Fri, May 19, 2006 - Page 20 News List

The first flight 首航

A hot air balloon flies near Moscow.
熱氣球在莫斯科附近飛行。 (照片:美聯社)

PHOTO : AP

Most people think that the Wright brothers were the first people to fly when they built the first airplane in 1903. However, people in France were flying more than 100 years before that.

Instead of flying in an airplane, two French brothers made a giant balloon out of paper, which they first flew in 1783. When flying the balloon, people sat on a flat piece of wood hanging underneath the balloon and made a fire. The fire heated the air inside the balloon, which made it rise. However, the balloon didn't fly for very long because the paper started to catch on fire.

When the balloon landed nine kilometers away, the people there had never seen a flying balloon before. They got scared and tried to destroy it, but luckily the pilots stopped them. (Marc Langer, staff writer)

多數人認為在一九○三年打造了第一架飛機的懷特兄弟是最早飛上青天的人,其實法國人翱翔天際的時間要比懷特兄弟早一百年。

這對法國兄弟不是以飛機飛行,而是以紙製成一個巨大氣球,在一七八三年首航。飛行時,人坐在垂掛於氣球下方的木板上,以火加熱氣球內的空氣,使之上升,不過氣球沒有飛得太遠,因為紙著火了。

氣球降落在九公里外的地方,那裡的人從沒看過會飛的氣球,所以心生恐懼,想摧毀氣球,幸好被兩位飛行員阻止了。 (翻譯:鄭湘儀)

Quick Quiz 複習測驗

1. Why did the balloon have to stop flying?

a. It ran out of air.

b. It hit a tree.

c. It broke apart.

d. It started to catch on fire.

2. When the balloon landed, some people tried to ...

a. fix it.

b. destroy it.

c. fly it.

d. catch it.


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