City in the SkyHDClosed Captioning
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This series reveals the immense geological forces that could bring our planes down in seconds, the engineering genius that keeps us aloft, and the superlative power of the human minds that have to make knife-edge decisions every minute of every day.
|1||HDClosed CaptioningVideoDeparture||What does it take to get a million people off the ground and up in the air? From building the world’s biggest passenger plane to controlling the flow of passengers through the busiest airport on the planet, to the perils of getting airborne in the coldest city on earth... This episode explores all the elements that have to be in place before a flight can leave the ground: getting food, fuel, people and luggage loaded onto a plane is a huge logistical challenge, one that is repeated a hundred thousand times over every single day. Thousands of people are hard at work behind the scenes to ensure that your plane is ready for departure, and this episode seeks to reveal the hidden worlds in which they operate. In Dubai airport, we follow the journey of suitcases from check-in the plane: – a journey of up to 50 miles in distance, on a hidden ‘railway’ that lies buried beneath the terminal buildings. We also join the world’s biggest in-flight catering company as they prepare thousands of meals for consumption in the city in the sky. In Belgium, we look at Europe’s biggest fuel pipeline, and learn how it delivers Jet-A1 to major airports across the continent. And in Atlanta, we demonstrate the hidden design tricks that control our movements through an airport unconsciously. The episode comes to a climax when we join the crew of an Airbus A380 for the moment of take-off. You’ll never look at flying the same way again.||52:06||$2.99||View in iTunes|
|2||HDClosed CaptioningVideoAirborne||This episode explores just what it takes to keep the ‘city in the sky’ airborne and safe between take-off and landing. Once you’re in the air, flying may seem everyday and uneventful, but behind the scenes there are thousands of hidden processes keeping you there. One key element of this is navigation, and we discover exactly how pilots find their way across thousands of miles of open sky in the dead of night. We reveal the hidden global network of locators known ‘waypoints’ that pilots can follow through the air. We meet the air traffic controllers responsible for regulating the busiest airspace in the world: the skies over Atlanta, Georgia. On every shift, they hold the lives of thousands of passengers in their hands. We also explore the revolution in aircraft construction, looking at how new ‘composite’ materials have enabled the evolution of planes that are lighter and stronger than ever before. They have also helped transform the passenger experience – thanks to their strengths new planes can be put under high pressure, and this extra air helps us passengers feel better in flight. And it’s not just about the planes themselves, it’s also about us human beings. When we get sick in the air, there’s a hidden airborne medical service available to help. The Medaire facility, in Phoenix Arizona, offers highly trained ER doctors who can remotely diagnose passengers who fall ill at 35,000 feet. The existence of all of these elements have helped make flying safer than ever before.||52:06||$2.99||View in iTunes|
|3||HDClosed CaptioningVideoArrival||There are around a million people airborne at any one time. But what goes up must come down - and getting passengers safely back to earth depends on complex global networks and some astonishing technology. Around the world, 100,000 flights a day make touchdown – almost every one safely. In this programme we explore what is involved in bringing the citizens of the sky back to the ground. We take a front row seat, joining one of the most experienced pilots in the Himalayas in his cockpit. Our pilot is one of just 26 in the world qualified to land at Paro, Bhutan, considered by many to be the world’s most dangerous place to land. It’s a hair-raising flight through an incredibly narrow valley, just a few hundred feet from the mountainside. In Atlanta airport, we meet up with air traffic controllers who at certain times of year may have to guide in 1000 flights a day. Atlanta is the busiest airport in the world, and we find out how its ingenious layout helps it cope with the weight of numbers. At Bangor Airport, in Maine, staff are on a constant state of alert: this is a designated emergency airport, and there have been over 2000 unscheduled landings here in the last decade. We join the airport fire crew for emergency response training. With the City in the sky predicted to double in size in the next 20 years, we learn what challenges will be faced in the decades to come.||52:36||$2.99||View in iTunes|
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