FORT WORTH, Texas — North Texas’ first drive-in air show completed a successful two-day event on Sunday as the Air Force latest aircraft and popular aerobatic planes provided the weekend thrills.
The 30th Anniversary of the Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show featured the Air Force Thunderbirds. The nation’s newest fighter jets, including the F-22A Raptor and F-35A Lightning II, also performed each day.
The drive-in air show experience did not include deep rows of spectators standing along the flight line as the aircraft flew close. Nor did it have the usual aircraft static displays or a kids’ inflatables bounce area.
Much like a drive-in theater, visitors watched from their parked vehicle due to Covid concerns. This has been the approved model the Air Force has selected since July.
The Alliance Airshow was a sellout, having sold over 3,007 parking spots each day. Each spot was large enough for guests to get out and sit in lawn chairs, provided they wore a mask.
The Aircraft Performances
The Thunderbirds six-jet formation highlighted the skies above Alliance Airport. Cloudy skies on Saturday gave way to sunny conditions on Sunday, providing a beautiful performance.
One highlight each day was the Air Force Heritage Flight. A historic P-51 Mustang was joined in the skies by a F-22A, F-35A, and an A-10C Thunderbolt II to form a diamond shape formation.
The Heritage Flight has been a staple at air shows for over 20 years, honoring Airmen from yesteryear through today. The four aircraft performed several slow passes before the crowds on Saturday and Sunday.
Aerobatic pilots Michael Goulian and David Martin performed a dizzying array of spins, high climbs, and low passes. Goulian’s Extra 330SC aircraft can perform a roll rate up to 420 degrees per second and a top speed of 260 m.p.h.
“Preparation and focus,” Goulian said Saturday at the conclusion of his first flight. “So great to be back to flying airshows in 2020. The team at Fort Worth Alliance Air Show has done a magnificent job to make a great family event!”
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)