The world's commercial aviation has greatly evolved since its early years.
Watch the video and answer the questions below. The activity is suitable for Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 students.
1 When did the first jet-propelled airplane make its first flight?
2 Why was the De Havilland Comet's reputation damaged?
3 How many passengers could the Boeing 707 carry?
4 How many engines did the Airbus A300 have?
5 How long did the Concorde take to cross the Atlantic in 1976?
6 When did the Airbus A380 enter service?
On this day (1) 66 years ago, the age of commercial jet travel began when the world's first jet-propelled
airliner made its first flight.
Built in Britain, it was called the De Havilland Comet and it first carried passengers three years later in 1952 on a flight from London to Johannesburg. The comet ushered in a new era in aviation, but its name was soon damaged by a string of (2) fatal accidents.
By the time newer, safer models came along, the jetliner market was in the grasp of American manufacturer Boeing. In 1958, Boeing released the 707, a jetliner that could (3) carry around twice the number of passengers as the Comet. Boeing continued to dominate throughout the sixties and seventies with the 727, its short-haul workhorse, the 737, and the world's first wide body jetliner, or jumbo jet, the Boeing 747.
In the early 1970s a new competitor arrived on the scene in the form of European manufacturer Airbus. Its A300 series was the world's first (4) twin-engine [=2] wide-body jet and, later the success of the A320 made it a serious rival to Boeing.
In the late 1970s, supersonic air travel became a commercial reality for the first time. (5) Concorde halved the time it took to cross the Atlantic when it entered service in 1976. But a high-profile accident and the events of 9/11 ended commercial supersonic travel in 2003.
Two years later in 2005, the world's biggest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380, made its first flight. It entered service(6) two years later [in 2007], and today is at the pinnacle of what's possible in commercial air travel.
The jetliner has certainly come a long way since that first test flight in 1949.