Reading Comprehension 13

1. READ TEXT QUICKLY AND SIGN DIFFICULT WORDS

This question has often been posed: Why were the Wright brothers able to succeed in an effort at which so many others had failed? Many explanations have been mention, but three reasons are most often cited. First, they were a team. Both men worked congenially and cooperatively, read the same books, located and shared information, talked incessantly about the possibility of  manned flight, and served as a consistent source of inspiration and encouragement to each other. Quite simply, two geniuses are better than one.

Both were glider pilots. Unlike some other engineers who experimented with the theories of flight. Orville and Wilbur Wright experienced the practical aspects of aerodynamics by building and flying in kites and gilders. Each craft they built was slightly superior to the last, as they incorporated knowledge that they had gained from previous failures. They had realized from their experiments that the most serious challenge in manned flight would be stabilizing and maneuvering the aircraft once it was airborne. While others concentrated their efforts on the problem of achieving lift for take off, the Wright brother were focusing on developing a three-axis control for guiding their aircraft. By the time that the brothers started to build an airplane, they were already among the word’s best glider pilots; they knew the problems of riding the air first hand.

In addition, the Wright brothers had designed more effective wings for the airplane than had been previously engineered. Using a wind tunnel, they tested more than two hundred different wing designs, recording the effects of slight variations in shape on the pressure of air on the wings. The data from these experiments allowed the Wright brothers to construct a superior wing for their aircraft.

In spite of these advantages, however, the Wright brothers might not have succeeded had they not been born at precisely the opportune moment in history. Attempts to achieve manned flight in the early nineteenth century were doomed because the steam engines that powered the aircrafts were too heavy in proportion to the power that they produced. But by the end of the nineteenth century, when the brothers were experimenting with engineering options, a relatively light internal combustion engine had already been invented, and they were able to bring the ratio of weight to power within acceptable limits for flight.

2. NEW VOCABULARY WITH THEIR MEANING

  • Cited : to mention in support, proof, or confirmation; refer to as an example
  • Congenially : agreeable, suitable, or pleasing in nature or character
  • Manned : carrying or operated by one or more persons
  • Glider : a motorless, heavier-than-air aircraft for gliding from a higher to alower levelby the action of gravity or from a lower to a higher level bythe action of air currents.
  • Aerodynamics : the branch of mechanics that deals with the motion of air andothergases and with the effects of such motion on bodies in the medium.
  • Incorporated : formed or constituted as a legal corporation.
  • Maneuvering : a planned and regulated movement or evolution of troops,warships,etc.
  • Airborne : carried by the air, as pollen or dust.
  • Axis : the line about which a rotating body, such as the earth, turns.
  • Tunnel : any passage or channel through or under something
  • Advantages : any state, circumstance, opportunity, or means specially favorabletosuccess, interest, or any desired end
  • Doomed : fate or destiny, especially adverse fate; unavoidable ill fortune
  • Steam : water in the form of an invisible gas or vapor.
  • Combustion : the act or process of burning.

3. THE IDEAS OF EACH PARAGRAPH

  • Paragraph one : The reasons why the Wright brothers succeed were both men worked congenially and cooperatively, read the same books, located and shared information, talked incessantly about the possibility of  manned flight, and served as a consistent source of inspiration and encouragement to each other.
  • Paragraph two : Both were glider pilots. Unlike some other engineers who experimented with the theories of flight. Orville and Wilbur Wright experienced the practical aspects of aerodynamics by building and flying in kites and gilders.
  • Paragraph three : The Wright brothers had designed more effective wings for the airplane than had been previously engineered. Using a wind tunnel, they tested more than two hundred different wing designs, recording the effects of slight variations in shape on the pressure of air on the wings.
  • Paragraph four : In spite of these advantages, however, the Wright brothers might not have succeeded had they not been born at precisely the opportune moment in history.

4. ANSWER FROM THE QUESTIONS GIVEN

1. Which of the following is the main topic of the passage?

  • A. The reasons why the Wright brothers succeeded in manned flight.
  • B. The advantage of the internal combustion engine in the Wright brothers’ experiments.
  • C. The Wright brothers’ experience as pilots.
  • D. The importance of gliders to the development of airplanes.

2. The word cited in paragraph 1 is closest in meaning to which of the following?

  • A. Disregarded
  • B. Mentioned
  • C. Considered
  • D. Proven

3. The word incessantly in the paragraph 1 could best be replaced by which of the following?

  • A. Confidently
  • B. Intelligently
  • C. Constantly
  • D. Optimistically

4. What kind of experience did the Wright brothers have that distinguished them from their competitor?

  • A. They were geniuses.
  • B. They were gilder pilots.
  • C. They were engineers.
  • D. They were inventors.

5. Why does the author suggest that the experiments with the wind tunnel were important?

  • A. Because they allowed the Wright brothers to decrease the weight of their airplane to acceptable limits
  • B. Because they resulted in a three-axis control for their airplane
  • C. Because they were important in the refinement of the wings for their airplane
  • D. Because they used the data to improve the engine for their airplane

6. The word they in the paragraph 3 refers to ?

  • A. The Wright brothers
  • B. Aircraft
  • C. Engine
  • D. Attempts

7. The word doomed in paragraph 4 is closest in meaning to ?

  • A. Destined to fail
  • B. Difficult to achieve
  • C. Taking a risk
  • D. Not well planned

8. In paragraph 4, the author suggests that the steam engines used in earlier aircraft had failed because ?

  • A. They were too small to power a large plane.
  • B. They were too light to generate enough power.
  • C. They did not have internal combustion power.
  • D. They did not have enough power to lift their own weight.

9. The passage discusses all of the following reasons that the Wright brothers succeeded EXCEPT ?

  • A. They worked very well together.
  • B. They both had practical experience building other aircraft.
  • C. They made extensive tests before they completed the design.
  • D. They were well funded.

5. SUMMARY OF THE PASSAGE

The reasons why the Wright brothers succeed were both men worked congenially and cooperatively, read the same books, located and shared information, talked incessantly about the possibility of  manned flight, and served as a consistent source of inspiration and encouragement to each other. Both were glider pilots. Unlike some other engineers who experimented with the theories of flight. Orville and Wilbur Wright experienced the practical aspects of aerodynamics by building and flying in kites and gilders.

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