Air Force Rapid Strike simulator visits Davis school

LAYTON — U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Strike full-motion flight simulator made a visit to Layton High School recently for the school’s annual Legion Day, which was fitting since planes from Hill Air Force Base cruised over the school while students waited in line for the ride. The six-minute-long experience was similar to Disneyland’s Star Tours ride, set in a large box attached to hydraulics moving and swaying the dozen riders as they experienced a mission from start to finish, journeying on an F-22, C-17, parachuting out of the plane, landing in the desert, riding a motorbike to confirm the target’s location, and then soaring with the missile to its destination. 

The simulator is attached to a big-rig trailer with the computer system located near the front of the truck. It travels 10 months out of the year around the country, making stops at the Super Bowl, Daytona 500, air shows and local schools. 

The students not only get a glimpse into the Air Force, but also get to experience other science and engineering-related fields. “Hopefully they see something they’d like to pursue, and at the very least, have fun,” Sgt. Michael Bennett said. 

Despite the caution signs about the inherent risks associated with a full-motion simulator experience, the line was long as students waited for their experience. “It was like a roller coaster and I got a little dizzy, but it was fun,” sophomore Chandler Sears said. 

The event was part of Legion Day, put together by the school to help students learn in smaller groups as they choose classes that follow their career path. The school has put together five legions — technical, artistic, social humanities, scientific and business. Students then choose classes that coordinate to their legion. 

In the process, students get to know others with similar interests. 

“It’s an identity thing for students to identify with other students within their legion. You could call it a clique, but they get to hang out together and be a part of a group, which is a benefit to students in high school,” Technology Legion Head Tim Feltner said. 

Senior Janessa Frandsen has been a part of numerous events with her Social Humanities Legion as she prepares to become a teacher. 

“It’s been really cool to experience new things and explore things you don’t know if you’ll like, and then narrow your choices down when you go to college,” said Frandsen as she waited in line for the simulator while attempting to quell her nervousness about the ride.