Long-ESA to Push for 5 New World Records Sept. 6-9 at Inyokern!

Following a perilous deadstick landing earlier in August during a new world record attempt, Chip Yates and his team diagnosed the cause of the power loss at 500 ft. and replaced the CAN moduleNew Controller_083013 on the engine bay side of the Long-ESA. And Yates just successfully flew the first test mission with the new module on Friday morning, August 30. (At right, a screenshot of the data from the test flight.)


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“Everything was perfect!” said Yates. “The max throttle I used was 66%, and I could climb at 2000 feet per minute easily. The plane is flying great and is an absolute rocketship!”

Yates has invited FAI / NAA Official Brian Utley back to the desert to officiate the follow-on attempts at 5 Official World Records on Sept 6-9 at Inyokern Airport, as follows:

 1)      Altitude

2)      Time to Climb (3000 meters)

3)      Speed over 3km course (4 passes)

4)      Speed over 15km course (2 passes)

5)      Sustained altitude in horizontal flight

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Trial2“The plan is to attempt four new world records on the first day and the fifth on the second day, to allow enough time for recharging, data acquisition, and re-runs of any faulty attempts,” explains Yates. “I’ll also try to improve on those records.”

“These  categories are new for electric airplanes and so there are currently no standing records in any of them – we need to be certain to finish each event cleanly and properly and will be able to claim the first records in history for these new FAI / NAA categories!”

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“Special thanks to EnerDel for providing ongoing support and a brand new power pack! And thanks to UQM Technologies for sending us a new drive to give the best possible chance to make history next week!”

Failure is Critical to Innovation, Yates Tells Students at Worldwide Event

A live stream broadcast allowed the Conrad Foundation to engage an audience from 86 locations in 10 countries and 15 states as they launched the Spirit of Innovation Challenge on August 21.

The centerpiece of the event was green tech innovator and world recorded holder Chip Yates, (shown above with a photo of the late Apollo 12On Stage astronaut and entrepreneur Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad) who spoke to the live and virtual audience of high school students and educators, profiling the challenges of his electric journey and demonstrating how he views setbacks not as failures but as opportunities for further innovation.

Anniversary Flight Partial CropFailure is critical to innovation, Yates told the students, who are preparing their own projects for the Foundation’s flagship program, the Spirit of Innovation Challenge. “It’s not as interesting for you to hear me say that that I built an electric airplane and flew it and landed it as it is to hear about what went wrong,” he said, showing images of technology failures, design errors, crashes, injuries and other problems that accompanied his world record-setting electric motorcycle and airplane triumphs.

“And just last week, I was attempting to set 5 new FAI world records in my electric Long-ESA, and ran into a whole week of data glitches, wind shears, and a catastrophic power loss at 500 feet.”  (**Click to view the full video.)  “Needless to say, there were no world records set that week!”  

It’s essential to take these setbacks in stride, Yates reminded the audience. “Failures are proof that you’re on the right track. If you’re moving forward and pushing the limits, you have to be able to deal with failure. We’re out at the leading edge with our innovation, and there are new opportunities tied to every failure.”

Chip’s Six Rules for “Innovation to Change the World”

  • Imagine a dream – BIG!
  • Define success
  • Build your team
  • Innovate and invent  
  • Execute, fail, adjust, overcome
  • Harvest, enjoy, and live life   

Click to view Yates’ presentation at the Spirit of Innovation Challenge August 21 launch event.                                       

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Yates has a deep and active commitment to motivating kids and teens in science, technology, engineering and math. His STEM presentations to

school groups demonstrate the real-world relevance of how taking these “hard” classes can result in very rewarding careers and accomplishments.  “I want to help kids realize they’re passionate about something,” says Yates. “We need young engineers and scientists on the forefront.”

**To request a visit to your school, email info@flightofthecentury.com.

Up Close and Personal on Motor Trend TV: Chip’s Full Electric Story

Motor Trend TV August 7, 2013      “On this episode of ‘On Two Wheels’, we visit Chip Yates, an engineer turned professional motorcycle racer, turned record-setting electric technology pioneer! Chip decided at the age of 36 to quit his job at Boeing and pursue a career as a professional AMA racer.

After turning pro, he had a big crash which ended his competitive career. Looking to the future, Chip was not discouraged, but rather, motivated to venture into new territory. He designed and built an all electric superbike that produced 258hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. He went on to race the bike and broke numerous World Records at Bonneville and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

With 10 World Records under his belt, he wasn’t done yet! He took the technology he developed in the electric superbike and built an electric airplane. In his second flight ever in the aircraft, he broke the world speed record for an electric aircraft and his record still stands today!” 

Click here to view the thrilling behind-the-scenes video story.

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Some posted comments:   Wow, that’s an amazing story….One of the best episodes I´ve seen so far on any youtube channel. Keep up the excellent work Motor Trend!!….The world needs more folks like this guy….This was an amazing episode! Someone give this guy some financial backing for gods sake!….This guy is a superhero! There’s nothing he can’t do….All I can say is wow! I’d check his DNA and make sure he isn’t Burt Rutans son….He looks like he is delivering pizzas!….That’s one amazing story! What a life!!….’and didn’t die’ – I love this guy!….Astonishing but no surprise. Chip Yates is pure Renaissance Man.

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Comments from Chip….   “This amazing just-released video, shot and edited by Brent Baer of Motor Trend TV, is a cool summary of how we got to where we are today, and sets up the excitement and question of where we will be tomorrow! I consider it to be a huge honor to be covered so generously by Motor Trend TV /Motorcyclist Magazine – very humbling and a great job by Brent and the team.

We have our heads down right now, planning to attempt another four official FAI airplane world records in the next two weeks, followed by attempting the world’s first mid-air recharge of an electric airplane as a demo for the U.S. Navy, and then flying for the California Capital Airshow Oct 5-6 in Sacramento, to set a Guinness World Record. Stay tuned!”




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Innovation Superstar to Share Surprise Video at 8/21 Spirit of Innovation Challenge Kickoff

The Conrad Foundation has announced their annual “Spirit of Innovation Challenge” and the live stream launch event, featuring special guest speaker Chip Yates…world record holder, entrepreneur and inventor. In addition to sharing five motivational life lessons with the audience, Yates will also show the nail-biting video of his recent near miss, losing power at 500 ft during an attempt to set 5 new FAI world records. The video captures the visual and audio moments from the cockpit as Yates realized he was without power and began to prepare for an emergency landing.  **Click to view the full video.    

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The Conrad Foundation is based on the legacy of the late Apollo 12 astronaut and entrepreneur, Charles “Pete” Conrad. Its programs combine education, innovation and entrepreneurship to inspire solutions for achieving global sustainability. Its flagship program is the Spirit of Innovation Challenge, an annual competition that challenges high school students to solve real-world problems by using science, technology,Sac20 entrepreneurship and innovation.

Innovator Chip Yates, who will be the launch event’s keynote speaker, has a deep and active commitment to motivating kids and teens in science, technology, engineering and math. His STEM presentations to school groups deSTEM2monstrate the real-world relevance of how taking these “hard” classes can result in very rewarding careers and accomplishments.  “I want to help kids realize they’re passionate about something,” says Yates. “We need young engineers and scientists on the forefront.”

**To request a visit to your school, email info@flightofthecentury.com.

The worldwide Spirit of Innovation Challenge kickoff viewing party is scheduled for August 21, 6:00-7:00 pm (US Central Time), and the public is invited to register to view the live stream event.

Click for details and to read the full announcement.