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新视野大学英语 读写教程第三册 unit10-b

时间:2005-12-13 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:1234567890   字体: [ ]

The Ride of My Life
I climbed into the back-seat of the world's hottest jet fighter, the F-16. Clouds hung over our airbase, but I knew that soon I would be above the clouds, where the sun was shining.
A mechanic strapped2 me into my harness, and plugged in the system that would allow me to breatheand talk at 35,000 feet. "When you start pulling G's," he reminded me, referring to gravity forces,"your G-suit will fill with air automatically." I certainly hoped so. If my suit failed on a high-G missionlike this, I could be killed.
"In an emergency," he said, "just pull the handle between your legs. A rocket under the seat will popyou out of the aircraft, seat and all. Your parachute will open automatically." The mechanic couldn'tresist a parting joke: "If you have to use the survival equipment and it doesn't work, bring it back; we'llreplace it."As I struggled to get comfortable, my pilot, Major Patrick Hamilton, came aboard and startedprogramming the jet's computers. Then, through the microphone, he spoke3 into my ear: "If you'reready, let's get going." Our engine roared to life, the powerful jet turbines making enough noise towaken the dead. We were going up for a practice battle.
I expected the ride of my life, and with good reason. The F-16 is a $20 million piece of hardware thathas enough horsepower to fly at twice the speed of sound. In tight turns and recovering from dives, itcan pull nine G's, or nine times the force of gravity, causing a 200-pound man to weigh nearly a ton.
The jet roared down the cement surface, slamming me against the seat. In seconds, we reached 145miles per hour. The plane blasted into the air like a bullet shot out of a rifle, and soon we were at 2,000feet and climbing.
The F-16 can fly straight up. It can spin, dive, turn, climb, roll, and make loops with the grace of aneagle. Yet, loaded with practice bombs and 8,000 pounds of fuel, the mostly aluminum4 aircraft weighssome 15 tons. Controlling this precision machine and its many weapons is like playing a million-dollarvideo game that has dozens of buttons.
"The controls are so sensitive," Major Hamilton says, "they're almost an extension of the pilot'sbody."In fewer than five minutes, we'd reached an altitude of 35,000 feet. At near the speed of sound, wewere flying ahead of our engine's roar. We felt little sense of speed or motion. Even the boom thathappens when the jet breaks the sound barrier went unnoticed.
The ride was exciting yet peaceful, and the view beautiful: an ocean of blue above, a blanket of purewhite below. Inside our clear chamber5, we were warm and comfortable, but outside was a wholedifferent world. The atmosphere was 30 degrees below zero centigrade and too thin to breathe.
Trailing behind us were white stripes created by heat from our exhaust hitting sub-zero air.
Our target area was 250 miles to the north. For a few minutes, we would be flying straight, so MajorHamilton turned the controls over to me. "But don't try anything fancy," he warned. My goodness! Ithought of all the pilots who'd give a month's pay to take my place. I turned the plane to the right, but Idid it too hard and we went into a steep turn. I corrected with a squeeze to the left. That's about asfancy as I got.
Flying the F-16 straight and level was easy enough. Flying in combat and managing the complexweapons system requires considerably6 more concentration. The pilot must command a collection oflights, dials, knobs, digital displays, and other electronic devices. "You must have to be an engineer orcomputer scientist to fly this airplane," I commented over the microphone.
"It helps," said Major Hamilton. But he added, "You don't have to know how everything is puttogether, just how the system operates. Even a monkey could fly this airplane."Suddenly we heard the commander say "enemy" aircraft had been sighted. Action began with arapid dive from 35,000 feet. I prepared for the G's I knew we'd pull. When the G-meter reached 6.2, Icould no longer lift my feet off the floor. No wonder — they weighed nearly 100 pounds. My visionwent dim, as blood rushed from my head to my feet. My G-suit, now fully7 filled with air, compressedmy legs to force the blood back into the upper part of my body. The jet twisted, turned, rolled, climbedand dived, constantly whipping me from one side to the other. I was having trouble following it all; Iwas, in fact, just hanging on.
During our mission, no planes were actually shot down. But cameras connected to video recordershad captured the action on tape. Hits and misses, determined8 by computers, would be watched andevaluated in post-flight meetings.
Although the major joked about how simple it was to fly the F-16, the truth is that a pilot must be anexpert to control the craft. And to withstand the force of high-G movements, he must also be in topphysical condition. As Major Hamilton landed our plane gracefully9, I was thankful that he, not amonkey, had been my pilot. This man had indeed given me the ride of my life.  

  Words: 901
New Words
jet n. 喷气式飞机
mechanic n. 技工,机械工人
strap1 vt. 捆,扎,绑
n. 带,皮带
harness n. 马具;类似马具的装备(如降落伞背带或幼童的系带)
vt. 1.给(马等)上马具 2.利用(自然力)发电等
plug vt. 1.堵,塞 2.插上(插头)
n. 插头
gravity n. 1.重力,万有引力 2.严重(性)
rocket n. 火箭
pop vt. 快速地放,快速地拿
vi. 发出砰的响声
n. 流行音乐
■parachute n. 降落伞
resist vt. 1.顶住,忍受 2.抵抗,反抗
microphone n. 麦克风
turbine n. 涡轮机,叶轮机,透平机
waken v. 唤醒,醒来
hardware n. 1.重型武器;重型机器 2.五金器具 3.(电脑)硬件
horsepower n. 马力(功率单位)
cement n. 水泥
slam v. 1.猛力地推、放或扔 2.砰地关上
rifle n. 来复枪,步枪
loop n. 圈,环
eagle n. 鹰,雕
aluminum n. 铝
precision n. 准确(性),精确(性),精密(度)
weapon n. 武器,兵器
extension n. 1.增加的部分,延伸的部分 2.伸展,延伸,扩大
altitude n. 1.海拔;高度 2.高处;高地
boom n. 1.低沉有回响的声音,隆隆声 2.暴涨,激增,繁荣
chamber n. 1.封闭空间;腔,室 2.房间,寝室 3.议院
centigrade n. 摄氏度
a. 摄氏的
stripe n. 条纹,条子
fancy a. 花哨的,异样的
n. 1.奇想,想入非非 2.喜爱,爱好
vt. 1.想像,设想 2.喜欢,想要
goodness int. (用来表达强烈的感情,尤指惊奇)啊呀
steep a. 1.急剧升降的 2.陡的,陡峭的
concentration n. 1.全神贯注 2.集中,群集
dial n. (机器或设备上的)刻度盘,标度盘
vt. 拨打电话
digital a. 数字的,数字显示的
compress vt. 压紧,压缩
upper a. (位置、水平等)较高的,较上的;上层的,上部的
whip v. 1.猛地移动 2.鞭打,鞭笞
n. 鞭子
recorder n. 录音机,录像机
craft n. 1.船,艇,航空器 2.工艺,手艺
Phrases and Expressions
hang over 悬浮于空中
plug in 插上插头
fill with 充满,装满,盛满
pop out (使)突然出来,出来一会儿
get going (使)开始运行
go up 上升,攀升
load with 装,装载
ahead of (在空间或时间上)超前,在……前面
turn sth. over to sb. 把(某事)交给(某人)处理
think of 想起,记得
take sb.'s/sth.'s place 代替
go into 开始(某活动)
put together 装配,组装
force into 迫使进入
hang on 坚持 抓紧,抓牢
Proper Names
F-16 F-16 喷气式战斗机
Major Patrick Hamilton 帕特里克·汉密尔顿少校


1 strap 5GhzK     
  • She held onto a strap to steady herself.她抓住拉手吊带以便站稳。
  • The nurse will strap up your wound.护士会绑扎你的伤口。
2 strapped ec484d13545e19c0939d46e2d1eb24bc     
  • Make sure that the child is strapped tightly into the buggy. 一定要把孩子牢牢地拴在婴儿车上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The soldiers' great coats were strapped on their packs. 战士们的厚大衣扎捆在背包上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
4 aluminum 9xhzP     
  • The aluminum sheets cannot be too much thicker than 0.04 inches.铝板厚度不能超过0.04英寸。
  • During the launch phase,it would ride in a protective aluminum shell.在发射阶段,它盛在一只保护的铝壳里。
5 chamber wnky9     
  • For many,the dentist's surgery remains a torture chamber.对许多人来说,牙医的治疗室一直是间受刑室。
  • The chamber was ablaze with light.会议厅里灯火辉煌。
6 considerably 0YWyQ     
  • The economic situation has changed considerably.经济形势已发生了相当大的变化。
  • The gap has narrowed considerably.分歧大大缩小了。
7 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
8 determined duszmP     
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
9 gracefully KfYxd     
  • She sank gracefully down onto a cushion at his feet. 她优雅地坐到他脚旁的垫子上。
  • The new coats blouse gracefully above the hip line. 新外套在臀围线上优美地打着褶皱。
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