Transports of Delight?
Instructions: Read the text below to find the answers to the questions on your worksheet.
The sky’s the limit – or is it?
The maiden flight of the Airbus A380 has been hailed as a major success. The flight, which took place in France, lasted nearly four hours. The new plane landed at Toulouse International Airport, everything having gone entirely to plan, according to the flight crew. The chief test pilot stated that the aircraft was as easy to handle "as a bicycle"! The French president exclaimed that the giant airliner was "the crowning achievement" of human industry. Britain’s Prime Minister described it as "the most exciting aircraft in the world."
Simply the best
The historic flight (at 421 tonnes the Airbus A380 is the heaviest non-military plane ever to take off) was the culmination of years of development and production involving four European countries – France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The consortium formed by these countries (EADS) boasts proudly that the double-decker Airbus A380 is superlative in a number of ways. At 73 metres it is at least 3 metres longer than its closest rival and has a wing-span approximately 20 metres wider. Its eighty metre wing-span is one of the reasons why airports such as Heathrow in London are having to undergo redevelopment in an effort to accommodate the record-breaking plane. Not only is Europe’s flagship commercial aircraft the heaviest, longest and widest ever to take to the skies, but it can also carry the largest number of passengers – 555 being the typical capacity but the maximum capacity being as much as 853. By comparison the Airbus's nearest rival for the long-haul flight market, the American Boeing 747, can carry approximately 400 passengers.
Battle for the skies
Boeing appears unconcerned about the potential threat posed by the huge new airliner: they are quick to point out that the last pan-European aircraft (the Anglo-French Concorde) was not a financial success and only 14 were ever used commercially. However, the Airbus already has orders from at least 15 airline companies including Singapore Airlines, Quantas and Emirates.
Read the clues below and write the solutions on a piece of paper. Then take the first letter of each answer and rearrange them to find the hidden word connected with this Talking Point.
1. Airbus's nearest rival for the long-__________ flight market, the American Boeing 747, can carry approximately 400 passengers.
2. Boeing appears unconcerned about the potential __________ posed by the huge new airliner.
3. The Airbus A380 can also carry the __________ number of passengers of any airliner.
4. The French President exclaimed that the __________ plane was "the crowning achievement" of human industry.
5. Europe's __________ commercial aircraft is the heaviest, longest and widest ever to take to the skies.
6. The historic flight was the culmination of years of development and production __________ four European countries.
For use with Talking Point worksheets
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