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Brad Bishopp with the North American P-51D Mustang. The plane is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during the Second World War, the Korean War and other conflicts. Photo: Contributed
Brad Bishopp with the North American P-51D Mustang. The plane is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during the Second World War, the Korean War and other conflicts. Photo: Contributed

Meet the man behind the warplanes at Brisbane Valley Airshow

YOU know aviation is in your blood when you've already taken your first flight by four weeks of age.

For Brad Bishopp, it was the start of a lifelong love affair with flying and aviation.

The private pilot, who is also the CEO of Bishopp Outdoor Advertising and co-owner of Fighter Pilot Adventure Flights, said while his father's records show baby Brad on regular journeys through the sky, his earliest memory of flying was when he was about three years old.

"I can remember waking up in a plane, looking out the window and seeing we were above the clouds and being amazed because I thought it had snowed," Mr Bishopp said. 

These days, he's more than familiar with the white puffy stuff and flies two to three times a week - now in the pilot's seat.

We caught up with Mr Bishopp in the run-up to the Brisbane Valley Airshow on August 27-28 where he and his team will exhibit a number of jet planes and perform aerobatic demonstrations. 

Having just returned from a weekend in Uluru with lunch at the Birdsville Pub on the way back to Brisbane, he did not fail to paint a picture of the magic that is flying; something deeply ingrained in his family history.

Both Mr Bishopp's parents are pilots and his grandfather was a pilot with the New Zealand Air Force.

"He and his brother were enlisted in the air force at the start of the Second World War and then my grandfather was transferred to the US and served in Pearl Harbour," he said.

"He arrived a week and a half after the bombings so he was there for the duration of the war."

The Waco Classic YMF-5 offers thrilling level of performance together with luxurious seating for three people. Photo: contributed
The Waco Classic YMF-5 offers thrilling level of performance together with luxurious seating for three people. Photo: contributed Mark Greenmantle

Now Mr Bishopp's 17-year-old son has taken to the skies, flying solo two months ago.

"Going solo for the first time is something every pilot will always remember," Mr Bishopp said.

"I didn't fly solo until in my twenties, but it was a real shock.

"My instructor and I were coming back down after doing some circuits and then he just opened the door and undid his seatbelt and said 'Right, you're going to do a circuit'.

"It was just a surreal experience and one you don't forget."

Meet Mr Bishopp and check out some of the rarest planes on the planet at the Brisbane Valley Airshow this weekend. 

Check out the aircraft on exhibition at the BVAS here. 

Take a joyflight in Second World War fighter jets and experience it as the aircrew did some 70 years ago.

"Different people will get different things out of the flights," Mr Bishopp said.

"For the aviation and history buffs, to fly something that was the ultimate fighter jet and to feel what the young men who flew those machines felt is just incredible.

"But the thrill-seekers will experience the sheer power of these machines and the G-force and speed."

The Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros is a high performance jet trainer aircraft designed in the 1060s. Photo: contrib
The Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros is a high performance jet trainer aircraft designed in the 1060s. Photo: contrib

Head down to Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield at Cressbrook (near Esk) this Saturday and Sunday from 8am-5pm.

This is the first time the event has been opened to the public and will have jaw-dropping aerobatics, a spectacular display of warbirds and vintage aircraft.

Tickets are $20 for adults or $50 for a family online, or $25 for adults and $60 for a family at the gate. Children under 12 are free. 

See HERE for more information and to book your tickets. 

 

INTERESTING FACT:

G-Force is based on gravity. Two times G-Force is two times your weight. So if you weigh 60kg and experience two times G-Force, you will feel like you weigh 120kg. When you're doing aerobatics, the G-Force can reach anywhere between two to seven times. At seven times G-Force, you would 'weigh' 420kg. Try moving your arm with that weight!

The Fighter Pilot crew with the Mustang. Photo: contributed
The Fighter Pilot crew with the Mustang. Photo: contributed Mark Greenmantle