Jumbo: The Plane That Changed the World (BBC2, 9pm)

ON February 9, 1969, the Boeing 747 took its first flight. A year later, it entered service for the first time with Pan Am, and has since become one of the most widely-used and recognisable aircraft in existence.

Nicknamed the Jumbo Jet, it is an icon that many viewers will probably have travelled on at some point.

The documentary Jumbo: The Plane That Changed the World charts the plane’s development, and reveals that it wasn’t all plain sailing (or flying).

Chief engineer Joe Sutter and his team take us on a tour of the original prototype and reveal that exploding engines and destructive vibrations threatened its chances of taking off, while test pilot Brien Wygle explains how some creative wiring proved crucial on the 747’s first flight.

There is even a cameo from John Travolta, who explains how he qualified as a 747 pilot, although apparently even he can’t afford to own one himself.

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