Bell Fort Worth Alliance air show to be 'drive in' event this year

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The 30th annual Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show is taking place this weekend at Alliance Airport. Organizers shifted the show to a "drive-in" model, cancelling static displays at activities at the airport.

They say they are expecting 6,000 cars Saturday and Sunday. This year, the Air Force Thunderbirds will perform.

"It's great to bring this back to Texas," says Maj. Trevor Aldridge. "It's really exciting to bring this back to the Fort Worth area."

Aldridge is from Wichita Falls and is one of the Thunderbirds' pilots.

"It's really great to have the whole family here. We really hope everybody comes out and enjoys the air show, enjoys the experience," he says.

The Thunderbirds participated in "America Strong" flyovers this spring with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The Blue Angels flew over North Texas to show support for healthcare workers, police and firefighters.

This year, the Thunderbirds will take an emergency room doctor with JPS Health Network, Anant Patel, on a ride-along during their rehearsal Friday.

In a normal year, Aldridge says the Thunderbirds would participate in about three dozen events. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show is just their fourth show.

"This show is another whole level of our capability," he says. "We're not just flying straight and level, we're going to be doing loops and rools, really impressive aerobatics really close to each other to be able to show the maximum capability of what the Air Force can do."

People started gathering around the entrance road to the airport Thursday to take pictures of the Thunderbirds' arrival.

"It makes you proud," one man from Wylie said. "First of all, your love for the airplanes. Second of all, it makes you feel patriotic as all get-out."

People attending the air show will be able to watch from their cars. Organizers will keep one open parking space between each car to give fans a place to watch the show with space between others.

Performances are scheduled to begin at 11:30 Saturday and Sunday morning.