Dick and Dom go super-sized when they trace the origins of the ideas that have made shifting heavy weights a whole lot easier.
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-Welcome to the genius world of...
Each show, we're going to introduce you to three geniuses...
..whose ideas have quite literally built the world.
We put all their epic brilliance...
Yes! ..to the test...
Hit it! Hit it!
..when we tackle our own genius monster build.
Don't you dare demolish this!
Going higher... Why is it swinging?
-..all in the name of science.
That is a massive piece of construction.
What could possibly go wrong?
On this show, we're lifting...
..and dropping. Look out!
As we get to grips with some seriously massive movers.
It's a puzzle that's stretched engineering's finest brains -
how to move the stuff that's simply too heavy to lift.
Hey! Not a lot I can't lift.
I'll show you this.
Brilliant. Cheers, folks, thank you.
The mind is definitely mightier than the muscle,
as proved by today's three geniuses.
So whether it's on land, on water or in the air,
let's get massive moving!
Oh, dear, this is hard work.
For almost as long as there have been people on the planet,
there has been a need to shift heavy materials.
From the earliest civilisations onward,
humans have needed to move loads from A to B.
And as we got more and more ambitious about the size
of the things we're trying to shift..
Engineers had to come up with bigger
and more complicated solutions for moving them.
In the 1700s,
our first genius devised the biggest and most impressive yet.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give to you canal pioneer Mr James Brindley.
Canals like these were once a lot more
than just somewhere for a relaxing holiday.
They were in fact floating motorways,
which kept British industry moving.
Canal expert Christine Richardson is here to tell us more.
How were heavy items transported around for the canals were built?
Well, they were mainly transported on rivers,
or on the sea, of course, as well.
It's fine if you want to move your heavy goods the direction
the river is flowing, or the tide is going on the coast,
but if you want to go in the opposite direction, it's very,
-That brings us onto Brindley.
What was his genius?
His genius was to be an engineer and a surveyor who could actually
see the lie of the land by just looking at it,
so that you could have an artificial river wherever you wanted one.
Before, you've got to put it on a boat and then go all the way round
the coast in storms and all the rest of it,
so when companies needed a lot of coal or a lot of other heavy goods,
they were suffering because they couldn't get them in time.
But why is water such a good way of moving heavy stuff around?
Meet Fran, our scientist friend...
..who can explain things in a way that even we can understand.
It worked, Frannie!
She loves a good experiment...
And best of all, she pops up...
-..whenever we need her.
-This is coal.
-It is, yep.
And these bags are full of the stuff.
-And they each weigh 25kg.
-25kg! I bet I can lift that.
-Go on, lift one up. Here he goes.
Go on, lad!
-All right, it's heavy.
-Yeah, it's pretty heavy.
But coal is one of the major things that they wanted to transport
-back in the day.
-So I was thinking,
"How much coal can you guys pull on land?"
Each of these sledges has been loaded with around 100kg of coal.
That's way too much to lift, but can we drag them?
Three, two, one...
Come on! Come on!
-Little bit of movement?
-Oh, my hands!
Come on, lad! Shift your butt!
Go on, go on! Just a little bit.
-A little bit of movement would be good.
-I'm trying, Fran!
Argh! Oh, it's impossible.
It's pretty difficult, right?
-Because the bottom is smooth, it should just fly along.
Well, the thing is, what we're going to do is look at the science that
will help you move much more weight with much less effort.
-Let me show you.
So, this is another bag of coal, and this is a spring balance,
-or some luggage scales.
And you can use this to see how strong a force it is,
-because weight is actually a force.
-Is it? I never knew that.
Yeah, yeah. So what happens is the Earth's gravity
pulls downward on an object,
and it's that pull that gives an object weight.
-So we can use this to weigh our bag of coal.
How much does it weigh?
So, on Earth, this will always weigh about 9kg, right?
-If I take it over to some water...
-..and put it in the water,
then watch what happens to the scales.
-Hang on a minute, what's happened?
-How is that happening?
-It's hardly weighing anything now.
Yeah, it weighs much less.
Because there's no force on it from gravity.
Ah, no, no. It still has the force,
but there's something called upthrust.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So, what's happening is the water is actually pushing upwards
against the bag of coal,
acting in the opposite direction to the pull of gravity.
So the overall downwards pull is less and our object weighs less.
Brindley knew that putting heavy objects on water
makes them seem lighter.
It was this genius bit of science,
along with his engineering know-how, which produced the canal network.
So, what I want to do is super-size this experiment
to show the genius of Brindley.
Uh-oh. I don't like the sound of this.
-What's she like, eh?
Ooh, my name's Dick, my name's Dom, and I'm scared!
This canal boat is going to be loaded with 12 sacks of coal -
that's a backbreaking 300kg -
more than we've already failed to budge with those sledges.
And, as if that doesn't provide enough of a challenge,
Fran's invited along some cuddly chums.
Weighing in at 169kg, it's "Iron Man" Mike Roberts.
At 139kg, it's "Rockgod" Big 50.
Coming in at 129kg, make way for H Block.
Introducing Tony Bond at a solid 101kg.
Meet Danny Masters, tipping the scales at 97kg.
And last but not least, it's Jade at a cool 88kg.
Throw in the weight of the boat itself...
And that's well over 1,000kg.
Or, to put it another way, more than a tonne.
You think we can pull more than a tonne just because it's on water?
I think you can do it, with this rope here,
and we've got that upthrust from the water pushing up on it,
-so I have confidence in you guys.
-All right, let's have a go.
-I think you can do it.
-All right, OK.
-OK, take the strain.
-OK, are you ready?
Three, two, one, go!
-Dom, have you got it?
-Yeah, I've got it.
THEY SHOUT ENCOURAGEMENT
It's about time Richard did some proper work.
That's moved like five metres.
-It is moving.
-It's moved five metres.
Hey, wow, I don't need to hardly pull now.
It's moving. It's easy!
-Is it really easy?
-Dom, you still got hold?
Yeah, yeah, I've got it. Keep going.
And that's the thing, just with that upthrust,
that means you can carry so much more on water than you can on land.
-Good work, Frannie.
Right, that's quite enough huffing and puffing for one day.
What do you mean? You didn't do anything!
Yes, well, all that science has left me in need of a nice,
relaxing sit down.
So, we've left all of the hard work to the professionals.
James Brindley, you are an absolute genius.
All right, sweet pea?
Ooh, what a squidge.
Moving heavy loads over water is one thing,
but how do you get that stuff back on land?
-Ask a wrestler?
-No, you ask a heavyweight engineer.
Introducing the genius behind diggers, grabbers,
claws and cranes, it's Mr Hydraulics himself -
Armstrong by name, strong arms by nature.
William Armstrong was a 19th-century industrialist
and all-round inventing genius.
Oh, how nice of you to say so.
He built the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity.
But it was another clever use of water that guaranteed his place
in engineering history.
Armstrong realised that liquids generate massive forces
when they are squeezed and invented a hydraulic crane
capable of unloading ships faster and more cheaply than ever before.
We've come to this scrapyard.
It's absolutely rammed with heavy stuff that needs shifting.
Which makes it a brilliant place to find out more
about Armstrong's big idea.
Scientist and genius helper Clare Hampson is going to tell us
how hydraulics actually work.
One of the really important things about hydraulics is that they use
liquids to take a force from one place to another place.
In this water gun, we've got liquid inside it.
When we press this end of the water pistol,
rather than squashing the liquid inside the water pistol,
it's going to push all the way through the liquid and...
make the water come out of the other end.
You haven't got one of them at home? Course you haven't. No, no, no.
What you're saying is water is really tightly packed together.
Exactly. That's why it hurts when you belly flop into a swimming pool,
because your belly is hitting water that doesn't squash.
So liquids can't be squeezed,
and that makes them perfect for moving and magnifying forces.
Very, very, very handy when you want to move something very, very heavy.
Right. A small amount of force from my thumb should move that heavy,
heavy brick. All right, let's give it a go.
-Three, two, one...
We're using water here in this home-made hydraulic system,
but what liquid is actually used in real ones?
Well, the problem with using water in real systems...
'Hang on a minute, where's he going?'
..they get hot or cold, water can freeze, which isn't very good.
-So, instead of using water, they use another liquid -
something like oil.
Moving bricks is all well and good, but Armstrong was thinking bigger.
Clare, tell me about what's actually...
what makes up a piston.
So, a piston's made from a liquid on the inside...
-..and some kind of container out on the outside,
not usually made from plastic, because it's not strong enough.
Oh, is it not? So a piston usually seems like metal on the inside,
-but the outside I always thought plastic.
What kind of liquid...? CRUNCH!
What kind of liquid is it?
It's water. Well, it can be water...
What are you doing?
This car weighs almost two tonnes
but, thanks to hydraulics,
I can pick it up without even breaking sweat.
Hydraulics in action!
Dick, you haven't got a licence to drive one of those things!
Look at it!
'A tiny squeeze of this lever
'pumps fluid through these thin black pipes,
'moving the thicker steel rams with much greater force.'
Sorry, Clare, I'll be two seconds.
-Put it down!
-Put it down!
Not now, you idiot!
'Because of its hydraulic muscles,
'this gigantic grabber can lift up to ten tonnes
'and, yes, it is as much fun as it looks.'
Little movement, massive result.
-Hydraulics are amazing. Look at that.
Oh-ho-ho, that's the stuff!
William Armstrong, you are a genius!
You're spot on, bonny lad, he-he-he.
Coming up, we harness the power of hydraulics
in our very own massive moving challenge.
What's that noise?
Meet the Harmony of the Seas -
it's the world's biggest cruise ship.
There's room on board for almost 7,000 passengers
but, with 23 pools, you'll never be stuck for somewhere to take a dip.
This huge spaceship transporter is the biggest
self-powered vehicle in the world.
But with a top speed of just 2mph,
it won't be giving Lewis Hamilton any sleepless nights.
What weighs the same as 2.5 elephants
and looks a bit like a massive flying bum?
Is it your face?
-No, it's the Airlander 10,
a helium-filled airship able to carry ten tonnes of cargo.
We've seen how genius engineering has made it possible to shift
heavy loads across land and water.
But now we've come to see a completely different massive mover.
Look at that!
This bizarre-looking plane is a specially-designed cargo aircraft
known as the Beluga, after the whale.
There are only five of these 86-tonne monsters
in the whole world.
They're used to move bulky bits of aeroplanes
from one factory to another.
Oh, look at the size of that!
This one has just touched down at its base near Chester.
Without our third and final genius,
this enormous aircraft wouldn't be able to take to the skies.
And it's all thanks to technology that's almost 80 years old.
Introducing to you the inventor of the jet engine - Frank Whittle.
Please depart the aircraft via the front steps.
It was back in the 1930s that Royal Air Force officer Frank Whittle
first came up with his genius idea.
His gas turbine engine sucked in air,
which was mixed with fuel and burnt.
This produced a hot jet of exhaust, which moved the plane forward,
just like a skateboarder kicking back on the pavement.
Apprentice engineer Dan Quinn is here to tell us more.
But first, there's a job do.
Get the 17-metre-high Beluga safely into its hangar so it can be loaded
for the next leg of its journey.
All right, lads? Now the Beluga's in, if you want to close the doors,
-there's the green button.
It's not going to crush the plane, is it?
Look at that!
-That's how you do it.
-Good job, that.
The Beluga is always loaded inside to keep it sheltered from the wind.
How much cargo can these Belugas carry?
So, the Beluga can carry about 50 tonnes of cargo,
which is the equivalent of 25 average family cars.
What?! That's a lot of weight.
How does something carrying that much cargo get off the ground?
So, it's partly down to the lift provided from the wings,
but it's also partly down to the thrust provided from the engines.
Provided by Frank Whittle.
Which are provided by Frank Whittle.
Exactly, yes. There used to be propellers and pistons,
but now they are turbine engines which are much more powerful.
How powerful are you talking?
We're talking about 250,000 newtons of thrust, which is...
enough to blow a small car backwards,
if you put it right behind it.
He's not joking, either.
Just have a look at this absolutely mind-blowing footage.
I hope they're insured.
So, I think we've established that its engines are massively powerful,
but it's hard to imagine just how much this Beluga can shift
until you've seen it being loaded.
Dan, what is being loaded into the plane now?
Today we're loading an A350 wing.
This would basically take you on a transatlantic flight.
-How much does it weigh?
-So, it weighs about 25 tonnes,
which is the equivalent of about 12.5 standard family cars.
Right, so where's this wing going now?
So, first stop for this one, I believe,
will be Bremen in Germany,
and then it will go onto Toulouse where it will be married up
to the fuselage and built into your final plane.
The company saves time and money by moving heavy parts like this by air
rather than on the roads.
The Beluga has been on the ground for less than two hours
but the 25-tonne wing is already safely onboard.
Now it's time for this massive mover to head off to Germany.
For allowing aeroplanes to carry bigger and bulkier loads...
And for changing the history of aviation, Frank Whittle,
-you are... BOTH:
Chocks away, chaps!
Go! Go on, go on!
In this episode, we've learnt how the best and brightest
engineering minds have managed to make light work
of shifting heavy loads.
Thanks to our three geniuses,
we can now transport weights way heavier than we could before.
But now it's time for us to get to grips
with our massive moving challenge.
We've been given an address
on the outskirts of the Dutch city of Amsterdam,
where our challenge will happen.
What is this place?
It's really weird.
And the warehouse where we're going...
..is home to possibly the weirdest creation of the lot.
Maik ter Veer is its genius creator.
-Maik, lovely to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Thanks for inviting us to your...
what can only be described as a mechanical wonderland.
-I mean, it is incredible here.
What is this?
This is Robohand.
It's a hydraulic hand.
It's 30 times bigger than a normal hand
and easily 30 times stronger as well.
Right, let's get this straight.
-This hand for those the movement of your own hand?
-So anything you do, that hand will do?
We're going to be using this hydraulic hand,
the only one of its kind in the world,
to attempt three very different massive moving challenges.
First up, we're rolling out the barrels,
picking up and moving these oil drums.
Next, it's 50 green bottles, sitting on a wall.
Well, a crate, anyway.
And I've got a feeling that more than one could accidentally fall!
Last but not least, it's a truly titanic clash.
It's scrap washing machine versus honeydew melon
and there can only be one winner.
The problem is, Maik, there's only one glove here
and there's two of us. So, right, it's a Euro.
-Numbers or birds?
With his own hand inside this mechanical glove,
Dom can now control the Robohand.
Our first challenge,
to move these six oil drums from here
to over here.
Let the games begin.
-Right, now pick it up.
-OK, move it across.
Yeah, on to this side.
The concentration on my face.
Right, there's good.
OK, drop them.
-Is it all right?
Very lucky. Well said, Maik, well said.
'What do you mean, lucky? That was pure skill!'
Index finger first.
Two more over there.
I've got one more.
You've got to slide it out.
'Oh, dear. Looks like your luck's run out.'
'Still, two out of six...'
Don't look at them, don't look at them!
Shh, don't want to see them.
'I think that's pretty good, for a beginner.'
Now it's my turn.
I've got to shift a crate topped with 50 water-filled glass bottles.
This will need a very steady hand.
If you manage to come back, get all that over here with one bottle left,
even just one bottle, I'll kiss you.
Slow down a little.
-Oh, yeah, that looks good.
Little bit, little bit, little...!
The slightest wrong movement here, all those bottles are gone.
'Focus, Dickie, focus.'
-Moment of truth.
-Middle finger here.
-Oh, that's that, then.
-What have you done?!
-I'm trying to...
-You made a mess, man!
Bring it down!
-There's still a bottle up there.
-I've got one.
-Oh, yeah, one.
Bring it over. You wrecked my crate, guys.
Well done. One bottle over.
You only really need one bottle, don't you?
You don't need more than one.
In fact, a closer look reveals slightly better news.
Did all right there. And they're not smashed.
'Pucker up, Dom.'
There were 50 bottles to start with, remember?
Moving swiftly on...
Two down, one to go,
it's time for our third and final challenge.
What better way to crush a melon than with a washing machine?
And what better way to make it a bit harder than with Dom blindfolded?
And to make it nice and easy for me,
me and Maik are going to be eating...
..melon. Right, you ready?
Put your hand in.
Oh, of course. I've got to guide you. In.
There. Up, up, up, up.
-Left, left, left.
We've no melon left!
-Where is it?
-Am I at the washing machine yet?
-Further, further, further.
You're over it now.
Mm, good melon.
-Middle finger, middle finger in.
-All the way, all the way.
-What was that noise?
-That's the washing machine.
-We're in the hole.
Now, get your thumb in.
-No, no, wait!
Bring your top finger all the way around.
-That was my dirty washing water.
-That'll do! You've got it, you got it.
Up, up, up, up.
I'll just keep going up, you say stop.
-Up, up, up.
-And the whole arm has to go.
Bring the whole arm across.
'Even a 65kg washing machine looks like a toy
'in the palm of this giant hydraulic hand.'
-You've got to get over the target.
-I can't see the melon.
-Do that, do that.
I think that's good. I think that's over the melon.
-What do you think, Maik?
Now it comes to the art of dropping.
'It's all come down to this moment.
'This is so gripping.'
Oh, he missed!
Oh, he missed!
Like, an inch.
That's your fault. Right, do it again.
We'll go down and get it.
-Look. Look at the washing machine.
-How am I going to do my washing now?
-It's in pieces.
No good to anybody.
There's only one thing for the melon.
With the help of our three geniuses,
we've been able to transport even bigger and heavier objects.
-Whether that's on the water...
Or through the air.
Thanks to our three massive movers, Brindley, Armstrong and Whittle...
You're all absolute genius.
Canny lads, that Ant and Dec!
He's loving it!
I hate it!
Dick and Dom go supersized in this massive movers spectacular in which they trace the origins of the genius ideas that have made shifting heavy weights a whole lot easier. In their element, the boys head to a scrapyard to find out how hydraulic grabbers work, get up close to one of the weirdest-looking aircraft ever built and get to grips, literally, with the world's largest hydraulic hand.