Aluminium and the Age of Flight
About this video
Making metal to forward flight.
From the bronze age to the age of flight, metals have played a crucial role in the development of human civilisation. In a BBC Four series billed as a follow up to the Christmas Lectures 2010, Professor Mark Miodovinik explores how our evolving knowledge of metals has led us from primitive tools to elegant flying machines.
In this clip Mark tells the story of how German metallurgist Alfred Wilm stumbled upon the key to producing strong, yet lightweight Aluminium alloys through his discovery of a process now known as 'age hardening'.
Through the development of these alloys engineers were provided with a material that was light enough to fly yet strong enough to endure the structural stresses of flight. Discover how this changed the history of flight with a beautiful animation from Utah Valley University.
Or, watch more from Professor Mark Miodovinik and explore why 'Size Matters' in his 2010 Christmas Lectures.
Licence: Standard YouTube Licence