EXTRAS: http://linguaspectrum.com/quizzes/do_the_quiz.php?id=42Online language learning and teaching: http://linguaspectrumplus.comSince the days of the Wright brothers' first powered flight in 1903, aircraft have become ever more sophisticated and bigger.The Wright brothers' Flyer had a wingspan of 12.3 metres and weighed 274 kg. 82 kg came from its 12 hp engine.Orville Wright flew the first controlled powered flight in a heavier-than-air aircraft at 1035 hrs on December 17th, 1903. He flew 36.6 metres in 12 seconds at a speed of 10.9 km per hour.In comparison to this first flight, the Airbus A400M military transport plane has a wingspan of 42.4 metres, an overall length of 45.1 metres and has a maximum take-off weight of 141,000 kg.It can carry 37,000 kg of cargo and 50,500 kg of fuel.At 17.71 metres, the cargo hold is 5 metres longer than Orville Wright's first flight. The cargo bay is 4 metres wide and almost 4 metres tall.Orville Wright flew at a height of around 3 metres. The A400M flies at an altitude of up to 11,300 metres.The Flyer's 12 hp engine powered two wooden propellers which were around 2.5 metres in diameter.The A400M has four 11,000 hp engines driving four eight-bladed composite propellers that are 5.3 metres in diameter. Each engine is 3.5 metres long and weighs around 1,900 kg.Against the Flyer's 10.9 km per hour, the A400M flies at speeds up to 780 km per hour.The Wright Flyer's undercarriage was a simple ski. The A400M has an undercarriage of 12 main wheels and 2 nose wheels.Orville Wright didn't have a cockpit to sit in, or even a seat. He lay on the top of the bottom wing.The pilots of the A400M have comfortable seats, sidestick controllers with which to fly the plane, and all flight instruments are displayed on large colour screens.One similarity between the Wright brothers' Flyer and the A400M is the spin of the propellers. On both aircraft the propellers spin in opposite directions to help with handling in the air.The propellers on each wing of the A400M counter-rotate towards each other from the top down to the middle of the wing.And, of course, all aircraft have wings. It is these that provide the lift needed to get the plane into the air.The Wright Flyer had wooden wings with a muslin fabric glued to them. The A400M's wings are made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic composite.The A400M has a particularly large tailplane and rudder made of the same composite as the wings.How times have changed.Learn English online using Skype: I also give online English classes by Skype. You can find out more by visiting http://linguaspectrum.com If you want to learn English quickly and easily, I invite you to take classes with me online using Skype.
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