BBC - The Century of Flight with Robert Powell (1997)

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BBC - The Century of Flight with Robert Powell (1997)

Post by MVGroup » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:47 pm

The Century of Flight

Technology Documentary hosted by Robert Powell and published by BBC in 1997 - English narration




The Most Definitive Story of Manned Flight Ever Produced This Century

Ever since Leonardo Da Vinci drew his incredible flying machines, man has been fascinated by the concept of powered flight. Only in the Twentieth Century has his vision come to pass. The earliest men to leave the surface of the earth were the Montgolfier brothers with their early hot air balloons.

In the last half of the 19th Century, more sophisticated balloons were used initially for novelty and then for spotting military targets particularly during the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.

However, it was only with the gliders of Otto Lilienthal that man rose into the air, albeit briefly, supported by wings. The gliding exploits of the German Professor sparked the imagination of the two young American brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright, who at the turn of the Century were fascinated by box kites which could be powered by the newly invented internal combustion engine.

In 1903 at a place called Kittyhawk, the brothers left the surface of the earth for the first time in a powered machine. Since then, man has striven to produce machines which fly higher and faster and carry passengers so that the Twentieth Century has seen like no other, earthbound man accelerate to one and a half thousand miles an hour with luxury air travel at seven miles above the Earth.

In military terms, man has flown even higher and faster, some say at speeds exceeding 5,000 miles per hour on the edge of space. But the greatest achievement of all came when with political determination and the invention of the rocketship, science fiction became fact and man first walked on the surface of Earth's moon.

Since then, he has sent rocket launched satellites to the far corners of our solar system in order to send back data and photographs of the surface of other planets in our galaxy.

By the constant linkage of aviation to warfare, man has accelerated his conquest of the skies by striving to produce more and more efficient aerial killing machines.

It was the rapid development of military aviation in World War I which produced the Vickers Vimy which carried Alcock and Brown across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in 1919, to be followed in 1927 by the first lone aviator to cross the Atlantic - Charles Lindbergh.

Since Lindbergh's daring journey which inspired a generation, man has developed air transport which today is typified in the shape of the giant Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet. This aircraft has undoubtedly revolutionised air transport for the masses and has brought travel to the furthest points on the earth's globe at an affordable level for most people, in under twenty-four hours travelling time.

The series has been compiled with access to some of the rarest archive film ever taken. Unprecedented co-operation has been extended to the Producers by the world's leading aircraft manufacturers and leading archive libraries.

These stories have not always ended in success and included in the footage are rare shots of prototype accidents and failures which contributed to the inevitable achievement and success of man in the air. The Century of Flight is the largest series ever produced on man's victory in the skies.

Over 250,000 hours of material have been examined by international experts to assemble the most definitive story of manned flight ever produced this century.


(26 x 52 minute episodes)

1 Man Learns To Fly (1900 - 1914)
2 High Above the Trenches (Military Aviation 1914-18)
3 Wings Over the Sea (Naval Aviation 1914-18)
4 Strike from the Air (Birth of Strategic Bombing 1914-18)
5 The Trailblazers (Epic Flights 1919-39)
6 The Romance of the Air (Civil Aviation 1919-39)
7 The Shadow of the Bomber (Military Aviation 1919-39)
8 Struggle for the Skies (Fighters of World War II)
9 Airpower and Armies 1939-45
10 Airpower and Navies 1939-45
11 The Bomber as War Winner? (Strategic Bombing 1939-45)
12 The Coming of the Jets
13 Cold War Skies
14 The Helicopter Story
15 Korea to the Gulf War (Air Warfare Post 1945)
16 Naval Aviation 1945-95
17 Embracing the World (Civil Aviation Post 1945)
18 The Spectacle of Flying (Post 1945)
19 Law Enforcement from the Air
20 Angels of Mercy
21 Anyone can fly (private flying since 1945)
22 To the Furthest Corners of the World (Aircraft and Exploration)
23 The Parachute Story
24 To the Moon and Beyond (The History of Space Flight)
25 Madcaps and Oddballs (Aviation Ideas that Failed)
26 The Future of Flight

1) Man Learns To Fly

The development of the early heavier-than-air and lighter-than-air flying machines. The programme framework includes a comparison to all forms of modern flight, the early dream of flight, hot-air balloons, kites and gliders, early powered flight, early pioneers, early attempts at speed and distance records including Bleriot's English Channel crossing, the Zeppelins and the build-up to World War I.

2) High Above the Trenches
How the aeroplane went to war, with the development of the combat aircraft from the unarmed reconnaissance types to specialised fighters. The programme includes simulated air combat by replica fighters in colour, reviews the part played by aircraft in the early part of World War I including the coming of the Fighting Scout. Also featured is the heyday of air fighting on the western front, 1917-18, including fighter ground attack, the great aces and the way in which the legacy of these years inspired pilots in the modern day.

3) Wings Over the Sea
This programme covers the development of naval aviation during the Great War. We travel back from the aircraft carriers today to see how early aircraft were used initially for observation for the fleet. Early float planes led to the development of long range flying boats and the coming of the aircraft carrier heralded a new age of aircraft versus ship. In combating other ships, including submarines, colour footage shows how the aircraft became the ship's greatest enemy.

4) Strike from the Air
The aircraft soon bought civilians into the firing line as never before and brought about a new form of total war. The programme shows the origins of aerial bombing initially from Zeppelins. In turn, how the Zeppelins were defeated and how heavy bombers were developed by the major nations. Strategic bombing is examined in terms of its early role to hit targets behind the trenches, eventually extending to civilian targets as well as industrial targets.

5) The Trailblazers
A review of the great long distance flights and those aviators who achieved them including colour re-enactments by restored and replica aircraft. The great transatlantic flights are featured together with those to the Orient and Africa. The conquering of the Pacific is covered including Amelia Earhart and the mystery of her disappearance, how both Poles were overflown and the way in which these early exploration craft paved the way for modern airliners.

6) The Romance of the Air
A review of heroic days of civil aviation. How civil airlines began in Europe and USA during the 1920s. Airship versus Aircraft - rivalry for transatlantic routes, culminating in the R101 and Hindenburg airship disasters. British Imperial Airways and Pan Am flying boat services. Airmindedness - air shows, aerobatics, barnstorming.

7) The Shadow of the Bomber
How air forces developed between the two world wars. Rearmament - creation of the Luftwaffe, expansion of the Russian Air Force, reaction of western democracies. Dress Rehearsals - the use of airpower in Abyssinia, Spain and China during the late 1930s. Technical developments - the development of the monoplane metal - framed fighter, bomber developments, and invention of radar meant that the bomber would not necessarily get through.

8) Struggle for the Skies
Fighter developments and the great air battles. Colour collage of World War II fighters. All powerful Luftwaffe - Poland 1939 and France 1940. The Critical Contest - Battle of Britain 1940, including the tactics used by both sides. Colour graphics and diagrams are used. The Fighter War in Europe - Eastern and Western Fronts, with emphasis on increasing armament and speed of piston-engine fighters. This includes colour footage. Night Fighters -developments. The fighter aces - the leading aces and their stories. Coming of the jets - review of World War II types, in colour.

9) Airpower and Armies
How aircraft were used in direct support of ground forces. Camera gun shots in colour of aircraft attacking ground targets. Blitzkrieg - the JU87 Stuka divebomber and the role it played in the German Blitzkrieg offensives. Colour graphics are used to explain how the Stukas operated with the Panzers. Close Air Support (The Allied version) in North Africa, Europe and the Pacific, including colour footage. Descent from the Skies - The employment of airborne forces during World War II. Examples include Norway 1940, Belgium and Holland 1940, Crete 1941, Sicily, Normandy, Arnhem, Rhine Crossings. Gliders are also included. Secret War - how aircraft inserted agents into enemy territory.

10) Airpower and Navies
The influence of aviation on maritime operations during World War II. Colour footage of Pearl Harbor in the aftermath of the Japanese 1941 attack on it. How Pearl Harbor took place - the story of the planning, including Yamamoto drawing inspiration from the British carrier strike on the Italian port of Taranto, and the attack itself. US Retaliation - the Doolittle raid on Japan, April 1942 (including colour footage). Aircraft Carriers Rule the Waves - vulnerability of ships to aircraft meant that the carrier took over from battleship as principal naval weapon. Colour graphics/diagrams to explain how carriers operated. Pacific Carrier Battles - Midway 1942, Leyte Gulf 1944, Japanese kamikaze attacks. Reconnaissance over the Sea - use of land-based aircraft and ship-borne floatplanes, with examples - hunting the Bismarck, by German commerce raiders to locate victims. Aircraft versus Submarine - U-boats and sinking merchant vessels in the Battle of the Atlantic, use of aircraft in the battle (both land-based and carrier) and the techniques they employed. Some footage in colour.

11) The Bomber as War Winner
Colour collage of World War II bombers taking off and airborne. Eastern front- German and Russian bombing operations, with the emphasis on lack of German long range bombers. The combined Bomber offensive. Notable Raids - Dambusters (including graphics), Mosquito pinpoint raids. Strategic bombing offensive against Japan. The ultimate weapon - development of A-bomb and its use against Japan.

12) The Coming of the Jets
The development of the jet up to and including the Korean War. Pre-war developments, combat jets of World War II. Breaking of the sound barrier. The Right Stuff - how US pilots continued to investigate supersonic flight in X-craft, mainly colour footage. Combat jet developments. The first jet airliners - British Comet and others. Jet Battles over Korea - US F-80s and F-86s battle it out with MiG 15s, including what it was like to be an early jet combat pilot.

13) Cold War Skies
The role of airpower in the Cold War. Coming of the Cold War. Berlin Airlift - the story of the greatest air transport operation in history, including some colour. Cold War Combat Aircraft. Spies in the sky - US spyplanes, including the 1962 U-2 saga, Soviet probing of western air defences (including shots of fighters scrambling to intercept Soviet bombers), and spy satellites. Again, largely colour. The Nuclear Triad. The walls come down - the end of the Cold War and how the aircraft had played its part in preventing World War III.

14) The Helicopter Story
How the helicopter evolved into today's multi-purpose aerial vehicles. In the beginning, the Autogiro, the first helicopters. The Helicopter goes to war - German use in conjunction with U-boats, US Coast Guard's helicopters, RAF's autogiro flight. Some colour footage. Truly multi-role (military) - development of light observation, utility, transport, heavy lift, and gunship types, using Vietnam, Falklands, Gulf War footage. Almost entirely in colour.

15) Korea to the Gulf War
Air warfare developments in the second half of the Twentieth Century. Korea and SE Asia - air combat showing how the air-to-air missile took over from the cannon as the primary weapon, and the development of 'smart' bombs. Air combat in the Middle East - an examination of the Israeli experience. The making of a fast jet combat pilot - how he (and she) are trained, including the US Navy's top gun school. Fighter tactics today - how a fighter pilot operates, including graphics and diagrams. Air war today - 1991 Gulf War, especially the use of 'smart weapons'.

16) Naval Aviation
Aircraft carrier developments - from World War II types to the carrier of today, and their use from Korean to Gulf wars. Naval fast jets - a review of their development, including why naval requirements are often different to those of air forces. Maritime Patrol - the role played by these aircraft in both war and peace (especially air-sea rescue). Anti-submarine warfare - developments in the role played by aircraft since 1945, including submarine detection and the weapons used. Diagrams and graphics will be used to explain concepts. Anti-ship - aircraft weaponry used and how ships defend themselves. Footage will include some from 1982 Falklands War.

17) Embracing the World
The airlines get back on their feet - immediate post World Ward II developments and how land-based aircraft took over from flying boats for long-haul flights. The coming of jet travel - the Comet and other early jet airliners, turbojets, turboprops, and turbofans (including diagrams to explain the differences), the Jumbo. Supersonic flight - Concorde and Concordski. Air crashes and accident investigation - some notable air disasters and miraculous escapes, and how air crashes are investigated to establish the cause. Terrorism and the air. Air safety - how air traffic control works (includes diagrams).

18) The Spectacle of Flying
Aerobatic display teams - the leading military and civilian display teams in action, and how they prepare their displays. Aerobatic competitions - the pilots and their specialist aircraft, the manoeuvres, and how competitors are judged. Living history - genuine replica aircraft of the past, including the Shuttleworth Collection and the Confederate States Air Force.

19) Law Enforcement from the Air
Helicopter monitoring of a high speed car chase. How police monitor traffic and deter crime, including tracking down criminals. Use of Nitesun and other night vision aids. In criminal hands - light aircraft used from smuggling and how law enforcement agencies combat this and maritime smuggling. Use of Helicopters to spring prisoners from high security jails (1973 rescue of IRA prisoners from Dublin jail and other cases). The drugs war - how aircraft, civil and military, are used to combat the drugs traffic from Central America.

20) Angels of Mercy
The humanitarian uses of the aircraft. Helicopters rescuing people from a skyscraper fire. Aircraft as fire-fighter - dropping water bombs and other forms of fire extinguisher to combat bush and forest fires. Air-sea rescue - how maritime patrol aircraft co-ordinate rescue efforts for ships in distress, use of helicopters in air-sea rescues, including some dramatic examples. Mountain Rescue - the use of helicopters for this. First Aid - aeromedics, including Australian Flying Doctor Service, aeroambulances.

21) Anyone can fly
Private flying in all its forms. Light aircraft in flight. Theme of freedom of the air compared to the ground. Learning to fly - flying schools, both fixed and rotary wing, and how to qualify for a pilot's licence. Aircraft as a way of life - housing estates for aircraft owners, commuting to work by aircraft, the mega-rich and their private airliners. Gliding - recreation and competition. Hang-gliding - the cheapest form of flying. Microlight aircraft. Ballooning - the art, international balloon meets, high altitude ballooning, crossing the Atlantic by balloon and attempts to circumnavigate the globe.

22) To the Furthest Corners of the World
Aerial exploration and its offshoots. Aerial views of the Amazon jungle, Himalayas, deserts of Arabia, Antarctica. Early aerial exploration - especially in the Amazon, the polar regions, Africa, Middle East, first overflight of Everest in 1933. Aerial exploration today - use of aircraft to support expeditions, especially polar treks, and to rescue explorers in trouble. Aerial survey - its use in mapmaking through air photography, and in finding oil. The helicopter and the oil business - how it acts as the lifeline to the ocean oil rigs.

23) The Parachute Story
How parachuting has evolved over the century. Parachute formation team in action and military para drop. The early days - from Garnerin's first parachute descent in a balloon in 1797 to the first parachute jump from an aircraft in 1912. The parachute goes to war - use by balloon observers during World War I but aircraft crews had to do without until German pilots were given them in 1918. Parachuting into battle - formation of Russian and German paratroop formations in late 1930s, German airborne operations 1939-41, Anglo-US airborne operations 1941-45. Some colour and maps included. Military parachuting post 1945 - operations will include Korea, French Indo-China and Algeria, Suez 1956, SAS jungle parachuting Malaya 1950s, Belgian Paras in the Congo 1964, French hostage rescue Kolwezi 1979, and paratroop training. Some colour. Sport parachuting post 1945 - including display teams and free-fall parachuting, ledge jumping and paraboarding. All colour.

24) To the Moon and Beyond
The means to get there - rocketry developments in the 1920s and 1930s, German rocket research and use during World War II. The spur of the Cold War - US and Soviet rocketry developments during the post 1945 decade. First into space, man goes into space. Race to the moon - Russian and US space programmes in 1960s culminating in Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon in July 1969. Beyond the moon - subsequent moon shots, unmanned Soviet Venera, and US Pioneer and Voyager flights inspect other planets, with diagrams to explain how information transmitted back to earth. The future - where space exploration is going.

25) Madcaps and Oddballs
Japanese manpowered flight competition. Manpowered flight - the story from Icarus and Daedalus to Kanellopolous's 1988 distance record. Footage includes many bizarre attempts down through the decades, with a fair degree of colour and humour. Diagrams explain the problems of manpowered flight. It will never fly - Zany home-made flying machines 1900-39. Humour is the keynote. Wartime Oddballs - German piggyback aircraft and other projects, the flying jeep, and many more. White Elephants - expensive projects that hardly got off the ground. These will include Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose, the Northrop Flying Wing, and the British TSR project. The one that worked - Voyager's 1986 non-stop circumnavigation.

26) The Future of Flight
What we might see in the Twenty-First Century. Stealth aircraft in flight. Current frontiers of technology - Stealth, fly-by-wire, swingwing, VTOL. Air Combat of the Future - the X-30 aircraft trials into future air combat, supersonic VSTOL aircraft, and other concepts. What of the helicopter? - the feasibility of helicopters flying much faster than they do at present. Use of diagrams and graphics to explain the problems. Civil Aviation - the future of supersonic flight and other new concepts. Solar-powered flight - its recent history and prospects for the future. Manpowered flight - future prospects. Airships - a possible resurgence, with German and US projects to develop further from the Zeppelins of the 1930s. The ultimate - space exploration, will the Twenty-First Century see landings on planets other than the moon? In just less than one hundred years humankind has not only learnt to fly, but has exceeded its wildest dreams.

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Technical Specs

* ideo Bitrate: 1 889 Kbps
* Video Resolution: 704 x 544 - 4:3
* Video Codec: x264 MPEG-4 AVC
* Audio Codec: AAC 48 KHz
* Audio BitRate: 128kbs
* Audio Channels: 2 Ch
* RunTime: 00:52
* Framerate: 25 fps
* Number Of Parts: 26
* Part Size: 615Mb - 873Mb
* Ripped by DocFreak08
* Subtitles: None
* Source: DVD


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2) ed2k Links

BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.01of26.Man.Learns.To.Fly.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [811.17 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.02of26.High.Above.the.Trenches.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [828.38 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.03of26.Wings.Over.the.Sea.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [865.69 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.04of26.Strike.from.the.Air.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [803.00 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.05of26.The.Trailblazers.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [657.76 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.06of26.The.Romance.of.the.Air.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [703.41 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.07of26.The.Shadow.of.the.Bomber.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [698.82 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.08of26.Struggle.for.the.Skies.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [666.18 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.09of26.Airpower.and.Armies.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [725.39 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.10of26.Airpower.and.Navies.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [770.22 Mb]  [641.82 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.12of26.The.Coming.of.the.Jets.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [666.72 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.13of26.Cold.War.Skies.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [635.88 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.14of26.The.Helicopter.Story.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [831.33 Mb]  [719.79 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.16of26.Naval.Aviation.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [774.31 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.17of26.Embracing.the.World.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [615.76 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.18of26.The.Spectacle.of.Flying.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [698.44 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.19of26.Law.Enforcement.from.the.Air.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [808.73 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.20of26.Angels.of.Mercy.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [866.84 Mb]  [715.39 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.22of26.To.the.Furthest.Corners.of.the.World.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [676.40 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.23of26.The.Parachute.Story.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [873.00 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.24of26.To.the.Moon.and.Beyond.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [765.52 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.25of26.Madcaps.and.Oddballs.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [772.60 Mb]
BBC.The.Century.of.Flight.26of26.The.Future.of.Flight.x264.AC3.MVGroup.Forum.mkv  [665.78 Mb]

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Re: BBC - The Century of Flight with Robert Powell (1997)

Post by caronte3000 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:04 pm

I've watched some chapters and all of them are very interesting. Thank you very much for the post

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