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Old 2nd Dec 2019, 08:04
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 32
How To Get Younger Folks Interested in Aviation - Idea#1

The below is an idea posited simply to encourage thinking. It contains no traces of conspiracy, however a smidgen of insanitythas been included for S&^ts and giggles.
For your own sake, please don't read any further if you're lacking an imagination.

Ideas for Engaging Flights of Fancy, or How To Get Younger Folks Interested in Aviation
Idea #1 - The Great Electric Celebrity Air Race ( Copyright 2019 Vne Productions)

A million dollar cash prize is offered to the team who successfully circumnavigates Australia in the shortest elapsed time and with the smallest overall carbon footprint. Only aircraft powered by electricity will be permitted to compete, however race officials and support crews will travel in conventional aircraft, which will be coincidentally measured for their carbon footprint throughout the race as an interesting comparison. Competitors will start and finish at a predetermined location, with only the next immediate destination known in advance. Intermediate landings to recharge anywhere along the route may be taken as the team requires.

Accompanying each pilot will be some sort of minor celebrity or better, a politician who is to assist with navigation, flight planning, ground handling, cooking, cracking jokes, departure preparations, packing, cleaning and so on. As the teams reach each destination, the next one will be revealed to them. Think a combination of Top Gear Challenges, I'm a celebrity, get me out of here and a Bear Grylls type survival show.

Each aircraft and pilot/navigator will be fitted with cameras and mics, data from which will be uploaded in real time where possible, or after each landing, then edited/packaged and televised in a 30 min TV show each evening. Think Big Brother reality show TV here. Each team will have a 4-person ground based support team, whose role it is to manage the teams social media postings and updates on a moment by moment basis. These folks will similarly be filmed and form part of the overall TV package. The importance of these support teams will become apparent.

The route will cover all of the major regional centres and big cities in order to avoid remote regions where internet bandwidth is limited/not available, but the order in which they will visit them will only be revealed incrementally, e.g as the leading competitor reaches the next town. Thus the slower aircraft will have a much advanced warning of where they are going to visit, compared to the leaders. This is important, because it is incumbent on the competitors to recharge their craft in the most environmentally “clean” fashion possible.

As recharging the aircraft has a carbon footprint, points will be lost according to how this is done. Use a diesel generator = lose heaps of points, use solar panels = lose almost no points. Ship replacement charged batteries by truck (once the next destination is known) = lose some points, send by train = lose not as many points as by truck. You get the idea I’m sure.

The winning team will be successful by engaging each destinations community via social media, in order to get them to assist the teams in recharging the aircraft with the smallest possible carbon footprint. Ingenuity, organisational and social media skills will be crucial. For example, if a team could mobilise folks to hastily construct a low carbon footprint charging arrangement such as a treadmill powered generator, firstly I would laugh my head off and secondly, they would lose no points. Or maybe an alternate destination that has a grid powered by wind generators might be a good option to recharge. It may not be a point to point race, many diversions may occur. It would become a "peoples race" after a fashion.

The race would be run over a three to four week period, the public could vote online each day for the most popular team, who could potentially earn carbon offset credits. Where possible, destination landing areas would be outside of main airfields (think paddocks, fields, race tracks etc , in order that accessibility to the public could be maximised. Just like the good old days. There would be surprise challenges, twist and turns thrown in.

Support for the race will be manifold, everyone from the TV networks (advertising bonanza) , CASA, local government administrations, right through to the PMO would be on board. It would be a clear demonstration of a commitment to the environment, to innovation, to regional cities and towns, celebrities, social media, tourism (imagine the footage), and most importantly, aviation would be front and centre.

I need to pitch this to someone after I’ve had a lie down..anyone got Dick's number?

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