U.S. Air Force and Promenade Temecula hosted a two-day exhibit that
gave the public an experience they won’t soon forget.
An F-16 jet was parked at the mall to allow the public to explore the latest tools the Air Force uses, including 3-D computer graphics, videos, audio, video games and digital downloads.
Scores of southwest Riverside County residents turned out Friday and Saturday
to see the Command Center Alpha exhibit, which was held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day on the outdoor
plaza in front of Edwards Cinemas.
“This is an F-16 Jet, it’s a full-size jet, it was an operational jet at one time,” Air Force Master Sgt. Daniel Sandoval told Patch Saturday morning. “It gives (people) an opportunity to go up on the stairs and see the cockpit and take pictures.”
With cutting-edge technology like augmented reality and RFID, guests were able to experience what it is like to be a U.S. Air Force pilot by participating in a number of hands-on activities, from remotely piloted aircraft command simulations to recreations of virtual battlefields.
Steve Golden, 51, of Wildomar brought his 10-year-old stepson Devin to Saturday’s exhibit to get a hands-on experience.
“I thought it was really fun and I thought it’s really good for kids,” Devin said. “Any who can pilot that (jet) is very smart and like really good for their job.”
When asked what Devin thought about the pilots who fly the F-16 at high speed he said, “I think that’s kinda crazy, how would you be able to do that and turn so quickly at the perfect moment.”
Guests were able to discover why the Air Force is known as one of the most high tech branches in the military, and the many roles they play.
“I’ve been in the aerospace business my whole life, and my company makes parts for a lot of fighter aircraft,” Golden said. “For me, it's about the parts that makes these things go.
“My parts are on that (jet) and I think that is kinda cool.”
Event-goers also had the opportunity on Saturday to put themselves in the action with a green screen photo of themselves piloting the aircraft.
Visit their website to go on a mission from the comfort of your computer chair, www.airforce.com/airmanchallenge.
—By Patch Contributor Daniel Lane