NEW SERIES UNCOVERS INCREDIBLE ENGINEERING BEHIND THE 747, HOVERCRAFT AND OTHER MEGA MACHINERY – PREMIERES SUNDAY, APRIL 28 AT 9PM ET/PT
NEW YORK – March 21, 2019 – Smithsonian Channel is delving deep into innovations that changed the world with INSIDE MIGHTY MACHINES. Hosted by ex-NASA jet engineer Chad Zdenek, the new six-part series scrapes away the grease and chisels through the rust to reveal the remarkable engineering principles that make great machines run. Working alongside salvage teams as they take these giants apart piece by piece – from a 747 jumbo jet to an oil rig in the North Sea – Zdenek gets a final chance to figure out how they were built and how they worked. Along the way, he explores the impact of each invention and how it changed history. INSIDE MIGHTY MACHINES premieres Sunday, April 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.
“It's been a privilege to get up close and personal with these extraordinary mega machines to see what makes them tick,” says Zdenek. “From the gravity-defying hovercraft to the behemoth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, we're taking viewers under the hood of the most impressive engineering feats in the modern era of mechanics.”
In the premiere episode, JUMBO JET, Zdenek joins an aircraft-dismantling team in Mississippi as a Boeing 747 lands on the runway for the very last time. As the plane is decommissioned, cameras follow Zdenek as he cuts his way through the inner mechanisms of the cabin, cockpit and four massive jet engines to strip the plane into six million parts. As he does so, Zdenek discovers how and why these planes were built, the mechanics that made them soar and the incredible engineering that made the 747 a legend of aviation.
Subsequent episodes of INSIDE MIGHTY MACHINES are:
Premieres Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Zdenek heads to North Carolina to dismantle and then implode the Buck Steam Station – a nearly 100-year-old coal power plant built in the 1920s which, at its peak, was burning up to 20,000 tons of coal per day and powering up to a thousand homes. Before 300 explosive charges bring the plant down, cameras get inside the action as the century-old boilers, turbines, condensers and generators are torn apart, revealing how coal power helped build 20th-century America.
Premieres Sunday, May 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Southampton, on England’s south coast, is the final home of what was once the biggest hovercraft ever built – the Princess Margaret. As crews strip it down, Zdenek uncovers the principles that allow this 300-ton amphibious craft to hover weightlessly over the ground – and the water. Zdenek explores how the era of mighty passenger hovercrafts was finally brought to a surprising end by cheap alcohol – and then joins the crew of an LCAC, the U.S. Navy’s state of the art military hovercraft, deployed in some of the world’s most extreme conditions.
DEEP SEA OIL RIG
Premieres Sunday, May 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Zdenek joins a team that’s pulling off an engineering first – dismantling the North Sea’s biggest oil rig. As the 400-foot-high monster is towed ashore and then dismantled, Zdenek reveals the story of how, against the backdrop of a global oil crisis, deep water oil engineers raced to build an enormous machine to drill through the sea bed in their search for black gold. As he does, he unearths the dozens of systems that kept the rig pumping non-stop during its 40-year lifespan.
Premieres Sunday, May 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Joining a team of mechanics responsible for stripping down and rebuilding the biggest aircraft in the U.S. Air Force’s arsenal – the Lockheed C5 Super Transporter – Zdenek discovers what it takes to get 380,000 pounds of plane, plus its cargo, up in the air and back on the ground in combat zones. Inside this mammoth warehouse with wings, Zdenek sees how ingenious engineering overcame the design flaws that once grounded the entire C5 fleet, and the extreme forces that still strain the plane every time it takes flight to allow the Galaxy to play a critical role in conflicts from Vietnam to Afghanistan.
Premieres Sunday, June 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Go inside one of the biggest inventions of them all – a U.S. aircraft carrier. Zdenek follows the crew of mechanics, engineers and sailors who maintain the USS Carl Vinson, an incredible floating city that’s at the forefront of military technology. Embedded on board, he discovers the enormous engineering designed to launch 30-ton aircraft into the sky – and then catch them again as they land at over 100 miles an hour.
INSIDE MIGHTY MACHINES is series produced by Edward Hart of Rare TV. Ailsa Orr, Belinda Cherrington and Tony Lee are executive producers. John Cavanagh, Charles Poe and David Royle serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.