FORT WORTH -- Brian Damian was perched atop an electrical equipment box just outside a security fence Thursday to watch planes land."I came out specifically to watch the B-52 come in," said Damian, a service manager for a Fort Worth-area car dealership.The Cold War veteran that roared into Alliance Airport about 2:30 p.m. and rolled to a stop 50 yards from an excited Damian is one of dozens of aircraft that will be part of the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show on Saturday and Sunday.Damian shrugged off the sunburn he got waiting for the warbird."To me, it's a better show watching them come in than walking through the static display," he said. "I also saw the Thunderbirds and the Snowbirds come in."The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds make this weekend's air show, which usually draws more than 100,000 spectators, one of only three in the nation that features both teams.Maj. J.R. Williams, the Thunderbirds' lead solo pilot and a Marfa native, said that the team epitomizes the pride, precision and professionalism that distinguishes today's Air Force personnel. A veteran of 68 combat missions in Afghanistan, Williams said that almost all the team's pilots and ground crew have combat experience."When we put on a show we represent the ones who are out there serving," he said. "We're showing what it means to be part of something that's bigger than yourself."The No. 5 on Williams' F-16 is upside down -- because he flies most of the Thunderbirds' roughly 45-minute show upside down.The closing performers of the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. air show, the Thunderbird pilots march to their planes at 3 p.m. both days to take off about 3:30. The Snowbirds, will take off about 12:30 p.m. both days.Other performers include The Horsemen, a P-51 Mustang demonstration team; the U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet demonstration team; a fire- and smoke-filled re-enactment of the Pearl Harbor attack with Japanese fighters and bombers; stunt pilots Mike Goulian and Jan Collmer; and the Cavanaugh Warbirds.Five aviation-themed inflatables will be in the Kid Zone, where $10 buys all-day access.Several flight simulators will test piloting skills, and other interactive exhibits will entertain kids and grown-ups.Terry Evans, (817) 390-7620Twitter: @fwstevans
If you go
The Fort Worth Alliance Air Show, presented by Bell Helicopter, is Saturday and Sunday at Alliance Airport, just off Interstate 35W at 2221 Alliance Blvd., in far north Fort Worth.
Gates open at 9 a.m. Show begins at 10 a.m.
The air show is free. Parking is $20 cash per vehicle. VIP parking is $25 in advance. If weather prevents the use of air show lots, parking will be at Texas Motor Speedway, with free shuttles to and from the show.
Getting there: From northbound I-35 exit Alliance Boulevard. Take the Eagle Parkway exit from southbound I-35.
Bring: earplugs, lawn chairs, umbrellas, sunscreen. Strollers are OK.
Don't bring: weapons, pets or bicycles. No outside food or drinks allowed.