REINVENTING Aviation TREATMENT 01 30 14

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REINVENTING Aviation TREATMENT 01 30 14
 Title: 1-­‐Liner: REINVENTING: Aviation Aviator Erik Lindbergh reveals the innovators who are risking everything to fly electric planes. Host: Erik Lindbergh Length: 50-­‐minutes Genre: Technology Overview: There is an all-­‐out race to reinvent aviation… to power planes with electricity, not fossil fuel. Electric planes are far cleaner, quieter, and cheaper to fly. And with one-­‐
hundredth the moving parts of combustion engines, fewer things can go wrong. The first innovator to produce a commercially viable electric aircraft will reap celebrity and wealth, but the challenges are daunting. Each aspect of the plane must be rethought, reengineered, and tested. The risks are high. Fortunes and lives have already been lost, and more misfortunes are likely. It’s a throw back to the early days of flight, when heroic aviators like Charles Lindbergh became icons. But this time, Charles’ grandson, Erik Lindbergh, is closely following the developments. He has personal relationships with the key innovators, so our cameras will have behind-­‐the-­‐scenes access. Erik will take viewers to secretive workshops and nail-­‐biting test flights. He’ll hear stories of triumphs and tragedies from the engineers and entrepreneurs jockeying to score their own page in history by changing the future of flight. KEY PLAYERS and THEIR COMPELLING STORIES: Chip Yates – (Location: Inyokern Airport North of Mojave) Chip is an inventor and daredevil. In 2011, he built an electric motorcycle, and throttled it up to 200 MPH to break land speed records. For his next feat, he bolted that same electric motor on a Burt Rutan designed plane and tried to set an electric plane speed record… crazy because he just learned to fly. Amazingly, Chip did set the speed record but before he could land, one of his battery packs failed and the engine quit – he barely made the runway! Five cameras captured the flight. Now, his goal is to retrace Charles Lindbergh’s famous flight from NY to Paris, only this time in an electric aircraft. To do it, he’s patented a mid-­‐air battery replacement system that uses drones. Will his fortunes match Lindbergh’s, or Amelia Earhart’s? Electrifying Flight (Page 1 of 2) Contact: Phil Frank Ph. 301-­‐547-­‐6949 [email protected] Tian Yu (Locations: LA/China) Tian is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric hobby planes and helicopters. Now, he wants to adapt his aviation innovations to make life-­‐size aircraft. Test pilots are already flying several designs but a tragedy nearly ended the entire program. Tian’s lead engineer, and dear friend, was killed during a test flight, when the tail broke and the plane crashed. Tian remains devastated by the loss, but is determined to succeed in his honor. Tian’s ultimate goal is to fly one of his electric planes over Mt. Everest. Ivo Boscarol (Locations: State College, PA / Slovenia) Ivo is riding a wave of successes. Most recently, he won the largest prize ever awarded in Aviation… $1.35M for his Taurus G4 electric plane, a four-­‐seater which flew 200 miles at 100 MPH. Popular Science Magazine ranked the Taurus G4 as a “Top 10 Best Aerospace Innovations of 2011.” Like Chip Yates, Ivo wants to be the first to fly an electric plane across the Atlantic. Even more optimistic than others, he believes that electric supersonic flight will be possible. Bertrand Piccard (Locations: Switzerland/ D.C.) Bertrand is third generation über-­‐achiever. His grandfather rode a balloon 10-­‐miles high, becoming the first person to visit the stratosphere and see the Earth’s curvature. His father was first to visit the deepest part of the ocean in a family made submarine. Bertrand himself is already in the history books. He was the first person to fly non-­‐stop around-­‐the-­‐world in a balloon. (He says it would have been impossible without assistance from brilliant meteorologists.) Now, Bertrand wants to go around again, but with an electric plane. He and partner André Borschberg devised a craft that can fly day and night, yet is powered only by the sun. In preparation for circling the globe, they have already flown across the US (with stops) in a solar powered plane. All of these innovators are approaching electric flight with different designs, materials, and motivations, but each is passionate, driven, and accomplished. They also all know Erik Lindbergh, and want to participate in his film, as do a long list of other electric flight engineers, entrepreneurs and risk takers. They have fascinating stories, and amazing visuals, like exploding batteries and crumbling wings. It’s hard to say who will ultimately get the biggest entry in the official aviation history books, but it’s clear that each of these men is playing an important role in reinventing aviation. Electrifying Flight (Page 2 of 2) Contact: Phil Frank Ph. 301-­‐547-­‐6949 [email protected]