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National Geographic Society
National GeographicNat Geo WildNat Geo People
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  • BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST

  • Tuesday 23 October 2018 at 14:00
  • National Geographic

DESCRIPTION

Look at engineering leaps that have helped different types of structures go from big to bigger to biggest.

The race is on to become the world's biggest. Crowned the biggest in their fields, structures like the 600-metre Burj Dubai skyscraper and the 99,000-ton USS Nimitz represent the most cutting-edge advances in architecture and engineering today. But these mind-blowing 21st century constructions would not be possible without the historical breakthroughs that propelled these fields to new heights.

This new four-part series Big, Bigger, Biggest examines the various engineering leaps that helped these structures become historical giants. How did bridges evolve in size from simple bamboo walkways to modern marvels such as Japan's Akashi Bridge? And what advances have allowed buildings to grow from a few storeys in size to the modern skyscraper?

Skyscraper and Bridge examine the world's tallest building, the 600-metre Burj Dubai, and Japan's Akashi Bridge – the world's longest suspension bridge – to identify hundreds of years of innovation that have made these structures possible. A masterpiece based on a century of shipbuilding advancements, Aircraft Carrier USS Nimitz is equipped with state-of-the-art catapults that launch F18 jets off the runway and two nuclear reactors that enable the ship to sail for 20 years without refuelling. London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 in Airport builds off seven other airports' clever designs to bring the airport's annual number of passengers up to 100 million and to shuffle 4,000 bags an hour through 18 kilometres of conveyor belt.

EPISODE GUIDE

  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Oil Rig
    The advanced technologies that have enabled the world's largest oil rig to be built are revealed.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Space Station
    The film features five space stations that have contributed innovations to allow engineers to build bigger and explore the wonders of space travel.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Submarine
    This episode explores the six critical innovations that needed to occur before such a behemoth could be constructed.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Telescope
    This film reveals the technological leaps forward that have enabled the world's largest telescope - the Large Binocular Telescope - to be built.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Tunnel
    We'll reveal the incredible stories behind the six landmark tunnels and the inventions that have enabled tunnels to grow even longer.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Dam
    We study the technological advancement in the construction of the world's largest hydroelectric dam, the Three Gorges Dam, in China.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Canal Zone
    Watch one of the biggest manmade marvels on the planet, the Panama Canal
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Icebreaker
    This film explores icebreaking ship technology of the Timofey Guzhenko from four of its historic engineering breakthroughs.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Metro
    'The Tube' is the biggest metro system in the Western world and a true masterpiece of subterranean construction.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Prison
    Holding over 1400 of America's most dangerous prisoners, the North Branch Correctional Institution is one of the most secure prisons in the world.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Airport
    With Terminal 5, over 100 million people will travel through Heathrow Airport. T5 can handle 4,000 bags per hour and is equipped to detect explosive traces.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Bridge
    It can withstand the natural disasters, Japan's Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is the world's longest suspension bridge and the pinnacle of bridge engineering.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Aircraft Carrier
    The world's biggest warship, USS Nimitz, can carry 90 aircraft, sail for over 20 years without refuelling and launch a supersonic jet every 20 seconds.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Skyscraper
    The tallest man-made structure on Earth, the Burj Khalifa. We reveal how seven ingenious technological breakthroughs enabled engineers to build it.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Aircraft
    The Antonov 124 is the world's largest cargo aircraft. It has carried everything from battle tanks to other aircraft all over the world.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Tower
    Rising 610 metres tall, the Canton Tower is the tallest television tower in the world. Join us as we reveal the technologies used behind its construction.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Train
    Join us to explore how the construction of the French 'Train à Grande Vitesse' was made possible through a series of four historic engineering breakthroughs.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: O Submarino
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: A Roda-Gigante
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Dome
    Take a detailed look at the world's largest spanning dome: the Oita Stadium in Japan.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Sky Wheel
    The Singapore Flyer is the tallest observation wheel on Earth. Rising 165 metres into the sky, it can take 1260 passengers every hour.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Cruise Ship
    This film reveals the technological leaps that have allowed the Independence of the Seas launched as the worlds biggest cruise ship in 2008.
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Canal Zone
    Through the rainforests of Central America stretches one of the greatest man-made marvels in the world, the mother of all shortcuts, the Panama Canal.
    Next Showing:  
    Tuesday 23 October 2018 at 14:00 - National Geographic
    Repeats:  
    Tuesday 30 October 2018 at 10:00 - National Geographic

  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Icebreaker
    Weighing in at over 93-thousand tonnes, the Timofey Guzhenko is by far the biggest icebreaking ship to operate in the Arctic Ocean.
    Next Showing:  
    Tuesday 30 October 2018 at 14:00 - National Geographic
    Repeats:  
    Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 10:00 - National Geographic

  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Metro
    The London Underground is the biggest metro system in the Western world, and a true masterpiece of subterranean construction.
    Next Showing:  
    Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 14:00 - National Geographic
    Repeats:  
    Tuesday 13 November 2018 at 10:00 - National Geographic

  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Prison
    Holding over 1400 of America's most dangerous prisoners, the North Branch Correctional Institution is one of the most secure prisons in the world.
    Next Showing:  
    Tuesday 13 November 2018 at 14:00 - National Geographic
    Repeats:  
    Tuesday 20 November 2018 at 10:00 - National Geographic

  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Tower
    Rising 610-metres tall, Canton Tower is the tallest television tower in the world. Join us as we reveal the technologies used behind its construction.
    Next Showing:  
    Tuesday 20 November 2018 at 14:00 - National Geographic
  • Big, Bigger, Biggest: Train
    The Train à Grande Vitesse regularly reaches speeds exceeding 300kmph. Explore the historic engineering breakthroughs that aided in it’s construction.
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