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Self Preservation 

It has been some time since we have last posted any updates on our program. As we continue to see the economy take a downturn, we feel it is now best to sit it out as long as we can afford to hold out. Discretionary spending has all but stopped in a majority of Fortune 1000 companies; so spending any additional resources will be better spent just keeping what little required infrastructure for this program in place.

It is HIGHLY disappointing situation for the entire team. We have such a huge pent up demand for the plane and performances literally all over the world. Except for the few people close to the team, nobody has seen the potential of this aircraft, which is just such a shame.

The irony in our situation is the complete success we continue to have online. January is turning out to be one of our biggest months of traffic in the past six months. Baffling! It means we continue to have a HUGE loyal following.

Infinity Entertainment will continue the journey but will be focusing on other marketing communication initiatives with its core clientele. We are hoping we start to see a correction in the market as early as late fall, and if so, we will ramp things back up again. Right now, conserving valuable capital is the key to us surviving the current economic crisis.

We want to thank everyone for all your continued support over the past year or so, the support and encouragement has been absolutely profound.

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Happy Holidays! 
The entire Toucan Team would like to wish you and your families a wonderful holiday and a VERY Happy New Year!

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Economic Aerobatics 
Greetings All,

Well it has been a heck of a painful month for us. The economy has taken a severe downturn and has had a significant impact on our business. A great deal of the relationship building we have done over the course of the last nine months though helpful for the long term, won’t be yielding us a title sponsor for 2009.

It appears we have sailed into the perfect economic storm. As we have illustrated over the past year, our ability to campaign the Turbine Toucan is exclusively tied to title sponsorship for obvious reasons. So now we have to focus on just surviving for the short term in hopes that a turn around is near. If we roll into a deeper more drawn out recovery then we will have to completely reevaluate our options.

As we mentioned a while back, we had decided to postpone any world record attempts because a few potential title sponsors wanted to be involved in these attempts, which made perfect sense at the time. With the 2009 air show most likely not going to happen for us, we think it is time to revisit the thought of making these attempts after the first of the year. This will continue to keep us in the press and generate any momentum we can as we continue our hopeful journey of finding a title sponsor. Stay tuned on this….

We are also looking at a few overseas opportunities for the Turbine Toucan. As much as we wanted to roll out the aircraft here in the USA, it might not be a reality. We’ll keep you posted on this front as well.

We want to thank you again for your continued support over the past year or so; you all have been so supportive. The volumes of emails we receive continue to lift our spirits in these very painful economic times.

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Desktop Models Anyone? It is the Holiday Season!! 

We have been approached by a scale model manufacture that actually makes their desktop models right here in the States! They are willing to make a rather large run of the Turbine Toucan and will do all order fulfillment and shipping. We will set up ordering right here on our site if there is any interest. I’m not sure the cost yet but it will be in the ballpark of your average desktop model, which might be upwards of $200.00, but that is a guess at the moment.

So, if you are interested we really need to hear from you. Infinity Entertainment is not trying to make any money on this deal, just be able to supply models to enthusiasts. If you are interested, please post a reply to the posting with your name. I believe this company will also be able to ship internationally. More to come on this.

Above is an example of what we had made a year before the plane was ever built, we used it to pitch our concept to Agencies. So it will look similar but I think the quality is not as good as what this company is going to put out. We've seen their product and it is NICE work. Let us know your thoughts!!

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AOPA Round Up 
Greetings and Happy Veterans Day!

The entire Infinity Entertainment Company and Team Turbine Toucan want to thank our veterans for all they have done to make this great country what it is, the land of the free. Without their sacrifice, we would not have the freedoms to pursue dreams.

It has been some time since we last posted an update, so thanks for the patience. We had been busy preparing for AOPA’s Expo 2008, attending it and working on title sponsorship.

For us, the AOPA Expo was a total success. We had a good turn out and enormous interest from all over the world. Several UK publications want to do features on the Toucan/team in the up coming months. We had several families travel as far as five hours one-way specifically to see the Turbine Toucan in person. If that wasn’t flattering enough, they said it was worth the trip if they had not seen anything else. The entire team was very humbled to say the least.

We had another grandfather and grandson come from Morrow Bay (a four hour drive one way) to see the Toucan as well. The Grandson has been following our website for over a year. It was a pleasure to meet them both.

The most astonishing thing about the show to us was the weather. It was perfect. A week before the show the weather forecast was for rain Wednesday through Friday, which would have prevented us from attending. On the last day, just an hour before the end of the show we finally saw a little rain. We managed (thanks to AOPA) to be the first aircraft to depart the show since there was a sliver of a weather window opening up for us to get home. We were also racing “official daylight” to get the plane on the ground back at San Carlos. Not even a few minutes after the plane was safely put away did it start raining hard! Fhew!! I found it funny that a mass of people gathered to see it depart, most thought it was trucked in since they have never seen it fly. Most commented it was crazy to hear that signature turboprop sound out of a tiny little biplane.

At AOPA, the number one questions we were asked was, when are we going to see this plane fly at shows and when are we going to post videos. Great questions that deserve some serious explanations. As you know, Infinity Entertainment Inc. (the owners of the Turbine Toucan) is fundamentally an entertainment marketing company. We are operating in the best interest of our title sponsor (when it is finally secured) by not sharing much of what the plane can do. We want the experience to be extremely fresh when we start campaigning the aircraft full time. Anything we do in sharing what the aircraft is all about diminishes the impact when we campaign the aircraft fulltime. Don’t take it from us; take it from the 50 Fortune 1000 CPG (consumer package goods) companies we spoke with. That was one of the key points that made them happy, that it has had no public performances to date. They want to be the beneficiaries of an initial rollout when it comes to excitement and press.

This leads to the second topic, sponsorship. On the title sponsor front, we were extremely close to closing a few LARGE contracts before the economic down turn in the past six weeks. Both companies did not say NO but had to defer any decision until next year. The combined deals would have been the largest in the air show industry to date, so we are extremely disappointed with the delay. That said, we continue to receive validation for what we are doing and that our direction and insight into a very untapped market is the right course.

For most who might not know, it takes between six and eighteen months to close a large, multi year deal for title sponsorship. This is typical with any large sanctioned motorsport such as NASCAR, F1, NHRA and Champ Car. We have had the extreme privilege of working with a consultant who not only is a veteran of motorsport marketing; he also was responsible for one of the largest domestic breweries entire motorsport sponsorship programs. This includes their NASCAR presence, NHRA and ABRA (unlimited hydroplane) to name a few. He saw something VERY special with our program and wanted to be involved, which in itself is a huge endorsement and validation if you will.

With the elections now behind us, and the start of a new direction, we are hoping it is the beginning of an economic turn around.

One last note, we have now moved to our permanent home at San Carlos Airport! We are the very first occupants of the newly constructed hangars, which come complete with DSL hook up. There is typically a 20 year waiting list to get in ANY hangar at San Carlos, so we feel exceptionally lucky to make it in the new ones. We’ll be spending the next few months tricking it out, so more to come on that.

Have a fantastic week.

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Infinity Entertainment Inc. is proud to announce that the Turbine Toucan will make its first ever, inaugural public appearance at the AOPA Expo in San Jose California this November 6-8. We are excited that AOPA has extended this fantastic opportunity to us to share with the World this very special aircraft. It is a wonderful venue to connect with like-minded aviation enthusiasts and share our passion for flight.

It is absolutely the perfect venue at the perfect time and the entire team could not be happier about it. We’ve been waiting a very long time for this day and it is finally coming. We really hope you can make it out, stop by and say hello!

For more information please click on the provided link http://www.aopa.org/expo/

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General Update of Sorts 
Greetings All,

Sorry for not keeping up with the blog these past few weeks. Again, we’ve been absolutely swamped on the business side of things. Considering last weeks Wall St. aerobatics of sorts, we continue to get fantastic feedback and accolades about our program. In some cases we have seen deferment of any considerations or decisions until after the first of the year, which is understandable. Between the economy and the election, it sure has seemed slow down the process. But most are very clear about their sincere interest.

For most that don’t know, the average NASCAR deal can take between nine and eighteen months to solidify and there is a lot to work out. Valuation, activation and strategy have to be set upfront in order to meet each of our potential title sponsors objectives. Each has VERY different needs as well as strategy, so the process/proposal can take a very long time to build out.

The economy has also proven to be a silver lining. Considering that our program is a fraction of the cost of a Sprint Cup Sponsorship and most other major motor sports, we have looked very attractive to some. Couple it with a very unique piece of equipment, highly differentiated performance and unparalleled “at venue attendance” and we have the attention of some very savvy agencies. After all, at the end of the day this is a media buy. And a great buy at that.

On the equipment side of things we have just started to work on our proprietary smoke system (again). Our basic system works great but we have decided to spend a little $ on R&D for something a little more involved. We are working on creating a two-channel system, which include the left and right exhaust nozzles. The objective is to be able to control each side independently. The second objective is to have the nozzles/solenoids controlled via MIDI (music instrument digital interface) protocol. This protocol allows us to sync the smoke system to pre-recorded music.

Because we are turboprop driven, the exhaust nozzles are actually much cooler than one would think, about 700-800F at the nozzles. A piston engines with a six into one exhaust is about 1300F at the collector, which makes burning Corvis oil no problem.

In our case, the flash point of Corvis oil is way to high. After some work, we have come up with a proprietary blend of smoke oil, which brings the flash point way down and creates great smoke. Now that is only part of the solution.

The exciting part of this experiment is not just creating smoke but colored smoke. Now, if we only wanted one particular color then we’d just add dye to our blend and call it a day. But what if we could have three different colors from the same source of smoke oil? What if we could independently control these three colors on each side of the airplane simultaneously? Get the picture? Kind of a neat proposition to think about, well for us anyway!

Never a dull moment at the bird cage (which folks at the airport call the TT’s hangar).

If we make any real progress on this front you’ll be the first to know about it. Have a good week!

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Dave Kervinen Visits with Aero News Network's Paul Plack 
Aero News Network’s Paul Plack catches up with Infinity Entertainment’s Dave Kervinen and the continued progress of the Turbine Toucan. Last time we spoke with Paul the Turbine Toucan made its first flight. So, a lot to cover! We invite you to listen in tomorrow when the podcast will be made available for download on Aero News Network’s website (www.aero-news.net).

http://www.aero-news.net/podcasts/casts ... -09-09.mp3

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That’s What I’m Talking About! (Part 2 of The Other Side of the Business) 
Several weeks ago I wrote “The Other Side of the Business” (below) which talked a little about the business end of the Air Show world and all the upsides and challenges of this very unique marketing opportunity. Nothing could illustrate my point more clearly then the wonderful job Sean Tucker and Team Oracle have done at this weeks Chicago Air & Water show.

The Chicago Air & Water show is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend, and doing so with a wonderful line up of performers including the Blue Angeles, US Army Parachute Team- The golden Knights and a F-22 rapture demo as just part of the entertainment line up for this weeks extravaganza.

ABC’s Good Morning America’s Taryn Winter Brill took an exclusive look into the biggest of its kind Air & Water show. Though the backdrop of the story was the actual show, the talents of Mr. Sean Tucker framed it out nicely. Good Morning America reported an “at venue” attendance of about 2 million over the course of the air show weekend!

But the real story is not the show or even Sean’s appearance on GMA. The real story is the delivery of raw numbers. Between Chicago’s Air & Water show attendance figures and Good Morning America’s average daily viewership of about 4.3 million, Oracle was able to reach about 5.3 million people in spectacular and memorable fashion. We’re not even factoring in all the local newspaper/print and local television coverage. Unlike traditional advertising, Oracle enjoyed more then two minutes of GMA editorial, which you literally CANNOT buy. I’d say Oracle made a heck of a return on their investment in Sean this year.

The formula for delivering raw numbers is what is perhaps Sean's biggest asset. I’m not talking his great piloting skills, nor am I talking about that very special aircraft of his, that’s all a given. No, I am talking about one of the best-kept secrets in Sean’s marketing arsenal. Brian Norris and the Oracle support aircraft.

The primary role of the Oracle support aircraft is to be a media platform. This six passenger aircraft provides the media an extremely dynamic way to tell their story, with their own cityscape as a backdrop. Whether it is still photography, video or motion picture, the support aircraft’s role is key to getting stories told, and what makes the team differentiated from most.

Brian’s job as a support pilot is demanding and requires the same kind of creativity as any air show pilot. Not only does he look for the best backdrops, lighting and formations to fly, he has to coordinate it all with the local ATC (air traffic controller). The support aircraft requires rock solid performance so Sean can literally do aerobatics around the aircraft. It also requires immense communication and training for this kind of formation flying. And above all, it requires safety.

If you’ve ever wondered why you see so many aerials of Sean with the Blue Angeles, his formation team and countless cityscapes on the front of about every major newspaper in the US, its because he provides the media, free of charge, a platform to get their story told. Getting the story told is what it is all about.

This is why we continue to express how important it is to have adequate resources to provide the title sponsor MEASUREABLE results, which Team Oracle has done nicely. Below is the link to Good Morning America's feature story.

ABC's Good Morning America Coverage of Chicago's Air & Water Show

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Kermit Weeks Visits the Bird Cage (Turbine Toucan Hangar)!!! 
You ever wake up on a Monday morning with little expectations other than the typical mountain of work ahead of you for the week? Well, my Monday started off like any other Monday but this was a day that just seemed to get better with time, and for a Monday, that is a rare event!

Susan Cress and I had just completed a very nice call with a company that really understands what our program is all about which, in itself was very refreshing. It always helps when a company is also involved in and understands the aviation industry. At the end of the call I headed out to the airport to check on a few things and have breakfast with the usual gang at the Sky Kitchen.

Well, Willie Turner of Hiller Aviation Museum comes walking in, in his usual upbeat stride saying hello to about everyone in the coffee shop. This time around he had a guest. Willie came over and said “David, I want you to meet Kermit, Kermit Weeks”. WOW, I’ve known about Kermit for years but have never had the pleasure of meeting him. Willie wanted Kermit to see the Turbine Toucan, an aircraft that Kermit had not heard of, until today.

At the end of lunch Willie arranged for Kermit to stop by and see the plane before heading out on business. I’m guessing, based on what Willie told him on the drive over to the hangar, his expectations were fairly low. After all, Kermit owns the most prolific aircraft collection in the world and is a guy who’s been there, done that and seen it all.

When we opened the hangar door, I believe Kermit’s eye’s lit up in a big way. Being that Kermit is a three-time U.S. Aerobatic Champion, he instantly understood exactly what he was looking at and the staggering potential of the aircraft. He walked around the plane several times. As he did, he asked some very good questions few people ever have ever asked.

Though he is a giant in the aviation world, he is a very approachable, down to earth person with a great sense of humor. I really enjoyed our meeting and hope we get the opportunity to spend more time together down the road.

If you haven’t had the chance, I would highly recommend a visit to Kermit’s Museum, which is called Fantasy of Flight. It is just off Interstate 4 in Polk City, Florida, just down the road from Orlando and Disney World. I’ve been there on several occasions and it really is a wonderful experience if you love aviation, like most of us.

For more information on Fantasy of Flight please go to www.fantasyofflight.com, you will not be disappointed!

To learn more about the man himself, Forbes did a great article a while back called “Mad For Airplanes” http://www.forbes.com/2001/01/15/0115garage.html

As I understand it, Kermit has some VERY big plans for his museum, so I highly recommend keeping an eye out for developments, should be very exciting times at Fantasy of Flight.

-Have a great week!

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I Believe He was onto Something! 
We'll be continuing our conversation regarding "The Other Side of the Business" soon, just though this would be a fun exercise to see what captions you all could come up with, so post'm!!!

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The Other Side of the Business 
This year we’ve seen more then 8 million hits on the Turbine Toucan site, which continues to please and excite each and everyone one of us! Considering we’ve only had one press release (introducing the aircraft) and no advertising, that’s A LOT of traffic and it has all happened virally. A large part of this online success is from loyal, like-minded enthusiasts like yourselves, whom we are indebted to. We have been stuck in an awkward situation the past six or so weeks regarding regular updates and it took Tom Kampel’s interest and candor to point out our lack of keeping you involved.

Our journey has really been a two-part process. The first being the development and test flying of a very exciting, unique and unusual aircraft. The second part might be even more involved than the first… corporate sponsorship. In all honesty, this part of the process is by far the most demanding and much harder than building and flying the aircraft. The second part of this equation is also the hardest to articulate and why we extend an apology for the temporary radio silence.

What we are trying to accomplish in the air show industry is unprecedented and there are a lot of eyes watching. That includes many agencies of record we had early conversations with when we were at the exploration stage of building the Turbine Toucan.

And just what are we trying to accomplish? Our main focus since we got started was to create a highly differentiated marketing communication platform. This not only included our highly differentiated aircraft but also our custom 75ft tractor-trailer, support aircraft, pit equipment and team. We are intent on creating an experience both in the air and on the ground, which is second to none. Our tractor-trailer has several missions but is centered around our title sponsor for hospitality, similar to NASCAR, NHRA etc. We’ll also use the tractor-trailer for the ultimate static display. It will be complete with pit equipment and access to the pilot & crew, which will be a focal point at any air show. The static display/hospitality also provides air show event organizers that much more entertainment, adding value to their event.

We have had many meetings at the CMO level with Fortune 1000 companies, which is an achievement in and of itself. Each meeting takes more than a week to prepare for, with custom presentations for each of the prospective title sponsors. Many, if not all, of these meetings are confidential, making details something we can’t communicate. So, a lot is happening but unfortunately we can’t elaborate. Add the current economic conditions and it puts a whole new layer of challenges and complexity to our pursuit. Our focus over the last few months has solely been on positioning our entertainment property to the world.

We took on the challenge of building the Turbine Toucan because we identified a very unique opportunity (for which there are few and far between), after looking at the air show industry. What many don’t realize (including agency’s of record and corporations) is that air shows represent the single largest spectator event in the US. The top 14 air shows trump that of NASCAR, Indy Car, Champ Car or any other motor sport when it comes to “at venue” attendance. Air shows also represent both rich and wide demographics, with a higher average household income and education than NASCAR. They also provide the greatest geographic reach, with events in every state of the union. Air shows get overlooked for several reasons, one being the lack of television coverage. They are one of the few events that do not translate well to television, no matter how hard you try. It is such an emotive experience that you have to be there to truly appreciate and interpret.

To the savvy marketeer, the lack of television coverage is quickly overlooked when one considers the raw “at venue” attendance figures… the numbers are staggering! The reason this is one of the best-kept secret is because air shows don’t have an industry-sanctioned body and lack any kind of resources or voice to get the word out at an orchestrated national level. In a sense, we are that lone voice, educating individuals at any opportunity we can what an incredible opportunity this industry truly offers! Air shows, in our opinion, represent one of the best “experiential marketing” opportunities ever. And that is why we embarked on this journey, to help evolve an industry, raise the bar and provide incredible ROI to a forward thinking company!

Every motorsport/event in the U.S. is made up of and driven by corporate sponsorship… and with great success we might add. So why is the air show industry so slow to adopt? It is one of the last few event industries remaining that is not regulated or managed by a sanctioned body. The FAA has, in a sense, been that lone soldier. International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) unfortunately can only act in an advisory capacity for the industry, since it is grossly under funded. There is no industry marketing being done, it is only done at the local event level, which is one of the many reasons companies and ad agencies lump it into the same category as a county fair. Every fair is different; there is no cohesiveness, no standards for the guest experience, etc. With that said, we are also in one of the most enviable positions of any motor sport with regards to safety. Not a single spectator has been killed at an air show from an aircraft related accident. This unprecedented safety record is also a huge story to tell yet very few people are aware of this fact.

Not being a sanctioned event also has its advantages. Our research indicates that community/local driven events, such as air shows, are far more news worthy at a local and regional level. This is an important attribute, as part of the overall value to a potential sponsor and delivers valuable exposure and PR money can’t buy… literally.

In order for the air show industry to continue to evolve and prosper, a paradigm shift is needed. After years of researching the air show industry and its practices, we could only identify a few individuals/businesses that focus on this industry full time and receive 100% of their revenue or salary from it. Up to now, events have had the great fortune of relying on the generosity of air show performers who have been willing to subsidize the air show industry in order to perform at public venues. And all but a few are either independently wealthy or have another full time occupation/business to support their love of flying and performing. In either case, the monetary losses for being on the air show circuit full time is staggering! We won’t disclose what the elite level performer makes for a two-day show (from the event organizer) but suffice to say it is nominal considering the associated risk and costs involved. With fuel prices surging out of control, this paradigm shift is what the industry needs, if it is to survive.

Up to now, the industry has been fueled by the passion of pilots. Pilot/performers willing to subsidize (in most cases) the industry in order to do what they love is very admirable. But it is not sustainable. Nor does it give the industry the required resources to do things on a much higher level. At the end of the day, air show fans are also consumers, who have most likely been to other motorsport events such as NASCAR, IRL, NHRA and their expectations are high. So, the bar has been set for the industry for some time. But the bar will never be reached if we expect pilots and local air show promoters to brunt most of the cost.

By contrast, Sean D. Tucker, title sponsor Oracle, illustrates our point exactly. It provides him professional marketing talent and resources. It also allows him to have a top notch, full time crew, equipment and a back-up aircraft. More over, it also provides him much needed resources to provide hospitality at every venue he appears. Sean’s sponsorship allows him the time and resources to practice EVERY DAY leading up to and between his scheduled air show performances. What does all this really mean? For one, SAFETY! And on so many levels I can’t begin to emphasize the importance of. It also is a level of professionalism we need to see more of.

Many might question why Oracle, a software maker for business applications, would ever sponsor an event that is made up of the widest consumer demographics in the event business. It’s not like you can go down to your local strip mall and buy anything Oracle branded after you just saw Sean perform at an air show. Oracles sponsorship is not going to influence any impulse buy at your local store. But air shows provide a huge value and ROI for Oracle.

So why does Oracle sponsor Sean? For the very same reason Dupont, a B2B company sponsors NASCAR. Both companies use these unique venues to entertain key industry partners and distributors, top performing employees and their families, as well as providing invaluable and immeasurable company moral for such an association. And both companies have measured success with such an affiliation!

So, if there is truly measurable ROI for Oracle and their sponsorship, imagine the success a CPG (consumer packaged goods) company could experience from one of the best-kept secrets in the event/experiential marketing world.

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HAPPY 4th of July 
The entire Infinity Entertainment team would like to wish you and your family a safe and wonderful 4th of July!!!

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A Little Jet-A Burn over the Weekend! 
Hi everyone,
Sorry for not keeping up with the blog over the past two weeks. We’ve been very busy with activity on the marketing side of this venture. It continues to be very positive even considering the current economic conditions.

Fuel prices continue to drop the jaws of the entire team. We managed to burn some Jet-A over the weekend and though expensive, it was a very rewarding outcome.

We finally brought the smoke system online and all we can say is WOW! We could not believe the volume of smoke we managed to generate. We’ve only done ground tests, so the next thing we do is take it in the air and see how it performs. Because the exhaust nozzles discharge the exhaust along side the aircraft, this generates some challenges.

The right side of the plane is no issue, but the left swirls the smoke over the top wing in amazing fashion. We were in IFR conditions almost immediately. At over 120kts will be another thing, we just don’t know until we try it!

We are also planning on adding solenoid valves that can alternate between the two exhaust nozzles if the one on the left doesn’t give us problems while in flight. So programming the timing between each side could prove to be a very neat thing, especially if we can harness it to midi (music instrument digital interface) protocol, which could control tempo of the valves etc…

So, that will be a fun, creative endeavor over the summer months. We’ll keep you posted on the trek for a title sponsor as we get a little closer, a lot of great stories to tell.

Have a great week!

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More Promised Photos 
OK, so I promised a few shots of the new visor which is Iridium coated. It really is a neat process. We'll take better photos down the road but you get the idea. Have a great weekend!

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