Thunder Over Dover Saturday, Sept. 14 and Sunday, Sept. 15

There’ll be a lot of uncommon aircraft in the skies over central Delaware this weekend.

The familiar C-5s and C-17s at Dover Air Force Base will be joined by attack aircraft, a giant bomber, vintage World War II ships, and three fighters, including one of the country’s most advanced airframes.

The community is invited to come see these and many other airplanes and aerial shows at the base open house, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14-15.

Normally closed to the public, the base will open at 9:30 a.m. After an 11 a.m. opening ceremony aerial demonstrations start at 11:30. The show runs until 4:30 p.m. both days.

Admission and parking are free.

Dubbed “Thunder Over Dover,” this is the second air show in two years, and gives the community a chance to see how the base contributes to national defense.

Dover AFB is known for its ability to fly personnel and equipment to other bases and trouble spots across the planet. With the active duty 436th Airlift Wing and the Reserve 512th Airlift Wing, the base provides 20 percent of the nation’s oversized airlift capability. A large part of that will be on display.

Up in the sky

A highlight will be a demonstration by the Air Combat Command’s F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, in a one-aircraft show to show off the capabilities of one of the nation’s newest jets.

Members of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team, the Black Daggers, will perform. These highly-skilled soldiers are tasked with covertly disrupting enemy operations behind the scenes, and routinely jump from 12,500 feet, freefalling for two miles at 120 miles per hour before opening their chutes. The team is based at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Some real thrills will come as crowds get to watch a classic 1929 Taperwing Waco biplane dubbed the Screamin’ Sasquatch, a plane with a standard radial powerplant and a modified jet engine. This combination allows the plane to make jaw-dropping vertical climbs and graceful aerial maneuvers.

Fans of Soviet Cold War fighters will enjoy the MiG-17, flown by pilot Randy Ball. The versatile MiG-17 was the primary opponent during the Vietnam War. This jet was built in 1960 and flew for 30 years before a four-year restoration made it available for the air show demonstration circuit.

Visitors may watch the show from the Air Mobility Command Museum, off Route 9. The museum’s gift shop and static displays will be open.

For more, visit

Aircraft on display on the ground

- A-10 Warthog

- B-52 Stratofortress

- C-5M SuperGalaxy

- C-17 Globemaster III

- C-21

- C-46 Commando, “Tinker Belle”

- C-47 Skytrain

- C-123K Provider, “Thunder Pig”

- C-130H Hercules

- C-135 Stratotanker

- DH.82 de Havilland Tiger Moth

- DHC-1 de Havilland Chipmunk

- F-15 Eagle

- F-16 Fighting Falcon

- F-22 Raptor

- KC-10 Extender

- KC-46A Pegasus

- MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft

- T-1 Jayhawk

- T-6 Texan

- UH-1 Huey