But now the BBC, hitherto a major player in the world of celerity culture is running as series on BBC2 celebrating cutting edge engineering in Britain. The second programme, How to Build a Jumbo Jet Engine, BBC2, 4 July, still available on iPlayer, is essential viewing.
Roll Royce built the Merlin engines that powered the WW2 Spitfire. They are now one of only three major aero engine manufacturers in the world. What emerges from the programme is how brilliantly Rolls Royce has combined hi-tech materials science with traditional craft engineering.
The amazing material science includes fan blades made from three bonded layers of titanium that are then expanded at high temperature for hours (a week?) to create a light and strong internal matrix.
The 96 turbine blades are made from single crystal of titanium alloy which have to operate at 300 degrees over the melting point. It is cooled by air forced through an array of cooling holes.
The big mystery of Rolls Royce is: how has this company remained at the cutting edge whilst almost the entire British manufacturing industry has collapsed around it? The programme is absolutely inspirational.