Aer­o­bat­ics dis­play planned in Air­lie

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

WHIT­SUN­DAY res­i­dents are ad­vised to keep their eyes on the skies next Thurs­day af­ter­noon when cur­rent Aus­tralian Un­lim­ited Aer­o­batic Cham­pion Paul Ben­net is sched­uled to per­form an aer­o­bat­ics dis­play above Air­lie Beach.

Mr Ben­net will be ar­riv­ing at the Whit­sun­day Air­port on Thurs­day, March 27, in a Pitts Spe­cial S1C racer air­craft, he is de­liv­er­ing for the Cannonvale-based com­pany F1 Avi­a­tion.

F1 Avi­a­tion owner Peter Phipps said the Pitts Spe­cial was a unique air­craft with a his­tory of rac­ing at the fa­mous Reno Py­lon Races in Ne­vada USA.

“It has qual­i­fied for the bi-plane races at 195 miles per hour around the py­lons and is ca­pa­ble of do­ing 220mph level and straight,” he said.

Mr Phipps’ new plane is the only Pitts Spe­cial painted in WWII colours of sil­ver with black and white stripes and the US star and bar - sim­i­lar to many of the colours worn by P51 Mus­tangs dur­ing the Euro­pean cam­paign.

Next week’s show over Air­lie Beach is Mr Phipps’ way of in­tro­duc­ing F1 Avi­a­tion and its fu­ture plans to the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Un­der the name of F1AirRac­ing, Mr Phipps hopes to es­tab­lish both the world’s first ded­i­cated Py­lon Race Cir­cuit and a race se­ries in Aus­tralia.

He says F1Avi­a­tion has searched along the Aus­tralian east coast, iden­ti­fy­ing sev­eral pos­si­ble sites, with the best be­ing here in the Whit­sun­days.

“Our pref­er­ence re­mains here in the Whit­sun­days, but there are many other fac­tors to take into ac­count such as lo­cal, state and federal govern­ment sup­port for such a project,” he said.

Mr Phipps said hold­ing a race se­ries in the re­gion would bring sig­nif­i­cant re­turns to the com­mu­nity with the po­ten­tial to at­tract 20,000 fans and a di­rect in­jec­tion of more than $5 mil­lion to the lo­cal econ­omy.

Next week’s aer­o­bat­ics dis­play will be weather de­pen­dant. If all goes to plan, it will take place over the wa­ter off Air­lie Beach in the mid-af­ter­noon.

AIR SHOW: Cur­rent Aus­tralian un­lim­ited aer­o­batic cham­pion, Paul Ben­net, is ex­pected to per­form an aer­o­batic dis­play above Air­lie Beach next Thurs­day, March 27 in this Pitts Spe­cial S1C racer air­craft, which he is also de­liv­er­ing to the Whit­sun­days.

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