Frontiers of Flight

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[edit] General Information

Technology Documentary hosted by Mason Adams and published by Discovery Channel in 1992 - English narration

[edit] Cover

Image: Frontiers-of-Flight-Cover.jpg

[edit] Information

Have you ever wondered how mans ability to fly ever came about in the first place? Have you ever wondered how they were first realised from conception to the super-sonic aircraft we see in our skies today. As with all inventions, including computers there was a starting point. From these building blocks foundation upon foundation is built to develop more powerful and efficient machines of today and onwards into our future. This is what the Discovery channel series Frontiers of flight is all about.

[edit] Powered flight

In the first chapter "Powered flight" the audience is shown the first man to fly was not the Wright brothers but a German who first proved that manned flight was possible with a kind of glider. Orville and Wilbur Wright built on these early ideas and designed their own glider. The burgeoning genius of these two men was astounding and they learned very quickly from an early age how to use their minds to engineer flying machines that would, in future, push the human race forward. After proving this design was almost infallible they took the very big step forwards, and using the brothers experience with bicycles, they built mans first aeroplane engine. After many attempts at flying and many adjustments to the design the Wright brothers were successful at pioneering the first powered flying machine.

[edit] Coast to Coast

The second chapter "Coast to Coast" shows the attempts of Cal Rogers, Oakley Kelley and John McReady to cross America by air. A successful journey by anyone was to be awarded a sum of $50,000 in prize money for their efforts. The legacy of these men is bewildering to say the very least. The early planes did not have a fuselage, had minimum safety precautions which meant if anything went wrong it would spell death to all those on board. The pilots of these aircraft did have parachutes but there was still the danger that the plane could catch fire and incinerate the poor pilot dude.

[edit] Atlantic and the World

The third chapter "Atlantic and the world" reveals the design of the first flying machine to cross the Atlantic, the NC 4, which just happened to be a seaplane with very powerful v12 engines. The most intriguing part of this chapter would be the feature about the Fokker T2 making the first non-stop
flight from coast to coast in America. At the start of the journey a voltage regulator had to be fixed while the Co-pilot had to fly the plane from inside the fuselage with no forward view to navigate! Quickly it was fixed and the T2 completed the journey it was set out to do. The around the world journey was made in the Douglas World Cruiser and took 175 days to complete. This is astounding and must have been quite a feat without a fold out GameBoy mid flight.

[edit] U.S.A. Europ NonStop

The forth chapter "USA/ Europe Non-stop" shows the efforts of an (here we go again, god bless America!!) American man making the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris. His name was Charles Lindberg and by Gees did he make it hard for himself I will leave that to you (the audience) to find out for yourself what I mean.

[edit] Air Transportation for All

"Air Transportation for all" seats us down on the wing tip to view the start of passenger carrying aviation. Propeller driven aeroplanes become safer, faster and more controllable and the industry made up of a very few talented aviators tries to gradually herd out the public's misconceptions about the dangers of flight.

[edit] Golden Age Frontiers

"Golden Age Frontiers" explores the quick advancements in technology that aviation takes. Highlights for this chapter include when we see Amelia Earhart be the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic. Wiley Post broke many records in his plane the Winnie Mare including high altitude and around the world speed records. The latest plane in the early 1920's the Nr2100 was developed and broke the land air speed record at 294 miles per hour. Jimmy Dolittle flies in a plane with a twisted slab propeller, which the engineers are worried might break mid flight. This leads to an outcome I will leave you to find out. There is an around the world race featuring all kinds of aircraft coming together to compete. If there was a most curious prize for this chapter it would go to Roscoe Turner who flew in a 1000+ horsepower plane accompanied by his pet mascot Lion. He was a strange man in the way he made himself kernel and had a fitting moustache. To his credit though, he was a good speechmaker and aroused much public interest.

[edit] Rocket Power

"Rocket power" is about a man called Richard Hutchings Goddard who assembled the first fuel powered rocket. Richard was first inspired to do this while reading War of the worlds as a child. We are then taken through the first few steps of this groundbreaking technology, which was to take man to the moon. Richard had many failed attempts, which contributed, to his notoriety as the "moon rocket man" in the local town.

[edit] Jet Power

"Jet Power" succeeds in many areas to become one of the most interesting watch in the series thus far. There is more interesting content overall and is a commendable effort by the makers of this series. Jet power was in development in the late 1930's and was pioneered by many people across the world. Countries include U.S.A (of course), Germany and Britain. When seeing the jets in the U.S.A it is amusing to see what lengths they went to, to make sure their latest invention stayed concealed from the public eye. Jet engines take performance of air travel into the stratosphere. This chapter discusses the many advantages of jet powered flight over propeller based engines.

[edit] The Sound Barrier

"The Sound Barrier" shows the steps taken during the early 1950's to work towards blasting through the sound barrier. Chuck Yeagar is the pilot in this exciting but dangerous undertaking and is interviewed at length. Adding to some of the most important archives in history. The aircraft had to be jet powered, have a narrow wing and released from the underbelly of a B52. Highlights include the interviewing of Chuck Yeagar and of course when the speed of sound is breached.

[edit] The Jet Airliner

"The Jet Airliner" exhibitions the refinement and development of the latter by the spearheading team at Boeing. Tex Johnston makes a return into the series and was one of the first pilots to test these "birds". Boeing poured one quarter of its worth into a demonstration model to take the lead in the world as passenger freighting machines. Highlights include when Tex Johnston does a barrel roll over Washingtons Lake in a Boeing 707, a fairly illustrious aircraft, angering the powers that be at Boeing's head office.

[edit] The Threshold of Space

"The Threshold of Space" looks back behind the cockpit of time to see new aircraft break more records in air-bound achievements. Speeds reach twice the speed of sound and beyond. There is a new phenomenon called "Inertia Coupling" which threatens to halt progress in the avenue of high speed flight by rendering the controls of the aircraft temporarily useless when flying at these high speeds. Spinning out of control became a common occurrence but soon this problem is rectified and once again velocity begins to reach new heights. The fastest plane featured, the Orbital X15, reaches Mach 6.7 or a speed of 4500 mph.

[edit] To Space and Back

"Space and Back" In this chapter, Mason Adams the narrator takes us back to 1966 when the U.S.A was testing craft that would take man into outer space. In 1966 The M2 F2 the first vehicle designed to fly into outer space and back under manned control was tested. These test machines were the basis of design for the Space Shuttle "Enterprise" and had no wings. Instead the body of the fuselage was designed to act as an aerodynamic lifting structure. There were many problems NASA had to overcome including control and landing issues. Highlights include the rolling out of the Enterprise, the first space shuttle that we are all now familiar with. This shuttle was designed to take man to outer space and back safely. We are shown the first successful launch on its maiden debut. A curious fact of these launches were that even though the rockets are launched straight up with immense power, the pilot only experienced 1 or 2 G's, contrary to what we see in TV shows and film.

[edit] The Last Great World Record

"The Last World Record" was about the latter achieved in a wide light, flimsy, aeroplane with only two engines. This chapter shows the trials and tribulations of the couple that set out to achieve this amazing feat. After encountering many issues including technical, weather, fatigue problems Dick and Yeanna Yeagar (no relation to Chuck) flew for many days non-stop, non-fuelled around the world.

[edit] Screenshots

Image: Frontiers-of-Flight-Screen0.jpg

[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: DIV3
  • Video Bitrate: 804 kbps
  • Video Resolution: 384x512 (height x width)
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 3x4 (1:1,33)
  • Audio Codec: MPEG-1 Layer 3 (MP3) <0x0055>
  • Audio BitRate: 160 kbps
  • Audio Streams: 1
  • RunTime Per Part: 49 min 28,68 s (74217 Frames)
  • Part Size: 343,26 MB

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