Alliance Air Show announces new headliner

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Even with the Blue Angels unavailable because of federal budget cuts, officials with the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show announced Tuesday that the show will go on.

The headline act will be the Black Diamond Jet Team from Lakeland, Fla.

Tom Harris, president of Alliance Air Services, credited Bell Helicopter for making it possible to go ahead.

“We want to thank Bell Helicopter for sticking by us this year and for their steadfast support of aviation,” he said. “Having a great partner like Bell made our decision to have a show much easier.”

The Navy announced in April that it has canceled the remaining 2013 performance schedule for the Blue Angels because of federal budget sequestration. The Blue Angels were scheduled to perform at the Fort Worth air show Oct. 19-20.

Canceling the 2013 shows is expected to save $15 million to $20 million, said Lt. Aaron Kakiel, spokesman for the Naval Air Forces command in San Diego.

Harris said: “We are ecstatic to have secured the Black Diamond Jet Team for this year’s show. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. Classic military jets, historic warbirds, world-class aerobatic performers, realistic historical battle re-enactments, cool interactive ground displays — we’ve got it all this year.”

The Black Diamond team is a civilian jet demonstration group that flies Arctic-camouflage-painted Aero L-39s. It performs aerobatic maneuvers similar to what audiences would expect from military teams like the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, according to a news release.

This year’s theme is “Honoring our past. Inspiring our future,” reflecting the show’s special emphasis on World War II. The show will feature one of the largest historical battle re-enactments in the country, with hundreds of American and German re-enactors, tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, dogfights and bomber runs.

Bell Helicopter will also perform, opening the show with a demonstration of its Bell 429 helicopter.

The show typically draws more than 100,000 to Alliance Airport in far north Fort Worth and brings more than $5.4 million annually to North Texas, according to air show officials.

Terry Evans, 817-390-7620 Twitter: @fwstevans

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