Heavy Lift: Here's why this documentary is a must-watch
Heavy Lift is a documentary series available on the streaming platform Curiosity Stream. It explores the engineering and technology behind some of the world's most impressive and complex heavy-lift projects, such as the construction of the tallest building in the world, the lifting and transportation of massive oil rigs, and the construction of atypical buildings.
Each episode focuses on a different project and features interviews with engineers, architects, and other experts involved in the process. The series aims to give viewers an in-depth look at the science and planning behind these amazing engineering feats.
The series first aired in 2015 and ran for two seasons over eight episodes.
What is the first series of 'Heavy Lift' about?
The first episode, Moving the Mose, discusses how the city of Venice has been eroding for years due to persistently high seas. The construction of the massive, 7-billion-euro surge barrier against the tides that produce the so-called "Acqua Alta" has been planned for almost forty years, but it is only now that it is nearly finished.
The second, Jumboisation, examines the complex heavy hoist procedure known as "Jumboization" for expanding ships. Cruise ships are increasingly in demand as they get bigger and can carry more passengers.
The third and final episode of the first series, The Antonov Dream, tells the tale of the Ukrainian-built Antonov An-225, a remnant of the Cold War period aircraft that continues to fly challenging missions today. It holds the most aviation records for cargo lift and is the largest aircraft in the world.
The second season features even more impressive engineering projects
The second series kicks off with Ships That Carry Ships, which discusses how Asian shipyards are producing more ships than ever. But a certain logistics ship must take them across the oceans to get them to customers in the West in perfect condition, without any damage, and ready to use.
Only a few businesses around the globe manage ships that transport ships and a variety of other enormous floating objects. This is the tale of the Hawk, one of the modern-day heavy movers on the high seas. Hawk is a semi-submersible heavy lift ship that can handle heavy loads too big for other ships.
The second episode, Mighty Sea Crane, explores one of the largest monohull crane ships in the world, the Oleg Strashnov, which can lift 5000 tons of weight with the help of its powerful boom. It is a giant crane that can do many different jobs. It is built into a ship system that stays stable in the water no matter how much it is loaded or lifted. This is an actual marine monster and a maritime legend.
The third, Walls of Venice, details the complete history of the engineering that went into creating the MOSE (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico, Experimental Electromechanical Module), a system of rows of moving gates that were placed in the lagoon surrounding Venice to prevent flooding. During Acqua Alta high tides, these gates form a wall that can briefly cut off the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea.
The fourth, Moving the Chernobyl Arch, explains how a sizable arched shelter was placed over Chornobyl's Ukrainian nuclear catastrophe site. The inside tale of a remarkable engineering achievement at the scene of the worst nuclear accident in history, as workers move a massive roof over the still radioactive remnants of the plant's No. 4 reactor.
The superstructure is designed to block radiation from the destroyed reactor's nuclear waste. On April 26, 1986, Chornobyl's reactor No. 4 exploded. Over the next 10 days, its nuclear fuel kept burning, sending out clouds of radioactive dust that contaminated up to 75% of Europe, especially the northern parts of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.
The final episode, Ariane 5, explores the history of the Ariane 5, a member of a line of rocket launchers first developed when Europe's space industry was beginning. This massive launch vehicle is built all over Europe but is put together at the ArianeGroup site in Les Mureaux. It is a design that has completed 85 launch missions in the last quarter of a century; it will be replaced by the more versatile and competitive Ariane 6 within the next few years.
'Heavy Lift' explores the engineering and technology behind some of the world's most impressive and complex heavy-lift projects, such as the construction of the tallest building in the world, the lifting and transportation of massive oil rigs, and the construction of atypical buildings.
It is available on Curiosity Stream, a platform for watching various documentaries. You can opt for a monthly subscription worth $5.99 or an annual subscription for $39.99.
So, if you are interested in how giant engineering projects are completed, this enthralling documentary is worth a few hours of your life.