The Cleveland National Air Show: by land or by sea

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CLEVELAND - The Cleveland National Air Show is back on the North Coast just in time to rock Labor Day weekend.

The US Airforce Thunderbirds are headlining the show. This year people plan to catch the action from both land and sea on the Goodtime III.

"Watching it from the lake gives you really striking views of the city," said Goodtime III Captain Jordan Kit. "You get to see the Thunderbirds in all their glory and you get a little bit of an added elevated perspective so you can see them coming from directions most folks that are shore-bound don't get to catch."

The hours-long air show cruise was planned to give riders a different view of the action, complete with narration from the captain and even a special soundtrack for the occasion.

"The best part for me is when the Thunderbirds actually show up and I switch over to the top gun soundtrack and just let them soak it in that's when our job is complete," says Kit.

Nearly 100,000 people are expected to pack into the Burke Lakefront Airport to witness the dramatic show. New this year is the mobile exhibit from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) The Spirit of Aviation,  featuring virtual reality experiences, a flight simulator and opportunities for kids to learn from pilots.

"We have hands on experiences including a home-built air craft," said Chris Cassinelli with EAA. "We'll give you a piece of aircraft aluminum you can make a cookie cutter out of it and we'll teach you how to do a rivet. So you're getting a home-built aircraft experience."

Air Show officials tell Fox 8 the weekend festivities have an economic impact of $7.1 million dollars in Cleveland. On average show officials say Saturday is the busiest day of the weekend. It's unclear if the colder temperatures influenced more people than normal to stay home.

"The weather doesn't stop me from doing what I want to do anyway," said Elizabeth Fields. "Besides this is Cleveland wait five minutes and it will change."