Тексты и диалоги на английском языке подготовлены В.Ф.Косинским
A hangar- 1) ангар 2) укрытие; навес
MR. BLACK: I hear you've just had a trip by air. What was it like?
MR. WHITE: Oh, it was not very exciting. Rather dull, in fact.
MR. BLACK: Dull? I'm surprised to hear that. I thought you would have been thrilled by it.
MR. WHITE: Well, I suppose it wasn't dull, really. I mean, it was a very ordinary, matter-of-fact affair; there was nothing to get excited about at all.
MR. BLACK: Didn't you feel the least bit afraid?
MR. WHITE: Not at all. I was never conscious of any danger.
MR. BLACK: Tell me about it. I have never flown in my life. Where did you get your ticket?
MR. WHITE: The Air Company has an office in town. I just went there and fixed up everything in a few minutes.
MR. BLACK: What did they say to you?
MR. WHITE: They just sold me the ticket, told me that I mustn't take much luggage and that I must be at the office at nine o'clock sharp next morning. A car would take the passengers out to the aerodrome. I was there on time. A smart car was waiting; we all got in and in twenty minutes we were at the aerodrome.
MR. BLACK: Did you get into the airplane straight away?
MR. WHITE: No; each passenger had to be weighed first with his luggage. Anyone who with his luggage weighs more than a certain amount has to pay extra. I myself was well under the weight, so I didn't have to pay anything! "We waited
a few minutes, then a bell rang and we walked to the plane. There were about
a dozen of us. We went up a small ladder and got into the plane. There were comfortable seats and we sat looking forward. The pilot came in and arranged us as he wanted us; he wanted the weight of the passengers evenly distributed, so that neither the tail part nor the front part of the machine might be too heavy.
MR. BLACK: Was the airplane full?
MR. WHITE: No. There were a" few empty seats. When we had all settled down in our seats the door was closed, the engines started and the pilot began to taxi out into the middle of the aerodrome.
MR. BLACK: Taxi? What do you mean?
MR. WHITE: To taxi means to make the airplane run along the ground, just as a taxi runs along the street.
MR. BLACK: Did the pilot then take off?
MR. WHITE: Not yet; he taxied right over to the other side of the air-field. Then he turned the nose of the machine into the wind; the engines roared louder and we began to race towards the aerodrome buildings. I could see the offices and hangars getting nearer.
MR. BLACK: Why on earth did he go towards the buildings?
MR. WHITE: Because the wind came from that direction. An airplane always takes off into the wind; it also lands into the wind.
MR. BLACK: Didn't you fear you were going to run into the buildings?
MR. WHITE: No; for very soon I felt that the wheels had left the ground and we were in the air, or air-borne as the experts say. We passed over the buildings at a good height, climbing all the time.
MR. BLACK: I never understand what makes an airplane fly.
MR. WHITE: Well, the propellers 1 make it go forward whether it is on the ground or in the air.
MR. BLACK: How do they do that?
MR. WHITE: The best name for a propeller is "an air-screw." That is the word the Air Force use. Ships have propellers, but they are not air-screws. When the air-screw is turned by the engine it wants to go forward, just as an ordinary screw wants to go into wood when you turn it with a screw-driver.
MR. BLACK: Yes. But what keeps a heavy machine in the air? Why doesn't
it fall to the ground?
MR. WHITE: The air-screws draw the whole machine forward at a high speed. When it is running at a certain speed the pressure of the wind under the wings, which are set at an angle to the rest of the machine, causes it to rise.
MR. BLACK: Then it can only keep in the air as long as the engines are working?
MR. WHITE: That's right.
MR. BLACK: What happens when the engines stop?
MR. WHITE: Then the machine doesn't want to go forward any more; it loses speed very quickly. The pilot increases the speed then by pointing the nose towards the ground. He is quite safe as long as he is going quickly but of course he must immediately look for a landing place; he is always losing height and can never gain height while his engines are not working.
MR. BLACK: What happens if he has to land on rough ground, or on trees?
MR. WHITE: That, of course, is very dangerous; but there is little danger if he can find a smooth landing place. All the big planes now have several engines ; if one fails, the others are sufficient to keep the airplane in the air. Aeroengines are very expensive and very reliable; they rarely fail.
MR. BLACK: Were you comfortable in the air?
MR. WHITE: Yes; but there was a little vibration1 from the engines, and some of the passengers began to feel rather sick. Sometimes we felt bumps, just like the bumps you feel in a car when you run over biggish stones.
MR. BLACK: What caused the bumps? There are no stones in the air.
MR. WHITE: No; but there are places where the air is very thin; when the airplane comes to such a place, an air-pocket it is called, it falls for some distance rather suddenly. Then when it comes to a place where the air is dense you feel a bump.
MR. BLACK: Are air-pockets dangerous?
MR. WHITE: No; they are not common near the ground.
MR. BLACK: Could you see much?
MR. WHITE: That was the best part of the trip. The view was wonderful. We could see for many miles; the whole countryside looked green and wonderful. Once we saw clouds beneath us. That made me feel excited.
MR. BLACK: I'm sure it did. How long were you up?
MR. WHITE: Only about an hour. Then the pilot shut off the engines and we began to come down. We circled the aerodrome from left to right to slow, that we wanted to land, losing height all the time. Then we were quite close to the ground; I saw it coming nearer and nearer. Then I felt the wheels bump gently on the ground and we taxied up to the hangars. We got out and there was a smart car waiting for us. Our luggage was put into it and within two hours of leaving home I was two hundred miles away. I felt quite fresh and ready for work.
MR. BLACK: How long would it have taken you by train?
MR. WHITE: At least six hours, and I should have arrived tired and dirty. There's nothing like flying. I shall never use the trains again if I can help it.
MR. BLACK: Was it expensive?
MR. WHITE: About the same as the first-class railway fare. My firm paid for me as I was traveling on business. Why don't you try it?
MR. BLACK: I certainly mean to the first chance I get. Did you come back by air?
MR. WHITE: No; I had business to do in some smaller places and had to get there by rail. But I intend to fly again as soon as I can.
MR. BLACK: Aren't there many flying accidents?
MR. WHITE: No. There are a few, of course. But thousands of people are killed every year on the roads; that doesn't stop people using cars, does it?
1. by air=by plane, in an airplane. 2 aerodrome =airfield.
2. On time=not late.
3. airplane=plane, machine.
Nowadays the fastest airplanes are driven by jet engines and have no propellers.
4. screw-driver = tool for making screws enter wood or metal.
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Web site Created 19 June 2006