Travelling at 4.5 times the speed of sound on a commercial airliner is some-thing that we may all live to experience. Two companies of the Airbus group, Astrium and EADS, have registered a patent with the US Patent Office for a project called "Ultra-rapid air vehicle and method of aerial locomotion". The future plane, if it sees the light of day, would be much faster than Con-corde (which flew the distance between London and New York in 3 hours and was retired in 2003). It would link London to New York in 1 hour (as opposed to seven to eight currently) and Paris to Los Angeles in three hours. This project was unveiled in a YouTube video by Deepak Gupta, founder of the India-based intellectual property drafting service Patent Yogi and a man with a passion for aeroplanes who, according to the newspaper Les Echos, "spends all his time on YouTube trying to find licences and pa-tents which have been deposited". Equipped with a single triangular wing, the plane would carry 20 passen-gers for distances of about 5,500 miles (Concorde could carry up to 120 passengers). A rocket engine would propel the plane on a near-vertical as-cent to an altitude of 20 miles. Two statojets would then catapult the plane at supersonic speed on a horizontal trajectory. The aircraft would then cruise on the edge of space, high above conventional aircrafts, before slow-ing down and entering normal air traffic close to its destination. The patent filed recognises the issue of supersonic aircrafts making sonic booms as they break the sound barrier. This boom is seen as one of the main reasons Concorde was not a commercial success, with noise com-plaints leading to it being banned from operating at high speed over land by many countries, negating the main attraction of travelling on the jet. Details are limited on how the supersonic bang would be reduced, but the height at which the new aircraft would fly and the "narrow" angle of the supersonic shock wave coming off its nose would help reduce it because it has a longor distance to dissipate before it reaches the ground. If you're eager to give it a try, don't get too excited yet. Airbus files for hun-dreds of patents a year, many of them weird. Last summer, it filed a patent for bicycle-style seats on planes that would make it possible to cram more passengers in the same amount of space. And last autumn, it patented an aircraft cabin shaped like a giant flying saucer.
Q20.1 Which of the following statements can be deduced about Deepak Gupta from the passage?
A. He is a patents and trademarks lawyer/attorney.
B. He is a plane spotter.
C. Airbus is one of his clients.
D. None of the above.
Q20.2 Which of the following statements can be deduced from the text?
A. The new plane is not at risk of crashing with normal planes.
B. Normal aircrafts fly at an altitude below 20 miles.
C. The new plane is unlikely to ever be built.
D. The new plane could also fly like a normal plane if needed.
Q20.3 If we assume that any plane reaching its destination takes one hour to refuel and be prepared before its next flight, which of the follow-ing statements holds true for a London-to-New-York route?
A. Concorde could carry more passengers in 24 hours than the new plane.
B. Concorde could carry fewer passengers in 24 hours than the new plane.
C. Both planes could carry the same number of passengers in 24 hours.
D. It is not possible to calculate which plane could carry more passengers in 24 hours.
Q20.4 Which of the following is the author most likely to conclude from the passage?
A. Concorde could only fly to countries bordering an ocean.
B. The London-to-New-York Concorde line was not profita-ble.
C. The new plane could potentially fly to any destination with-out risking a ban for excess noise.
D. Airbus will eventually increase the new plane's capacity by introducing bicycle-style seats.
Answer and Explanation
Q20.1 — D: None of the above.
Looking at the other options:
• A: He is a patents and trademarks lawyer/attorney. We only know that he founded an intellectual property drafting service called Patent Yogi, but the text does not mention or suggest he is an attorney.
• B: He is a plane spotter. We only know that he has a passion for planes but nothing suggests he engages in plane spotting. In fact the text suggests he spends most of his time on his computer engaging in patent-spotting.
• C: Airbus is one of his clients. Nothing suggests he works with Air-bus.
Q20.2 — B: Normal aircrafts fly at an altitude below 20 miles.
The text says that the new plane will ascend to an altitude of 20 miles before being catapulted horizontally, cruising at the edge of space high above conven-tional aircrafts. Therefore it can be deduced that conventional aircrafts fly below an altitude of 20 miles. Looking at the other options:
• A: The new plane is not at risk of crashing with normal planes. Though it is correct that it will fly way above conventional aircrafts, it will reed to enter normal air traffic close to its destination (see end of the second paragraph). As such, the risk of crashing with normal planes is real.
• C: The new plane is unlikely to ever be built. The text does refer to the fact Airbus filed strange patents before and hints at the fact that the project may not see the light of day or that it is a long way off. However, it does not go as far as saying or implying that it is unlikely that the new plane will ever be built, out merely that it Is possible It may not.
• D: The new plane could also fly like a normal plane if needed. Nothing in the text suggests this is the case.
Q20.3 — A: Concorde could carry more passengers in 24 hours than the new plane.
The new plane could do 12 trips in 24 hours (each flight would last one hour, followed by a one-hour maintenance period. Total: 2 hours), thus carrying 12 x 20 = 240 passengers in total, which is twice the number that Concorde could carry at any one time. Concorde took 3 hours to make the London-to-New York trip, to which we must add one hour of maintenance, so 4 hours in total. Therefore it could make 6 trips in 24 hours. Since each trip could contain 120 passengers, this would equate to 720 passengers in total. Note that for this question you don't actually need to make all the calcula-tions. All you need to ascertain is that Concorde can actually make more than 2 trips per day.
Q20.4 — C: The new plane could potentially fly to any destination with-out risking a ban for excess noise.
We know that the problem with Con-corde was that some countries had banned it from flying over their territory because of the supersonic boom. We also know that the supersonic boom is unlikely to be heard with the new plane. This lifts any restrictions due to excess noise. Looking at the other options:
• A: Concorde could only fly to countries bordering an ocean. All we know from the text is that many countries banned it from flying over their territory. That does not mean that they all banned it and, as such, we cannot conclude that it had to fly to a country bordering an ocean.
• B: The London-to-New-York Concorde line was not profitable. The text only mentions commercial success rather than profitability. But even if we take one to mean the other, in the text it is linked to the fact that Concorde was banned by many countries because of excess noise. It does not relate to any routes that it was actually lying.
• D: Airbus will eventually increase the new plane's capacity by in-troducing bicycle-style seats. The mention of bicycle-style seats is indeed raised in relation to increased capacity, and so this could po-tentially end up being true. However, the author labels those seats as a weird idea, and so he/she would be unlikely to conclude that they would be a viable option to increase capacity for the new plane. Option C is a more likely conclusion.
Drafted by Juno Wong(UCAT Prep)