Лекция: Text 8B

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Почему вернулись вновь к использованию дирижабля?

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Каково их практическое применение?

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The Return of the Dirigibles

When it comes to technology, people are not inclined to return to the past. Yet, some exceptions do exist. Such is the attitude at present towards dirigibles. Having abandoned the skies more than 40years ago, they have suddenly begun to reappear. Designers have once again sat down to design this kind of transportation. Their use can still be limited, but there is no doubt, that dirigibles are coming back.

Why is dirigible attractive? What do you do with it? As its cruising speed is about 60 miles per hour it is too slow to be used as a passenger carrier. But it is cheaper to operate than a helicopter, comfortable and capable of flying for several days. The craft's large size and staying power (dirigibles have remained in skies for as long as a week) make it ideally suited for exploration.

Their use in countries that have large territories and are rich in forests and are planning to explore and exploit new regions is most promising. They may be used to make geologicalsurvey and tomake maps, to look for off-shore oil and minerals, to take tourists to roadless, but beautiful places, to «deliver heavy loads to remote regions and bring the products back. They have a potential use as a flying platform. In general, their possibilities are endless. They do not need expensive runways required by cargo planes.

Besides, the technological possibilities of manufacturing these crafts have changed. In 1920 and 1930's the dirigibles were manned by a big crew.Today being equipped with electronic control they can be operated by three pilots.

The modern dirigibles have one more important advantage overolder models — that of complete safety in flight, for, instead of hydrogen,they are filled with helium which does not burn.The craft is 200 feetlong and is made of superstrong material.

In future it may be possible to build a dirigible with a metal hullthat could carry hundreds of passengers and transport cargo aroundthe world. In fact, it is probably as a cargo vehicle that the dirigiblewill have the best chance to find its use.


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Off the Ground: How do We Find Where We are Going?

Scientists who are concerned with such a problem generally agree that birds have some kind of so-called „second sense“ that allowsthem to fly over land and water without getting lost. Indeed, birdsare always able to find their destinations and make a return fly without any trouble at all.

But peole need help in finding their destination when piloting their own airplanes. This, of course, is called navigation.

Navigation is the art of finding your way from where you start toyour destination. Whether used by the seamen, explorer or the pilot, navigation falls into three basic categories: dead reckoning (счисление пути) which is the basis for all navigation, celestial navigation whichis flying by the aid of the sun and other stars, and radio and radar navigation.

Several different kinds of aeronautical maps provide all the details which might be needed by the pilot. And hundreds of radio navigation stations are located at different places around the world to help guide the pilot. All the pilot needs to do is to tune to these radio transmitters and he will get the directional signals he needs. Distance measuring equipment now used in many airplanes tells the pilot exactly how far he is from a radio station and at what speed he is travelling over the ground.

When certain types of weather prevent the pilot from seeing the ground, additional radio transmitters let him make his approach to an airport by simply watching his flight instruments and his radio receiver indicators. These receivers help the pilot descend on the runway, thus landing at an airport even though he cannot see the ground.

At the world's larger air terminals airplanes are provided withradar guidance as another means of guiding the pilot to the destination. With the help of an electronic transponder (ретранслятор) in each


airplane which shows it on the radar screen, radar controllers guide hundreds of airplanes to landing.

Because of the great improvement in electronic and radio navigation equipment, flying to where you are going is done as efficiently as the birds do it and much more scientifically.


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