The U.S. Air Force thundered into North Texas on Monday in advance of this weekend’s Bell Helicopter Fort Worth Alliance Air Show.
The show’s headlining Thunderbirds arrived at Alliance Airport in far north Fort Worth just after noon Monday after a 5-hour flight from Puerto Rico. Before landing, six pilots flew across and around the airport for a “site survey,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Hammond, the Thunderbirds’ commander and leader.
“We’re just getting the lay of the land … We go out and see what references we can focus on to make sure that we’re coming in straight relative to the crowd … so we can give the best presentation possible,” Hammond said.
The show’s theme this year is “A Tradition for the Future,” and it aims to showcase DFW’s “rich aviation heritage, its deep roots in the aerospace and aviation industry and the industry’s future in North Texas,” according to a news release.
The location is also significant to some of the pilots, who relished returning to “God’s Country.”
“It’s great to be back in Texas,” said Hammond, who is from Abilene. “The Fort Worth Alliance Air Show is one we look forward to … It’s a great area in terms of military support.”
The annual Bell Helicopter Fort Worth Alliance Air Show is Saturday and Sunday at Alliance Airport, 2221 Alliance Blvd.,(west of Interstate 35W in far north Fort Worth.
Features performers include the Shockwave Jet Truck, Bell 429 Global Ranger, Greg Shelton and Wing Walker Ashley Key, U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet TAC Demo Team, David Martin Aerobatics and, as a grand finale, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
Gates open both days at 9 a.m. for the free event, but note that parking prices start at $30 per car. Parking discounts are available at allianceairshow.com
Shows both days will begin about 11 a.m., with the Thunderbirds flying about 3 p.m. Times are subject to change.