WORTH NOTING ON TV

* WEDNESDAY

First Flight (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): They've rigged a Boeing 747 with the new 777 engine and are taking it up for a test flight. A fire erupts in the engine, followed by an explosion. No one's hurt, but it's bad news for the designers, right?

Wrong - the mishap is great news, as far as 777-team head Alan Mulally is concerned. It yields vital data, helps uncover problems, and avoids future trouble when the plane and the whole new 777 jetliner will carry passengers.

It's all part of the testing process chronicled in this documentary about how a huge, complex aircraft like this one is created. New laboratories were built specifically to test the new plane, which has the biggest engines Boeing has ever built and is made of new, lightweight materials. The culminating scene is the maiden flight of the completed plane on June 12, 1994.

* SATURDAY

The Infiltrator (HBO, 8-9:45 p.m.): When Israeli journalist Taron Svoray, living in Los Angeles, went to Germany to investigate the resurgence of Nazi sentiments among some people there, he readily found the hate groups he was looking for.

He also found something even more sinister: that their reach extended beyond Germany to connect with extremist right-wing groups in the United States.

Svoray and Nick Taylor's book "In Hitler's Shadow" documents Svoray's subsequent undercover work in Germany, aided by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. This production, a dramatization of the book, follows Svoray (played by Oliver Platt) as he gets an assignment to cover skinhead attacks and other fascist incidents in Germany.

The horrifying network of murder and other hate crimes unfolds as Svoray infiltrates skinhead groups by pretending he is an American sympathizing with Nazi sentiments. One result is a successful sting operation by Germany police. Eventually, Germany's interior minister names right-wing terrorism as that country's biggest security problem.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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