call 556-5185 or

visit peterson.af.mil

for more information.

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