The 2020 Fort Worth Alliance Air Show

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Two weekends ago, my family observed an annual tradition: The Fort Worth Alliance Airshow. Having a father who works in aerospace has some great benefits, and in the case of the airshow, that benefit is VIP access—which means free food, being closer to the runway, and being closer to the show in the sky!

The US Air Force heritage flight. Left to right, top to bottom: F-22 Raptor, P-51 Mustang, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and F-35A Lightning II.

This year, things were a little different due to COVID. There were no static displays: planes parked on the ground that you can walk around, touch, and even walk inside. There were much fewer performers. Instead of parking and walking around, everybody parked in painted-off, socially-distanced parking squares that allowed enough room for guests sit outside and watch the show.

F-22 Raptor

Being VIPs, we still had the equivalent of front-row seats, but further back than usual. It wasn’t the same not being able to walk around the planes, maybe take a shade break underneath the wing of a B-52, and watch the jet truck drag-race a stunt plane.

Three of the US Air Force Thunderbirds.

That said, the show must go on, and this is Texas, baby… Fort Worth, Texas—we’re not going to let a little COVID stop a show of American air dominance!

Breitling Extra 300

I am grateful to all the event staff, sponsors, and others who made the airshow happen despite circumstances outside their control. I know it takes a lot of planning for a regular airshow, so I can only imagine what this one took.

C-17 Globemaster III coming in for a landing.

Let’s hope next year’s Alliance Airshow sees a return to normal, and is bigger and better than ever.

Until then, enjoy these pictures from yours truly, and seek out an airshow in your area for an experience you’ll never forget!

A-10 Thunderbolt II doing a low-speed pass.
The All Veteran Parachute Team flying past, doors open.
The All Veteran Parachute Team climbing to altitude.
The All Veteran Parachute Team doing their thing. Due to wind and weather, only the one parachutist performed that day.
The sole parachutist with the Texas flag.
Amazon Prime Air take-offs and landings punctuated the show. First time I recall the air show being “interrupted” by regular air traffic, but if you’re as big as Amazon, I guess you can have your way and take off whenever you want.
“Amazon Prime Air 767, contact departure.”
Bell 407GS, which is the glass cockpit version (all digital instruments and readouts).
C-17 Globemaster III doing a slow, low-pass flyby.
C-17 Globemaster III taking off.
Four F-16 Fighting Falcons, flying in formation.
“Break left!”
F-16 Fighting Flacon doing a low-pass flyby with gear down (for extra drag).
F-22 Raptor doing its thing.
F-35A Lightning II thundering by.
F-35A Lightning II.
F-35A Lightning II showing off its not-so-soft underbelly and munitions bay.
F-35A Lightning II with condensation around the fuselage.
F-35A Lightning II taxiing away after a great performance.
The Alliance Airport control tower: Where all the coordination takes place.
P-51 Mustang from the World War II era.
US Air Force heritage flight doing another low-speed pass.
A solo F-16 Fighting Falcon from the US Air Force Thunderbirds.
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