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How to Build...

Premier :: 2010-06-27

Airs :: Sunday 21:00 on BBC Two

Genre :: Documentary

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Britain’s iconic and ‘secretive’ engineering companies reveal how they build the world's most amazing machines. The first part of the series “How to build a nuclear submarine” a documentary following the construction of the Astute nuclear submarine. The second part of the series “How to build a jumbo jet engine”, the story of the thousands of people who design, build and test engines at Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing plants in Derby and across the UK, making Rolls-Royce a central part of life for the people of places like Derby. The third and final part of the series “How to build Britain’s secret engineers” when the documentary team follows workers at a leading British company on a global journey, as they reveal a handful of their secretive projects including getting Chinook helicopters ready for front line service.

Latest Episode

Series 2 - Episode 3 - A Satellite
Aired - 27 November 2011

Episode summary:

Some of the best and most up-to-date communication satellites in the world are designed and built in Stevenage in Britain. With exclusive access to specialist manufacturer Astrium, this program shows step-by-step how to assemble one of the most complicated machines in the world. The team is followed as they construct a massive communication satellite; from the inner carbon-fibre skeleton to the fuel tanks and engines. At the Portsmouth site, the electronic 'payload' is built and then tested. It has to operate for a minimum of fifteen years - guaranteed, and so precision is everything; these machines are built inside rooms cleaner than the cleanest operating theatre. Once the satellite is built and tested, it is sent to France where solar arrays and antenna dishes are added before it is boxed up and sent for launch in French Guiana in South America. Finally, there is the tense countdown to lift-off - the most dangerous moment of the satellite's life.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 2

+ Episode - 3 A Satellite Aired - 27 November 2011
+ Episode - 2 A Super Car Aired - 20 November 2011
+ Episode - 1 A Super Jumbo Wing Aired - 13 November 2011

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