FCT Flames – Lighting the Olympic cauldron

FCT Flames – Lighting the Olympic cauldron


[Introduction slides to background music] [PAUSE]>>Voiceover: The Olympic flame is the symbol
of any Games and keeping it alight requires enormous technical skill and knowledge. For
the London 2012 Games the Olympic flame is actually made up of 204 smaller flames, each
representing one of the nations taking part and it’s different to any other seen before.>>Constantino Manias: In terms of the London
cauldron, the engineering, the mechanical and electrical engineering is extremely complex.
There is a large number of moving parts; they all have to be synchronised to operate correctly
otherwise we could finish up with a bowl of spaghetti.>>Voiceover: The idea of making the 200-odd
small flames merge into one comes with its own technical hurdles which required South
Australia’s FCT Flames to draw on all the expertise they learned from previous Olympic
Games.>>Constantino Manias: Most of the equipment,
the complexity, the engineering is behind the scenes and if we look at something like
the London cauldron, there was something like 15 kilometres of wiring that’s gone into
the control panels and another 5.5 kilometres into the cauldron itself. The control cabinets
that control the flame with lots of valves and controls and sensors.>>Voiceover: Each of the burner stems carrying
the individual flames in the cauldron had to be as thin as possible yet large enough
to incorporate the electrical wiring, the gas supply and a flame detector.>>Constantino Manias: The cauldron itself
has many sensors to check what the flame is doing, that the flame is on and hasn’t gone
out with the various petals in which the flame was held, so there is a lot of complexity
behind the scenes to produce what can seem to some people a fairly simple flame.>>Voiceover: Creating the cauldron is a high
pressure job and the lighting of the flame is watched by billions of people around the
world. The flame encompasses the spirit of the Olympics.>>Constantino Manias: In our R&D and our test
work we do simulate high wind, we simulate rainfall, we have to ensure that this is safe,
that firstly and secondly that the flames will stay alight during these kind of weather
conditions.>>Voiceover: The lighting of the flame during
the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is the climax of the event and for that reason
FCT Flames can safely claim to have created the most watched flames in history.

13 Replies to “FCT Flames – Lighting the Olympic cauldron”

  1. Very thankful to Australia… It really was breath taking, watching the cauldron coming together. Thank you FCT… Your hard work has paid off!

  2. It was absolutely STUNNING! That part of the Olympic ceremony can always look a bit totalitarian but this was graceful, beautiful and perfectly captured the essence of the Olympics – many different elements coming together for one purpose. Just one tiny technical hitch in one of those elements would have destroyed it. The unseen engineers are stars, as big as the stars we saw on the screen last night – well done! Brilliant in all senses of the word.

  3. does someone knows what is the song that was played in the background when the 7 young atheletes ran around the stadium to light the cauldron?

  4. actually it's definitely a brilliant idea for an olympic cauldron.. but I think bigger ones (capable of being seen outside the stadium) would be even better for the visitors.. or maybe taller ones in this case, rising up higher from the floor after all the petals have lit combined..

  5. you missed the point, the petals had to be carried in by each country & they where quite heavy as they where, even the size they where cost a lot of money in copper alone! & we where still making these hand made petals up to last second before they had to be delivered, so gotta say they where the size they had to be, any bigger would have been a complete nightmare & never would have been finished on time

  6. thanks for the explanation 🙂 it's kinda lovely to see each of participating nations got one of those petals, and to watch those petal rose from the floor to merge as a single flame, but for me, a bigger cauldron would be more appropriate 🙂

  7. It's a pity he made it sound like they built the whole thing! FCT designed the burners but all of the mechanical stuff was done by Stage One in the UK. Credit where credits due Mr Manias.

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