Faster Than A Speeding Bullet - The quest for speed from the early aviators to dreams of aircraft of the future. This is the story of Air Speed records and the advances in technology which have contributed to the various aviation successes and failures. On the bitterly cold morning of December 17th. 1903, Orville Wright coaxed the Wright Flyer off the sands at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and launched the era of powered flight. He also launched a race that has gone on unceasingly ever since; the race for ever more speed. Thirty-five years later, at the start of World War Two, fighter aircraft were flying at around 300 miles per hour. A dozen years later Chuck Yeager doubled that speed and broke the dreaded sound barrier, in the Bell X1. By The 1970's ordinary fare paying passengers were crossing the Atlantic faster than a speeding bullet, in the Concorde. 52 minutes
The Flying Years - On a bleak December day in 1903, among the dunes at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina, a fragile bi-plane took off in a strong buffeting wind and flew for just 12 seconds, skimming 120 feet across the sands. At the controls a man called Orville Wright. Man's first controlled powered flight. Only sixty years later the world's first supersonic jetliner thundered into the air at Toulouse in France. This programme tells the extraordinary story of flying history from Kitty Hawk to Concorde, from brave pioneers staggering into the air in their string bag machines, to the age of global mass air travel. It's a hell of a story. 58 minutes
Your Flight In Their Hands - You are sitting in the departure lounge. You've been through all the hassle of baggage check in, and passport and security checks. Now you've got a few minutes to catch a breather and a cup of coffee before your flight is called. You'll be in New York or Chicago or Atlanta in a few hours and meeting so and so. Or will you? We take flight safety entirely for granted. We can scarcely bother to pay attention to the in flight security briefing. Should we be so casual? Every plane that lifts off has to negotiate a dozen hazards to arrive at its destination safely, from the increasingly crowded airspace around every major airport, to storms and high altitude jet streams en route, not to mention technical failure. The fact that accidents are so few is due to the immense professionalism, of the people who have your flight in their hands. 52 minutes.
The Spitfire Story - The Spitfire was the plane that nobody wanted. It was turned down by the British Government, by industry and even by the Royal Air Force, when the design was first presented to them. It survived only because of the conviction of its great designer, R.J. Mitchell, to become by far the most famous, the most inspirational, the most successful warplane of its generation; the very symbol and image of British pride and power, as the killer fighter of the decisive air battle of World War 2, the Battle of Britain. It was the only allied airplane that was kept in production throughout the entire duration of the war, appearing in over 40 different versions, and flying in every theatre of the war. With hitherto unseen footage, this programme tells the entire story of this remarkable airplane, from its inception, to its great triumphs in battle. 85 minutes.
The Wright Brothers at Huffman Prairie - Fascinating look into the backgrounds of Orville and Wilbur Wright as told to us by Orville’s niece and son. A great historical program as to the many attempts, failures and successes of the two American inventors of the first airplane. On December 17, 1903, the Orville brothers began to test their first airplane. It took them four tries to get the plane to fly 852 feet in 59 seconds on the pastures of Huffman Prairie in Ohio. Orville proclaimed that the flight was a success. On November 9, 1904 the Wright brothers made four complete circles with their plane. It took five minutes, and four seconds to complete the four circles of Huffman Prairie, but they were pleased with the outcome. On May 30, 1912, Orville Wright passed away at the age of 45. But, Wilbur continued what the two brothers had started in aviation. And as for the field where they flew their first plane, it is empty and quiet now, but the spirit of the place is still the same, and always be will be. 25 minutes