New Delhi: Behind every seemingly impossible marvel of modern engineering is a cast of historic trailblazers who designed new building techniques, took risks on untested materials and revolutionized their field.
To premiere on March 12, every Saturday at 10 PM, Discovery Science’s new series impossible engineering discovers the cutting-edge engineering techniques and the history behind the world’s pioneering mega-structures.
Witness some of the jaw-dropping triumphs of engineering. The spectacular Shanghai Tower is the world’s second tallest building and is designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons. Take a look at the ambitious construction of Kansai International Airport in Japan, which can withstand destructive natural disasters. Marvel at the sheer brilliance of the Maglev Shanghai Train, the world’s fastest commercial train which can reach speeds of over 400km/h – even with leaves on the line. Discover how improbable feats of engineering were accomplished. The building of 3km-long Rion Antirion Bridge in Greece faced may obstacles – not least seismic activity. Find out how the Navy’s mammoth HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier was built. This illuminating series about breathtaking feats of construction concludes with a climb aboard the four-engine Airbus A380, the largest passenger plane in the world.
Each episode details how giant structures, record-beating buildings and the world’s most cutting-edge ships, trains and planes are built and work using 3D graphics, archive and specially shot footage. As this series revels in these modern day creations, it leaps back in time to recount the stories of the exceptional engineers whose technological advances made it all possible.
Some of the awe-inspiring architectural triumphs covered in the series are:
The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is at the vanguard of naval engineering, and the largest vessel in the British Navy’s illustrious history. At 65,000 tons, the four point nine billion dollar vessel dwarfs its predecessors. The Queen Elizabeth has a range of 10,000 nautical miles, and can carry up to 40 aircraft, including the groundbreaking F-35B lightning fighter jets.
The Rion Antirion Bridge, crossing the Gulf of Corinth in Greece, is a modern engineering marvel. The Gulf of Corinth is one of the most important and busiest shipping routes in Europe, even at its narrowest it’s nearly three kilometers wide. This engineering colossus boasts the longest, fully suspended deck, the deepest foundations and the largest supporting piers of any bridge on Earth. 320,000 cubic meters of concrete, more than 100,000 tons of steel and 62 kilometers of cabling have gone into creating the longest fully suspended cable stayed bridge on the planet. In attempting a construction of this scale and complexity engineers had set themselves a seemingly impossible challenge.
At an astounding 632 meters the Shanghai Tower is the second tallest building on Earth, the tallest in China, and one of the tallest ever built in a seismic zone. It is the most advanced building of its kind on the planet, weighing 850,000 ton, with 128 floors and nine indoor gardens where 16,000+ people work, sleep and shop – making it a true sky city. The engineering complications begin at this mighty tower’s roots, because not only is Shanghai an active seismic and typhoon zone, but amazingly this mega city is sinking into the soft soil below. The solid bedrock is 200 meters down, with Shanghai itself wallowing on a soft later of sand, clay and soil.
Kansai Airport Island the biggest manmade island in the world, built on the unpredictable waters of Osaka Bay, it’s construction was a seemingly impossible challenge. Building in Osaka Bay meant tackling one of the most hostile environments on earth, with typhoon winds a regular occurrence. Nearly 50 percent of Japan’s coastline now relies on tetrapods. The Kansai Airport’s seawall is one of the largest single applications in the world, with over 48,000 pieces of the tetrapod installed.