DOVER — As the temperature hovered around 90 degrees Saturday, a thrill-filled aerobatics display soared overhead.
So went the opening day of the Thunder Over Dover air show at, which returned to the Dover Air Force Base for the first time since 2019.
Cheri Hadley watched the U.S. Navy Blue Angels practice over her Dover home Friday, and couldn’t wait to see them again for a second day Saturday.
“I came because I knew we’d be in for a real treat,” she said. “They fly (in) so fast precision and they gotta be at the top of their game at all times.”
Ms. Hubbard, who said she’s attended the air show “pretty regularly,” added that “This (return) is a long time coming for everybody.
“It’s nice to be back. It’s nice to see people be out and about.”
And in an attempt to at least stave off the scorching weather a bit, dozens of spectators took places under the wings of display aircraft and took in the spectacle in the shade.
Coming from Elmira, New York, and equipped with a mini-fan she held to her face, Shari Hubbard was more than satisfied to put up with the heat. She was visiting her son who’s stationed at Dover Air Force Base and wouldn’t have missed it because “This is a probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be with him here.
“The heat’s rough of course, but there was no way that we’d not come just because of that.”
An Air Force veteran of 22 years, Robert Murphy, of Milford, said he’d been to “maybe about 10, 11, 12 ” air shows. He sounded giddy about having the opportunity to see the Blue Angels F-18 Hornets and the United States Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Falcons as well.
It’s the first time both teams performed together at an Air Force installation.
“It’s very unusual to see them perform together,” he said. “They use slightly different tactics but they put on a show just the same.
“The Navy aircraft have a mission to protect the fleet. And the Air Force is to control the air space over the land.”
Polytech High graduate Jackson McCreary, 18, said he’s been attending the air show “for as long as I can remember” and said “It’s hot but nice to be back again. I’m going to sweat a lot but it’ll be worth it.”
Brian Barr of Baltimore hearkened back to memories of attending the air show with his dad and said “It’s always fun to watch them fly.”
The show continues Sunday with the gates opening at 9 a.m. There’s a noon opening ceremony and aerial demonstrations from 12:06 p.m. until 3:05, and the show ends at 5 p.m.