Listen&Learn: The History of Airplanes

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the flight of the first airplane.
biplane

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • glider: an aircraft with wings and no engine
  • pilot: someone who controls an aircraft
  • design: to plan the creation of something
  • progress: to get better or more advanced over time
  • commercial: relating to sales

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Many people throughout history tried to solve the problem of . Although people had managed to build gliders and hot air in the 18th and 19th centuries, these aircraft could not be easily controlled. The first powered aircraft that could be controlled by a pilot was known as the Wright Flyer. It was designed by American Wilbur and Orville Wright. Its first flight took place in December 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The brothers flew the plane four times in one day, with the longest flight lasting 59 seconds and travelling over 800 feet. By 1905, they had created a plane that could stay in the air for several minutes and fly in . After that, aircraft technology progressed very quickly for military and commercial use.

Comprehension questions

See answers below

  1. The problem with gliders and hot air balloons was that
    a. they couldn’t be easily controlled
    b. they were difficult to make
    c. they didn’t have room for passengers
  2. The Wright Flyer made its first flight in
    a. 1903
    b. 1905
    c. 1910
  3. By 1905, the Wright brothers’ plane could
    a. house multiple passengers and cargo
    b. stay in the air for several minutes and fly in circles
    c. land on and take off from water

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you travel often? How do you feel about air travel?

Transcript

Many people throughout history tried to solve the problem of flight. Although people had managed to build gliders and hot air balloons in the 18th and 19th centuries, these aircraft could not be easily controlled. The first powered aircraft that could be controlled by a pilot was known as the Wright Flyer. It was designed by American inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright. Its first successful flight took place in December 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The brothers flew the plane four times in one day, with the longest flight lasting 59 seconds and travelling over 800 feet. By 1905, they had created a plane that could stay in the air for several minutes and fly in circles. After that, aircraft technology progressed very quickly for military and commercial use.

Answers to comprehension questions

1a 2a 3b

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub
© EnglishClub.com

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