新概念英语－听录音，并回答问题What is a hovercraft riding on when it is in motion?
新概念英语 - 小编笔记
新概念英语 - 教材原文
Many strange new means of transport have been developed in our century, the strangest of them being perhaps the hovercraft. In 1953, a former electronics engineer in his fifties, Christopher Cockerell, who had turned to boat-building on the Norfolk Broads, suggested an idea on which he had been working for many years to the British Government and industrial circles. It was the idea of supporting a craft on a 'pad', or cushion, of low-pressure air, ringed with a curtain of higher pressure air. Ever since, people have had difficulty in deciding whether the craft should be ranged among ships, planes, or land vehicles -- for it is something in between a boat and an aircraft. As a shipbuilder, Cockerell was trying to find a solution to the problem of the wave resistance which wastes a good deal of a surface ship's power and limits its speed. His answer was to lift the vessel out of the water by a great number of ring-shaped air jets on the bottom of the craft. It 'flies', therefore, but it cannot fly higher -- its action depends on the surface, water or ground, over which it rides.
The first tests on the Solent in 1959 caused a sensation. The hovercraft travelled first over the water, then mounted the beach, climbed up the dunes, and sat down on a road. Later it crossed the Channel, riding smoothly over the waves, which presented no problem.
Since that time, various types of hovercraft have appeared and taken up regular service. The hovercraft is particularly useful in large areas with poor communications such as Africa or Australia; it can become a 'flying fruit-bowl', carrying bananas from the plantations to the ports; giant hovercraft liners could span the Atlantic; and the railway of the future may well be the 'hovertrain', riding on its air cushion over a single rail, which it never touches, at speeds up to 300 m.p.h. -- the possibilities appear unlimited.
--EGON LARSEN The Pegasus Book of Inventors--
新概念英语－单词和短语hovercraft n. 气垫船
Norfolk Broads n. 诺福克郡的湖泊地区
cushion n. 座垫
ring v. 围
Solent n. （英国的）苏伦特海峡
sensation n. 轰动
dune n. 沙丘
plantation n. 种植园
hovertrain n. 气垫火车
从那以后，各种各样的气垫船出现了，并开始了定期航行服务。 气垫船在非洲、澳大利亚等交通不发达地区特别有用。 它能成为“飞行水果盘子”，把香蕉从种植园动到港口。 大型的气垫班轮或许能跨越大西洋。 未来的火车或许能成为“气垫火车”， 靠气垫在单轨上行驶而不接触轨道， 时速可达每小时300英里。 气垫船的前途是不可限量的。