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Richard Hammond interview and exclusive preview of incredible Air Force cargo planes on Big

Hammond's enthusiasm is contagious as he shows us things not readily seen by the public, a Super Galaxy plane is one of them. Pic credit; Science Channel.
Hammond’s enthusiasm is contagious as he shows us things not readily seen by the public including a Super Galaxy plane. Pic credit: Science Channel

On the next episode of Richard Hammond’s Big, we check out incredible Air Force cargo planes with the former global Top Gear star, Richard Hammond.

The location is Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.  Hammond shows us how the very front of a three-plus ton, 75 meters in length aircraft opens like a “whale yawning.” The amount of space inside is jaw-dropping. He adds, “You can fit eleven blue whales in here.”

The so-called Super Galaxy cargo plane holds more world records than any other aircraft in history. “It’s magnificent,” says Hammond.

What is Richard Hammond’s Big?

Award-winning British car aficionado, presenter and host, Richard Hammond has a brand new home on Science Channel for a nine-part series. Richard Hammond’s Big premiered on February 12.

This is a deep dive into big factories and big industry as Hammond once again takes viewers all over the globe as he shines a big spotlight on engineering at its finest with the biggest structures in the world.

Think compounds actually. The premiere opens with Germany’s Volkswagen plant which employs 63,000 people and even has an on-site currywurst factory where they make fresh sausage daily for their workers.

There’s music for them too, as the robots of the assembly line coexist with humans until they figure out how to kill us all, as it was foretold in the latter day book of the holiest of holy biblical yarns: Terminator. I kid.

Like Sig Hansen of sister network Discovery’s Deadliest Catch, Hammond has decades’ worth of on-air reality TV experience and knowledge in all things motor, science, adrenaline, engineering, and much more.

Richard Hammond’s Big Interview:

Monsters & Critics:  How did you become fascinated by the premise of this series- was it your idea?

Richard Hammond: I love shows that celebrate engineering; it’s becoming an ever more important subject as we address the ever-bigger problems and challenges facing us. I was looking for something to make in the Engineering space and Discovery came to me with a rough idea. We worked it up and Developed it at Chimp Productions together with Discovery. I think scale is a great place to start. We humans love to be awed by stuff, to have an excuse to stand back, stare up and say, ‘wow’.

M&C: What were your first impressions when you entered that German factory in the premiere last week?

Richard Hammond: I was amazed and awestruck that something so vast and complex could function as, effectively, a single machine. Mind officially blown.

M&C: How did you feel about all the AI and automated assembly lines?

Richard Hammond: More than anything, it was exciting to see the ways they are planning to integrate human and robot workers. The days when humans are working alongside robots and sharing the tasks best suited to each are just around the corner.

M&C: You incorporate science lessons into the eye candy. Was that an important facet of the series?

Richard Hammond: I think learning is something essential to being human; we love to do it. There’s no reason at all why learning new things about the world around us should be anything other than entertainment; it’s fun!

M&C: Of all the adventures you have filmed for the series, which one delighted the 12-year-old boy that dwells inside you?

Richard Hammond: Each show has its own highlight and each one is driven and shaped by the Big thing at the heart of it. Whether it’s the awesome, structural beauty of the dam, the dizzying height of the Burj Kalifa, the mind-bending power to the C5 SuperGalaxy or the house-sized engines in the Marie Maersk: The 12-year-old boy that dwells inside me was hopping up and down with excitement from day one.

M&C: What are you driving currently? Would you ever go for an electric car?

Richard Hammond: I drive a Morgan Plus 6, a sports car made just down the road from where I live in Malvern.

It looks beautiful, like a racer from the thirties, but it’s got a high-tech bonded aluminum chassis and super formed wings so it’s a great blend of old and new.

I’m fascinated with electric cars, they can be amazing. And yes, I’ll have one very soon. Can’t wait.

Richard Hammond’s Big pairs Wednesday at 10/9c on Science Channel.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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