Text & Pictures: Chris Tonthat (an i2i Production) ©sbap 2021
 
 
Only one major airshow took place during the third weekend of October, the Fort Worth Alliance Airshow at KAFW. Besides the VIP areas, this airshow once again took on the drive-in format maintaining a new tradition that started last year because of the pandemic. Despite the format, many people came out to enjoy the airshow, although the viewing area was far, very far, from the actions. Fortunately I was invited to watch the show from the VIP area so I was able take advantage of being a little closer to the actions. A big shout-out to PPG Aerospace for the warm hospitality!

KAFW is a major hub for Amazon Prime Air that operates 24/7 and the business does not pause, not even for an airshow. With the facility located on the west side of the parallel runways, the aerobatic box for the airshow cannot encroach on the active working area. As a result, aerobatic box was anchored from there and was pushed east to complete the danger zone. Basically almost the entire ramp area of the airport was within the aerobatic box leaving no room for ground activities typically found at airshows. The Amazon Prime Air facility has forever changed the landscape of KAFW that may jeopardize the quality of future airshows. But that's a story for another time.

The airshow was on the lighter side this year with just the C-17, A-10, and F-16 demonstration teams providing the military actions. Bell Helicopter got to show off some of its current civilian rotorcraft offerings. A vintage AT-7 put on a nice flying display. And of course, flippers and a few other civilian acts completed the balance of the short airshow. In between, Amazon Prime Air fleet provided real-time actions with 737 and 767 aircraft taking off to move Amazon packages that most of us buy. To close out the show, the 2021 Blue Angels team really put on a tight display demonstrating the experience gained after a season of flying the newly adopted Super Hornets.

The weather on the Saturday was great but because the flying did not take place until almost noon, most of the actions were against the sun by the time the main acts were in the air. Nevertheless, it was an airshow and aircraft were flying so nothing else can beat that. Take a look for yourself and enjoy!

 
Let's start with the "Amazon" airshow featuring Prime Air jets...
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Fully loaded 737-800F using more than half of the runway to get off the ground
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
767-300F configured with blended winglets climbing out of AFW
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Old-school 767-300F without blended winglets operated by Atlas Air bringing the iconic Amazon "smile" to the customers
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
C-17 Globemaster III showing finesse in the sky
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Slow and easy within the tight aerobatic box over AFW
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Proving it needs only about 1500 feet of runway to land, it is still floating over show center before touching down
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Warthog flying display is always a treat!
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No problem gaining altitude with twin TF34-GE-100 engines
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Banking left to have a look at the crowd
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Aileron roll along the runway
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Keeping the Warthog rolling along
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Slow-speed display with speed brakes...aka "decelerons"...fully deployed at the outboard section of each wing
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High angle pitch-up after a simulated strafing run with the 30mm cannon
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...and breaking left to roll in for another run
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Concluding the AFW airshow to continue with just three more shows before ending the 2021 season that started in May
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Bell 407GXi
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Front view of the Bell 407GXi
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Bell 429 GlobalRanger
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Saluting the crowd before breaking away
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Bell 505 Jet Ranger X
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The 505 showing off some moves
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Bell's current offerings...the 429, 407, and 505
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Beech AT-7C Navigator
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Built in 1943 for the USAAF under S/N 42-56764
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Rebuilt and certified in 2003 for airshow flying
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The vintage "Twin Beech" performs difficult maneuvers to please the crowd
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The Navigator put on a great show with the simple but highly visible Red and Black livery
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The Viper Demo team once again added some noise to the show
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Viper roaring through the sky over AFW
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Fancy flying in full afterburner
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Pulling a few Gs to get the dirt off of the wings
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F-16C Fighting Falcon, better known as "Viper", with a livery to match
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Viper driver having fun with the crowd
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Another look at the Viper scales
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After two seasons, will the Viper change its skin for next year?
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USAF Heritage flight from left to right over show center
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USAF Heritage flight featuring Mustangs, Viper, and Warthog
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Splitting from the delta formation
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Executing the Diamond Burner Go takeoff
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#1 and #2 Blue Angels
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#3 Blue Angel
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#5 Solo Dirty Roll takeoff
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Exactly how tight is the Diamond formation between the Super Hornets?
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Is this tight enough?
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How about this?... less than an arm's length from each other!
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#5 and #6 Opposing Knife Edge just zipping by each other...
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Diamond Half Cuban Eight
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#5 Solo coming out from the Vertical Pitch pass
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The Fortus pass from another angle
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#5 showing the Minimum Radius turn performance of the Super Hornet
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#6 performing the Vertical Rolls
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Double Farvel
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Racing into the Opposing Minimum Radius turn
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Crossing each other to commence the Opposing Minimum Radius turn
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Echelon Parade leaving a trail of smoke
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Left Echelon Roll
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Sneak Pass from #6 Solo as it climbed away from the crowd
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Diamond Low Break Cross
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Burner 270 pass
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Completing the 270º turn
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Line Abreast Flat pass
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60º nose up climb after completing Section High Alpha pass
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
The Delta Flat pass
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Maneuvering Delta
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Executing the Delta Break Out
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The final Delta Formation
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Performing the Delta Pitch Up Break to land one-by-one to end the AFW show
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
 

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