AROUND THE WORLD
IN A PAPER PLANE!
Deep in the Mojave Desert, Jeana Yeager, a schoolteacher’s daughter from Texas, is ready to make her dream come true – to fly around the world in a paper plane without stopping.
It has taken £4 million and five years of effort to realise this dream, and some time in the next nine months she and co-pilot Richard Rutan will climb aboard a paper plane called The Voyager and in 13 days and
nights they will go around the world without touching Earth.
Can it really be done? “We believe so. All the results from the test flights indicate it is possible,” said 33 year-old Jeana, who holds four world flying records and is a skilled engineer.
The Voyager will follow the most suitable winds of the upper atmosphere and the flight will be mostly over water. If anything goes wrong, they will be able to make an emergency landing on the sea.
Jeana and Rutan hope to do 25,000 miles in the remarkable Voyager so they used a kind of paper much stronger than ordinary paper in the construction of their plane. It is made with reinforced paper. The
Voyager is quite big – its wings are longer than a Boeing 727’s.
Although it weighs less than the average car, it can carry a large amount of fuel (approximately 1489 gallons). In a test run, or test flight, over the Rocky Mountains, Jeana was air sick for the first time in her life. “The Voyager is very light – it easily moves with the wind. It was like being on board a small yacht in a rough sea.
We seemed to be going up and down like in waves,” she said. During the flight the turbulence, i.e. strong wild movement of air, forced them to fly very high – almost on the edge of the atmosphere.
Flying that high was not included in their flight plan and Jeana and Richard had some difficult moments until they managed to get out of the turbulence.
Jeana and Richard are very excited about their project. It was nearly a quarter of a century ago that a B-52H jet bomber flew from Japan to Spain, a distance of 12,532 miles, without stopping. That was the
world record for an unrefuelled flight.
The project was born as a result of a conversation between Richard and his aircraft designer brother Burt. Richard asked him if it was possible to fly round the world without refuelling. After some careful thinking, Burt said “I think so”. But Jeana and Richard are the ones who will find out.
Mark the best choice.
1. Line 9, ‘if refers to .
a) not touching Earth c) getting the results from the test flights
b) climbing aboard a paper plane d) flying round the world without stopping
2. Line 16, ‘reinforced paper* .
a) has the same properties as ordinary paper
b) is a common material which planes are made from
c) is paper with increased strength
d) is used in the construction of big planes
3. Jeana Yeager , .
a) has always suffered from airsickness
b) is a young schoolteacher who wants to fly around the world in a paper
c) has been planning this journey for nine months with her co-pilot Richard
d) is an experienced pilot
4. The trip will be mainly over water .
a) for reasons of safety
b) because it is a short route which will save them time
c) because of atmospheric conditions
d) since The Voyager is designed to land only on water
5. During the test flight, Jeana and Richard .
a) did not experience any discomfort
b) had an accident because of turbulence
c) had to fly much higher than they expected
d) flew over the Mojave Desert
6. About 25 years ago, .
a) a plane flew from Japan to Spain without stopping anywhere to get fuel
b) a paper plane broke the world record by flying 12,532 miles
c) jet bombers couldn’t fly the long distance from Japan to Spain
d) B-52H jet bombers used fuel more economically than other planes
7. Which of the following is true?
a) Because The Voyager is heavy, it is difficult to keep it under control in
b) A lot of hard work and money have gone into this flight, which will last
almost two weeks.
c) Although Richard’s brother knew little about aircraft, he helped Richard
with his project.
d) Jeana got sick while she was travelling in a small yacht in a rough sea.