By Greg Ford | DFW Newsflash | October 2018
Recent autumn rains throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area have played havoc with many folks plans. Such was the case when the Alliance Air Show in Fort Worth was cancelled, due to inclement weather, on Saturday, Oct. 13.
However, things cleared up Sunday, and the skies, which had contained rain clouds, found themselves filled with the roar of jets. Meanwhile, the ground was home to numerous spectators of all ages, who came out to marvel at the military machines on display.
“I have been going to air shows since I was a kid, and my father was Air Force,” attendee George Anthony Polo said. “This is the first time I was at an air show that isn’t at a base. I want to show [my son, Atlas] and bring him up around this. I always wanted to be a pilot and wanted to fly an A-10, but I was colorblind and could not do that.”
Polo and his son were among the guests treated to fly overs and performances from the likes of the United State Air Force Thunderbirds, and the Canada-based Snowbirds team. Guests also had the opportunity to view the USAF F-35, a modern fighter jet.
“I thought it was fantastic,” said Todd Summers, who attended with his family. “The turnout was awesome. It was actually better than I thought it would be because of the weather. You look at the show of force with the F-35; that plane is incredible. Then, you’ve got the Snowbirds that run nine ship or 10 ship [flights], but they totally stay in formation. The Thunderbirds are in a class of their own.”
The F-35, built by Lockheed Martin, is a “stealth” fighter jet designed for combat, whether providing air support or battling other aircraft. They also have the ability to take off in a standard manner, vertically and via a catapult off a carrier.
Polo said seeing the F-35 “was a real treat,” adding that he grew up watching performances by the Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels. The former has been a performance team since 1953, and were established seven years after the Blue Angels.
Each acrobatic team has been a regular participant at air shows throughout the nation and world, and the pilots are noted for being able to perform precision and dangerous maneuvers at high speeds.
“I think it’s fun for kids to learn about the different planes and everything that we have,” attendee Mia Aguilar said.
The Snowbirds represented Canada’s military with an air show of their own. They are officially known as the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, and more than 20 members make up the team that travels during the show season. The Snowbirds are also the lone major military aerobatic team that operates with no support aircraft.
“There are a lot of people out here coming out to support [the military],” attendee Billy Andrews said. “This is our military, and I want the military to know how much we appreciate what they do for us. That is how we get our freedom.”
You can view photos from the show below:
Written by Greg Ford
Photos by John Starkey and Rodney Moore