Smithsonian Networks is a joint venture between CBS Corporation’s Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution comprising of the Smithsonian Channel, Smithsonian On Demand, and smithsonianchannel.com. Inspired by the Smithsonian Institution’s museums, research facilities and magazines, the network’s content features original non-fiction programming that covers a wide range of historical, scientific and cultural subjects. Last year, around mid October, Smithsonian channel announced its plans to launch four original non-fiction series for the year 2019. These four series which premiere in the first two quarters of this year, are ‘America’s Hidden Stories’, ‘Disasters at Sea’, ‘Apollo’s Moon Shot’, and ‘Inside Mighty Machines’.
‘Inside Mighty Machines’ delves deep into the heart of innovations that were instrumental in building the most mindblowing machines of the world. Hosted by ex-NASA jet engineer Chad Zdenek, the new six-part series aims to dismantle ‘mighty machines’ in order to unveil the marvelous engineering principles that drive them. “Its been a privilege to get up close and personal with these extraordinary mega-machines to see what makes them tick,” says Zdenek. He adds, “From the gravity defying hovercraft to the behemoth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, we’re taking viewers under the hood of the most impressive engineering feats in the modern era of mechanics.”
Inside Mighty Machines Cast: Who’s in it?
Produced by Edward Hart of Rare TV, the new non-fiction series ‘Inside Mighty Machines’ is structured in a documentary format with each episode dedicated to a separate “Mega Machine”. Alisa Orr, Belinda Cherrington and Tony Lee serve as executive producers of the show, and are joined by John Cavanagh, Charles Poe and David Royle from the Smithsonian Channel.
Each episode follows host Chad Zdenek working alongside salvage teams as they take the giant machines apart piece by piece. Zdenek is an ex NASA engineer and a co-host on the G4 show ‘It’s Effin’ Science’. Previously, he has worked a total of seven years for Boeing in the Space Shuttle Main Engine group focusing on liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen turbo machinery. In 2007 Zdenek was picked up by the G4 network to be the expert engineer on the reality show ‘Human Wrecking Balls’. All that said, it should come as no surprise that Zdenek was Smithsonian’s first choice to host their new show.
Inside Mighty Machines Plot: What’s it about?
Titled ‘Jumbo Jet’, the premiere episode of ‘Inside Mighty Machines’ takes host Zdenek to Mississippi as he joins a dismantling team to take on the game changing, legendary, aviation masterpiece Boeing 747. As the plane is decommissioned, host Zdenek and his team cuts through the inner workings of the cabin, cockpit, and four massive jet engines to dismantle the plane into six million parts! While in the process, Zdenek understands why and how these planes are built, the mechanics which made them soar, and the magnificent underlying engineering that made the Boeing 747 a legend of aviation.
The following episode titled ‘Power Plant’ follows Zdenek to North Carolina, in his attempt to dismantle and eventually implode the 100-year-old coal power plant named Buck Steam Station. At its peak, the power plant was burning up to 20,000 tons of coal per day, and powering up to a thousand homes. Before the show’s production team rigs the plant with 300 explosive charges, the cameras get inside to capture the action as the century old boilers, turbines, condensers and generators are torn apart, revealing how coal power helped build 20th century America.