In 1909 an English newspaper offered £ 1,000 to the first man to fly across the English Channel in an aeroplane. Today, modern jets cross it in minutes. But at that time it still seemed a good distance. The race to win the money soon became a race between two men. Both were very colourful.
One was Louis Bleriot. He owned a factory in France that made motor car lamps. He was already well known as a pilot (FEIXINGYUAN) because he had had accidents several times. Some people laughed at him. One man said, “He may not be the first to fly across the Channel but he will certainly be the first to die in an accident!” But Bleriot was really a good and brave pilot. He also had many good ideas about aeroplane design.
The other man was Hubert Latham. He was half French and half English. He took up flying when his doctors told him he had only a year to live. “Oh, well,” he said, “if I’ m going to die soon, I think I shall have a dangerous and interesting life now.” Latham was the first to try the flight (FEIXING) across the Channel. Ten kilometres from the French coast, his plane had some trouble. It fell down into the water and began to sink under the water. A boat reached Latham just in time. He was sitting calmly on the wing and was coolly lighting a cigarette (XIANGYAN). Bleriot took off six days later. He flew into some very bad weather and very low cloud. He somehow got to the English side and landed in a farmer’s field. When he did so, a customs (HAIGUAN) officer rushed up to his plane. Planes have changed since then, but customs officers have not. “Have you anything to declare?” The officer demanded.
1. The story took place ____ .
A. in the early 20th century B. in the 19th century
C. right after World War I D. at a time not mentioned in the passage
2. Bleriot was well known as a piton because ____ .
A. he was unusually brave
B. he was quite rich
C. he had many good ideas about aeroplane design
D. he had had a few accidents
3. The flight for Bleriot was ____ .
A. a sad one B. a dangerous one C. his first one D. an easy one
4. Why did Hubert Latham want to fly across the Channel?
A. He thought he could manage it easily.
B. He wanted to be the first one to cross the Channel.
C. He knew he only had a year to live.
D. He had always been interested in flying.
5. Which of the following is NOT true?
A. Latham became a pilot on the doctor’s advice.
B. He was told he could live another year.
C. His plane had some trouble.
D. He was saved by a boat when his plane was sinking.
6. Why did the costumes officer rush to the plane?
A. To see if everything was all right with the plane.
B. To make sure that the pilot was not hurt.
C. To ask why the plane had landed in a farmer’s field.
D. None of the above.
7. “Do you have anything to declare?” means ____ .
A. “Do you want any help?”
B. “Is there anything wrong?”
C. “Have you brought anything on which custom duties must be paid?”
D. “Do you have anything to say to the public?”
1A 2 D 3 B 4 C 5 A 6 D 7 C