TV’s Richard Hammond scours the globe to investigate modern miracles of engineering. Going deep inside some of the world’s most advanced engineering projects Richard reveals the often surprisingly simple, yet fantastically effective secrets that make them tick and how they owe their existence to things as diverse as a bird cage and an ancient Greek death ray.

Taking our intrepid host hundreds of metres below the sea’s waves to nearly half a kilometre into the sky, Richard’s nerves of steel are tested to the limit as he scrutinises the Airbus A380 in France, Taipei 101 in Taiwan, the Keck Observatory in the US and the incredible Troll-A gas platform off the coast of Norway.

Nicknamed the Superjumbo, the Airbus A380 passenger airliner is the largest in history. It's packed with cutting-edge technology but owes its very existence to the most unlikely breakthroughs – a Mongolian bow and a 19th century rocket.

Heading to Taipei, Richard discovers the secrets of one of the world’s tallest buildings, Taipei 101. How is this tower connected to a bird cage, bamboo, racing yachts, sports cars and seat belts? This journey of discovery takes him from the mines of 18th century England to almost half a kilometre into the sky at some 64 kilometres per hour (that’s around a 37 second trip!)

Next, Richard looks at the history embedded in the Keck Observatory.How could a sand-blaster, a Cold War spy gadget and the invention of refrigerators have led to the creation of this super telescope? And using just a satellite dish and some foil is it possible to set fire to a boat? Richard experiments.

Finally, Richard braves the stormy North Sea to visit the incredible Troll-A platform – the largest object ever moved across the earth’s surface by man – and learns firsthand how a single musical note could have spelt catastrophe for the Troll-A.

These structures are jewels of high technology, but behind them lies an amazing array of unexpected inventions and ideas spanning right across history and originating from every corner of the globe.


  • Engineering Connections: Super Tanker
    Richard Hammond reveals the ingenious engineering required to transport the hazardous cargoes in the world in some of the biggest vessels afloat.
  • Engineering Connections: Burj Al Arab
    Join us in revealing the spectacular design of the world's tallest and most distinctively shaped hotels - sail-shaped Burj al Arab in Dubai.
  • Engineering Connections: Bullet Train
    Reveal the surprising engineering connections between Japan's 'bullet train' - the world's first high speed railway and other ancient inventions.
  • Engineering Connections: Formula One
    Despite costing millions to make, F1 cars take inspiration from some surprisingly simply sources – including ancient swords and ship sails.
  • Engineering Connections: Space Shuttle
    These include a massive fuel tanker, an earthquake-proof bridge, a space shuttle and the Burj Al Arab, among other structures.
  • Engineering Connections: Earthquake Bridge
    Richard Hammond reveals how engineers made one of the longest bridges in the world – built on an active fault line across the Gulf of Corinth in Greece – earthquake-proof.