It's creator was Sean Casey, an IMAX filmmaker, and he created it to drive to drive the TIV to the heart of the tornado and take the unique footage he's been hunting for 8-years. He has built two types of TIVs and TIV two has been the one with the most changes.
The first TIV, or simply known as TIV 1 since TIV 2's creation, is a heavy modified 1997 Ford F-450 truck meant to drive into a 80 to 110 mile Tornado, relatavily a weak tornado. It was built to drive into a the tornado, giving [[Sean Casey the IMAX film for a movie. The work began in 2003 and took about eight months to finish. No exact cost is determine but it is estimated to be about $80,800. The TIV was armored with a 1/8-1/4 inch steel plate welded to atwo inch squere steel tubing frame. The windows are made of polycarbonated glass, making it bullet proofed, measuring 1 1/2 inch thick on the wind shield and 1/2 on the turret sides and passenger's windows. The TIV's estimated weight is of about 15,000 pounds and is powered by a 7.3-liter Ford Power Stroke turbodiesel producing 215 horsepower (160kW), giving it a top speed of about 65 miles per hour. Due to the massive weight and few miles per hour, the TIv is a monster at devouring fuel. Therfore, the TIV has a fuel capacity of 60 U.S. gallons, giving it a range of about 500 miles (800 km). When the TIV finally was featured in the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers, which began airing in 2007. In 2008, it was succeded by TIV 2, but had to return due to the TIV 2's mechanical difficulties and massive weight.
TIV 2 EraEdit
In 2007, Sean Casey and his team built the second Tornado Intercept Vehicle, or TIV 2, to be featured in their next IMAX movie and Storm Chasers series. Work began the same year it was designed by 40 welding students at the Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton, Oklahoma, and was completed in time for the 2008 tornado season. The TIV 2 was designed to address the original TIV's problems, like its low ground clearance, lack of four-wheel drive, and low top speed. It was based on a Dodge four-wheel drive 1 Ton truck frame that was stregthen and converted to a six-wheel drive by adding a third axle. After season 2, the six-wheel drive system was modified to four-wheel drive. It is powered by a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine, modified with propane and water injection to produce 625 horsepower (466kW). This gives the TIV 2 an estimated top speed of 100 mph(160 km/h). Fuel capacity is 92 U.S. gallons, giving the TIV 2 an approximate range of 750 miles (1,210 km). The body of TIV 2 is constructed of a 1/8-inch steel skin welded over a 2-inch (51-mm) square tubing steel frame. The TIV 2's windows are all bullet resistant 1 5/8 inch interlayered polycarbobonate sheets and tempered glass. The vehicle also features an IMAX turret similar to the original TIV. The original TIV's hydraulic claws were not used in the TIV 2's design in favor of 6 hydraulic skirts that drop down to deflect wind over the TIV to stabilize it and protect the underside from debris.
The TIV 2 debuted on TV on the second season of Storm Chasers, which began airing on Discovery Channel in October 2008. The TIV 2's initial performance did not go well, as it was plagued with mechanical failures, including broken axle, which forced Sean to leave the TIV 2 and return to the original TIV to continue the chase until the TIV 2's issues would be resolved. Although Sean thought that the TIV 2 would be ready for end of the season, repairs and modifications took longer than expected, and Sean had to continue to chase in the Original TIV.
In 2009, the TIV 2 received several modifications, mainly focused on reducing the TIV 2's massive 17,000 pounds. To achieve this it received more protective armor, as certain less cruxial areas of TIV 2's were converted from steel to aluminum, while more concern areas were reinforced with supplemental composite armor consisting of thin layers of steel, Kevlar, polycarbonate and rubber. In all, the TIV 2's weight was reduced to about 14,000 pounds. The safety systems were also improved, with the three front skirts being consolidated into one and new hydraulic stabilizing spikes to further increase stability in high winds. Other modifications included additional doors that provided every seat position with an exit (wind skirts up or down), and a redesigned IMAX turret with 50% more windows.
TIV's Season 1 AppearanceEdit
During the Storm Chasers season 1 appearance, the original TIV made the debut. It was the first vehicle to be presented and was introduced to what it was built for. During the first episode, the TIV tried to intercept the tornado, but soon it got dark and the TIV was only able to intercept at night (without filming the IMAX shot) for science. During the second day, the TIV couldn't intercept and therefore went weeks without seeing no tornado. The third episode, the team were hoping that a huge tornado opportunity would be open, and it was. But the team leader, Josh Wurman decided to go farther east insted of the teams decision. After hours of driving, the team finds out they just missed the tornado of the year that destroyed 95% of the town of Greensburgh. Do to the great damage, it was rated [[|Enhanced Fujita scale|EF-5]], the first one since 8-years. In the last weeks of the season, the TIV got a hard time. First, the TIV broke down and was thought to be through during the rest of the season. However, the mighty armored warrior returned just to manage to intercept two times and give Josh vital data. Although the interceptions were during the day, no footage of it gave the Sean the image he needs.
TIV's Season 2 AppearanceEdit
In this Season, TIV 2 made its debut. At the beggining, the TIV was still getting its final modifications and as soon as it was done, it was on to chase. However, due to the vehicle massive weight, one of the axles broke and they had to repair it. Since that happend, the TIV 2 had major damages, one of them its massive weight and that the brakes later didn't work. Due to the major modifications it need, Sean had to leave it and returned to the orignal TIV. The original TIV proved to still be a great warrior and manage to intercept during night and give Josh vital information and also, saved the lives of the TIV's crew. The original TIV went to intercept and get more data, but no good IMAX shot for Sean.
TIV's Season 3 AppearanceEdit
In the third season of Storm Chasers, the TIV crew started with the original TIV, because TIV 2 was getting it's final modifications. The TIV crew also had new weather meteorologists to guide them into the tornado, because Josh Wurman was getting ready to lead the the govermental project, VORTEX 2 the biggest in history. During their first day, the TIV had a bad one because communication and naviation problems made them missed the first tornado of the year. The next episode, Sean then is annoyed by Reed Timmer, who has created the SRV Dominator almost a similar copy of the TIV but not ment to go inside the tornado, early success. After the TIV gets ready to intercept, the TIV Doghouse loses contact with the TIV and then they enter a muddy road where both Doghouse and TIV get stuck. In the third episode, TIV 2 is ready to chase with its new modifications. And in the same episode, Josh and the VORTEX 2 meet with Sean and check the TIV 2, but doesn't seem thrilled and makes it clear that his prioroty is no longer to guide the TIV into the tornado. Sean then decides to chase alone and hopes Doghouse can help him to get what he has been looking for years. In the next episode, TIV 2, after being modified, suffers another mechanical failure, that unable Sean and the TIV crew to chase for the day. In the next episode, the TIV 2 then is ready for the chase, but has two major problems. One of the problems is that they lost contact with their meteorologists, who were following them. Finally, after the things get cleared, they encounter amateur storm chasers, who were chasing the same storm, but to the bad case, they find out that the storm is not going to produce no storm and through Tim Samaras, we find out the deal is in Denver. In the following episode, the TIV and Doghouse encounter with the supercell and are in perfect position to intercept. However, they have difficulties finding the Tornado as it becomes cloaked in the precipitation. Then they miss the tornado opportunity. In the seventh episode, Sean becomes so frustated that he decides to join and chase along VORTEX 2. After a long drive, Doghouse tells TIV that the best place to intercept is in Wyoming. Sean then decides to leave VORTEX 2 and let his meteorologist try to put him in the way of the tornado. Finally, Sean is position in the way and manages to intercept and get the IMAX footage of a lifetime. He then realizes he got data and jokes about selling it to Josh. After 2 hours later, Sean finds out Josh was in the storm too and with the TIV 2 intercept data, it gives Josh a better way to predict tornados and how they look. This was the final episode of the TIV 2 during the season.