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We focus on modern-day miracles of construction. Superhuman feats of modern engineering from around the world.

In Megastructures: Panama Canal we meet the mother of all mega-movers. Every year this strategic waterway lifts 14,000 ships over the equivalent of a nine-storey mountain range. Relying on some of the mightiest machines and feats of engineering in the world, the demands for its services are high, and now there are plans afoot for an even bigger, better canal.

Megastructures: Deep Sea Drillers follows an attempt to tap some of the most inaccessible natural gas on the planet, in which five high-tech mega vessels will complete a 1,800 square mile gas network, over a mile and a half below the ocean’s surface. At the heart of the project is the enormous gas-processing platform, the Independence Hub. If successful the system will produce enough gas to supply nearly 5 million households in the US.

Megastructures: Iceland’s Big Dig takes us six hundred feet underground in Iceland’s remote Eastern highlands to a gigantic Tunnel Boring Machine called Jaws. After two years of constant grind, "Jaws" has bored a tunnel over twenty-five feet in diameter nearly nine miles through basalt. This tunnel is the linchpin of a massive Hydro-Electric project that plans to use the melt water from a massive glacier to make electricity. One of the biggest challenges is steering this monster machine in a straight line, so that after nine miles eighty-eight yards it hits target dead centre. Will "Jaws" Breakthrough or bust?

Megastructures: Super Pipeline looks at one of the gas industry’s riskiest projects ever undertaken. By 2008, Britain will be connected to Norway via a 1,200 km super pipeline. It’s composed of over one million tonnes of steel and equating to a 1/3 of the world’s combined pipeline production company. Yet all of the work must be completed by robots working 3 km under the North Sea against harsh underwater currents, sub-zero temperatures and abysmal wind and wave conditions.

They span acres of land and consume enough electricity to power small towns. Megafactories are some of the most unique production facilities on Earth. We visit Italy’s Ferrari factories, to witness the construction of the Ferrari 599 from molten metal through to its 200 mph test drives, and learn how Formula One technology is transferred onto the production line. Then to Ohio and Texas, to see how tanks can be stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up, rather than built from new. In combat they are weapons capable of destroying targets two miles away. Finally, Apache Helicopters are perhaps the most lethal attack helicopters in the world. We visit the Boeing plant in Arizona, to see how sophisticated military technology is helping to make sure that the Apache pilots make it back home.

Take an eye-popping look at the greatest structures and machines ever created.

The Harley-Davidson is an American icon. We go behind the scenes at the Harley-Davidson HQ to discover how this particular mega factory is able to rev up 50 new Harleys every single hour, and get an inside peek at the process to create the controversial newly designed V-Rod. We also visit the John Deere factory, which covers more than 300,000 square metres, houses more than 2000 employees and 49 robotic welders. Find out how all these elements combine to help stamp, press, cut and weld 60,000 tons of steel into the John Deere STS Combine – a harvesting mega-machine. Finally we travel to the Peterbilt factory where workers are busy building Model 387 trucks, made to pull vehicles weighing up to 36 tonnes. With its mechanical brute strength and human creativity, this mega factory brings Peterbilt’s aerodynamic king of the long-distance fleet to the road.

EPISODE GUIDE

  • Megastructures: Air Crane Helicopter
    Take a look at the phenomenally powerful Air-Crane heavy-lift helicopter, capable of carrying out gruelling work with surgical precision.
  • Megastructures: World's Tallest TV Tower
    The elegant Guangzhou Sightseeing and TV Tower is one of the world's tallest buildings. Find out how it is designed to withstand Mother Nature.
  • Megastructures: Megastructures: Super Ski Lift
    Follow the staggering $25 million project to 'super size' the famous aerial tram at Jackson Hole, with some parts constructed at over 4,000ft.
  • Megastructures: Reinventing The Hoover Dam
    The Hoover Dam is an iconic piece of American engineering. But how would modern engineers have tackled the project?
  • Megastructures: Electric Ocean
    The ocean could be our most valuable source of green energy. Three teams of engineers seek the best way to generate electricity using its power.
  • Megastructures: Ice Breakers
    Examine the vessels that keep the world's shipping lanes open and follow the construction of the largest commercial icebreaker ever built.
  • Megastructures: Britain's New Railway
    Explore one of the largest engineering projects in UK history: High Speed One, the groundbreaking high-speed rail link between London and Paris.
  • Megastructures: Future Bridge
    Follow the record-breaking effort to rebuild the Minneapolis I-35W bridge in only 17 months, with a focus on its unique engineering.
  • Megastructures: The Grand Mosque
    Containing both the world's largest chandelier and the world's biggest carpet, explore the remarkable Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
  • Megastructures: The Round Skycraper
    Following the construction of a truly remarkable building – the Aldar HQ building in Abu Dhabi – from conception to completion.
  • Megastructures: The Leaning Tower Of Abu Dhabi
    The Capital Gate building will create an iconic and avant-garde entrance to the city of Abu Dhabi, leaning at a record-breaking 18 degrees.
  • Megastructures: Queen Mary 2
    In 1998, long after the golden age of ocean liner travel had ended, an American billionaire decides to fulfil his dream and build the largest ocean liner on the planet in record time.
  • Megastructures: Supertanker
    Revealing the remarkable secrets of these gods of the seas: the size, the technology, the power and the incredible science behind the engineering and design. With exclusive access to the world's largest shipbuilders and shipyards.
  • Megastructures: South Pole Station
    For decades the South Pole has been a haven for astronomy and climatology. Now, despite the inhospitable conditions, a project is under way to build a 21st-century research facility.
  • Megastructures: Ice Hotel
    Every year thousands of tons of ice and snow are needed to build the Ice Hotel. Witness the construction and disappearance of this most unique megastructure.
  • Megastructures: Atom Smasher
    The Large Hadron Collider is a titan of science. Built on an unsurpassed scale, scientists aim to capture the smallest particles in the universe.
  • Megastructures: The Ultimate Rollercoaster
    Follow the building of Kingda Ka, the world's fastest and tallest rollercoaster. Designed to go from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds and 45 stories tall, Kingda Ka is a structural giant.
  • Megastructures: Deep Earth Drillers
    Explore the world's largest geothermal power complex as scientists and visionaries try to expand the potential of geothermal power across the planet.
  • Megastructures: The World's Busiest Port
    Straddling one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, this is the port of call for a quarter of the world's containers and half the world's supply of oil. Now, imagine if something at this port were to go horribly wrong...
  • Megastructures: Diamond Diggers
    At the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, meet the world's most hardcore mining machines: the D90 rotary blast drill, the DeMag 655 hydraulic shovel, and the CAT 793C haul truck.
  • Megastructures: Channel Tunnel
    Construction of the most expensive railway tunnel in history suffered from flood and roof collapse, but technology finally saved the day.
  • Megastructures: Future Trains
    Speeding at 430 km/h, a futuristic magnetic levitation train turns a 30 km journey into an eight-minute joyride. Safe and efficient MAGLEV technology could change the way we travel in the future.
  • Megastructures: Garbage Mountain
    Uncover the giant world of garbage at America's largest active mega-dump in Puente Hills, California. Here, a record 2,000 tonnes of rubbish are processed in an hour.
  • Megastructures: Money Factory
    Explore America's mammoth money-making industry, a secretive world of monster machines, impenetrable vaults and an army of guards, all supporting the world's most powerful economy.
  • Megastructures: Oil Mine
    There is enough oil in the frozen wasteland of Canada's northern plains to free the US and Canada from dependence on Saudi Arabia within nine years. Extracting is a huge engineering project.
  • Megastructures: Super Pipeline
    A 1,200 km super pipeline connecting Norway and the UK is only part of the plan to tap into Norway's second largest gas deposit.
  • Megastructures: Ultimate Skyscraper NYC
    Visit amazing construction and engineering projects as building experts employ green technology on a mega scale.
  • Megastructures: Pearl River Tower
    Discover how a multitude of energy efficient technologies power China's Pearl River Tower, one of a new generation of super skyscrapers.
  • Megastructures: Singapore Vegas
    The secrets behind Singapore's Marina Bay Sands development, which includes hotels, a museum, casino, waterfront promenade and theatres.
  • Megastructures: Dubai's 5-Star Racecourse
    Built in the middle of the desert, the new Meydan racecourse will define raceday luxury. But will it be finished in time for the Dubai World Cup?
  • Megastructures: Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
    To save one of the most iconic engineering wonders of all time requires the creation of another masterpiece: the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge.
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