Colditz Castle, a notorious prisoner of war camp in Nazi Germany, was supposed to be escape-proof. But in World War II, a group of British officers dreamt up an escape plan: in a secret attic workshop, they constructed a two-man glider out of bed sheets and floorboards. The plan was to fly to freedom from the roof of the castle, but the war ended before they could put it to the test. Now a team of aero engineers and carpenters rebuilds the glider in the same attic using the same materials and use a bathtub full of concrete to catapult the glider off the roof to find out if the legendary glider plan would have succeeded.
Host Eric Gorges combs the country for America’s finest craftsmen, documenting what it means to be a modern-day maker. In each episode, Eric explains the history of an old-world craft as it is practiced in America today.
Host Eric Gorges visits John Wilson, a writer, a teacher and a woodworker, at his home shop and learns how to make a shoulder plane. Eric learns the history of shop-made tools, how to home temper tool-steel and the importance of salt in the woodshed.
More than 30 animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals secretly record animal behavior in the wild. These “spy creatures” reveal that animals show emotions and behavior similar to humans – a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, cooperate and invent.
Meet the Spies
This “making of” episode takes us through the evolution of Spy Creatures from the original boulder cam to the penguin cams that inspired the spycams in this series.
Nearly six years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the unprecedented trio of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers are struggling to control an ongoing crisis at the wrecked plant. What’s next for Fukushima? What’s next for Japan? And what’s next for a world that seems determined to jettison one of our most important carbon-free sources of energy? NOVA investigates how the realities of climate change, the inherent limitations of renewable energy sources, and the optimism and enthusiasm of a new generation of nuclear engineers is seeding a renaissance in nuclear technology, all while the most recent disaster is still being managed.
Follow an army of engineers and designers as they tackle the complex challenge of building Crossrail, a massive new subterranean railway deep beneath the streets of London.
Structural engineer Steve Burrows leads his team of laser-scanning experts to Jordan to scan the ancient desert city of Petra, where he wants to uncover its construction secrets and shed new light on this architectural wonderland lost to the West for more than 1,000 years.
Growing desperate in 1943, Hitler hatches a diabolical weapon: a bank of “superguns” housed in a massive underground complex in Nazi occupied northern France. Together the guns would be able to shoot 600 high explosive shells 100 miles into downtown London every hour. Join NOVA as engineers, archaeologists and WWII historians investigate this fearsome weapon.
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he won instant fame. Yet this accomplished engineer and test pilot was so determined to stay out of the limelight that few know the personal story of how his rare combination of talent, luck and experience led to his successful command of Apollo 11. NOVA presents an intimate portrait of an unassuming American hero through interviews with Armstrong’s family and friends.
During World War I, the Allies and Germans repeatedly struggled to break the hideous stalemate of trench warfare. In the winter of 1916, Allied engineers devised a massive surprise attack on the German army. Their weapon of choice: 600 tons of explosives, hidden in secret tunnels dug under German lines.
Building the tunnels was desperate work, with tunnelers at constant risk from flooding, cave-ins and enemy digging teams; German sappers would listen for telltale sounds and explode counter-mines, or sometimes break through into Allied tunnels and grapple in primitive, face-to-face combat in the dark.
At 3:10 AM on June 7th, 25 mines at Messines were simultaneously triggered in what was probably the single biggest non-nuclear explosion of all time, heard clearly in London 150 miles away. 10,000 German troops were killed instantly – but the stunning success was just the beginning of another wartime nightmare.
Now, archaeologists are revealing the extraordinary scale and risks of the Allied tunneling operations in the biggest excavation ever undertaken on the Western Front.
Learn the story of farm labor organizer Larry Itliong and a group of Filipino farm workers who instigated The Delano Grape Strike of 1965, which brought about the creation of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW). While the movement is known for Cesar Chavez’s leadership and considered a Chicano movement, Filipinos played a pivotal role.
Follow artists, drivers and passengers of the famed ornate transportation vehicles in the Philippines.