Radio Carbon Art's Electric Revolution DVD Review

Kirby Pople explores this exciting new professional DVD, which takes a careful look at the electric revolution, including indepth information on understanding and using lithium battery technology, SUPERB flight video, and great interviews with some of key members of the electrics community.

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The Electric Revolution DVD

Introduction


Length:1 hour 55 minutes
Format:DVD
Nations:Region-Free
Case:Color Art Work DVD case
Retail Price:$24.95
Available From:Radio Carbon Art

A few years ago a friend invited several people over to watch a video that was taken at the Southeast Electric Flight Festival. After that video was over someone else put in a video called “Endless Lift 2" that was produced by Radio Carbon Art. I thought to myself, “big deal, another amateur video of a bunch of sailplanes.” After the video started I noticed something; this video looked much more professional and the photography on it was impressive. As a former professional photographer, I began to appreciate the camera angles that were chosen and the subjects shed some new light on sailplanes I had not been previously interested in such as Dynamic soaring. I very much enjoyed that DVD and hoped one day to be able to watch it again.

When I attended the 2004 SEFF event, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Naton, the producer of that fine film. Since I was on the flight line shooting photos most of the time, I had the chance to chat with him at length and we discussed his intentions with the footage he was shooting. The plan was to make a video that was more than event coverage. He wanted to produce a professionally photographed and edited video that would show the evolution that electric power has taken over the last few years. The result was this video, and I think Radio Carbon Art delivered exactly what was promised.

The 1hour :55 minute video was divided into seven chapters and included extra features including a very well written tutorial on lithium polymer batteries. While Naton has done the narration on most of his videos, for this one he enlisted the help of Ezone’s very own founder, Jim Bourke. The narration throughout the entire video is well worded, concise, and to the point while providing enough information to get the point across.

"The Beginning"

Most of the footage was shot at SEFF during the noontime demos, but in the discussion of the evolution some planes from other locations were added. These included an impressive hand launched B-29 and some indoor planes as well. The discussion centered on the broad range of aircraft that comprise the electric community. This section featured some very complex editing, slow motion and graphics that highlighted the subject. I was also treated to a tour of Mac Hodges facility where the SEFF event is held.

"Lipo Air show"

This section featured the noontime demos from the 2004 event. Steve Stricker's Cessna 182, Gary Wright flying the Cermark Pitts, David Payne flying the “Peoples Choice” winning GeeBee from Hobby Lobby, as well as Mike McConnville, Mark Leesberg, Chris True, Bob Belluomini, and Jason Schulman. As you could expect from the names listed, the flying was very impressive. As an added bonus, some of the footage in this section was shot from the other side of the runway with the planes flying directly overhead.

“State of the Art”

I found that I was in for a treat: an up close and personal look at the awesome Extra 330L built by Rob Honeycutt. In this in depth interview, Rob went through how the plane was built, power systems, and some of the difficulties he encountered in this venture to create one of the largest electric-powered 3d planes in the world. The section highlight was the demo flight flown by Gary Wright.

“No More Nitro”

In this section, the heli boys got to say their piece. Eric Larson went over his Ion X electric helicopter and then gave a demo certain to send chills up your spine. It certainly began to prove that electric power is beginning to come of age.

“Foam for everyone”

George Hicks, 2003 Electric Tournament of champion’s winner discusses his Tensor 4d plane and his newest foam design, the Extra 260. Bill Mixon and Mike McConnville are kind enough to show what the Tensor design is capable of. My favorite part of the video is the discussion with Quique Somezini where he discusses how he designed his Yak 54F plane for the ETOC after receiving the invitation 2 weeks before the event in which he placed second.

"3d Masters”

Quique is back discussing his 72” Yak and then showed what it was capable of on electric power. Gary Wright then took over with his 80” E3dXL, followed by Quique’s noon demo of a PL Prod Fiesta doing some impressive 3d maneuvers.

“High Voltage”

Featured in this chapter was a montage of footage of different planes at the event. You could be in there and not even know it. The coverage included hotliners, foamies, and sport planes with some park fliers thrown in for good measure. The result was a sampling of electric power capability with a very nice closing shot into the sunset that completed the video footage…but wait, there’s more.

“Extras”

As mentioned earlier, Jim and Paul did an excellent job explaining the ins and outs of Lithium Polymer batteries in the “Lipo Tutorial”. Using well-drawn graphics and a to-the-point narration, you will become an expert even if you know nothing about them at the moment.

“Foam Overcast” was an in depth interview with Hugh Thomas and Jeff Guisinger who brought a huge, all blue foam plane to the event with a variable pitch prop that they milled themselves.

“Bills Big Bird” allowed me to meet the man who built an electric plane with a sixteen foot wing span that flew like a park flyer, and won the “Largest Electric Plane” competition at the event.

Sample Video Clips

Downloads

Conclusion

If you have ever tried making your own videos, you will appreciate the time, effort and skill that produced this video. Impressive camera angles and timing are the highlights of the photography, while smooth transitions, and creative slow motion bring out the best of the post filming work. Interesting interviews highlight the footage, and help tell the story of the Electric Revolution. While I have yet to see the soaring video again, I have had the pleasure of watching this video over and over.

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Feb 16, 2005, 04:45 PM
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Paul Naton's Avatar
I hope you all enjoy the preview clips from Electric Revolution. These clips represent about .1% of the flying action on this DVD.

NOTE: The first two video clips 'Highlights" seem to be incomplete. AnnMarie is working to get them reloaded. You can download the clips from my FTP site at:
http://homepage.mac.com/pnaton/FileSharing17.html

The movie trailer from Revolution can also be down loaded at this link.

Thanks! Paul Naton -producer
Feb 17, 2005, 04:12 PM
Sorry about that, all! The short version is fixed, and the longer one is uploading now.


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