New Jet Design Allows Extremely Fast Travel

April 6, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1.  far cry (from something) /ˈfɑɚ kraɪ/ (idiom) – to be on a different level or status
Example: Driving at 100 miles per hour is a far cry from going at 20 miles per hour.

2. commercially /kəˈmɝːʃl̩i/ (adj.) – for the purpose of buying or selling a product or service
Example: The new independent film will be released commercially.

3. withstand /wɪðˈstænd/ (v.) – to be able to go through something without being damaged
Example: The newly developed material can withstand very high temperatures without breaking.

4. envision /ɛnˈvɪʒ ən / (v.) – to visualize a future possibility in your mind
Example: Inventors always envision a better way of living.

5. specialized /ˈspɛʃ əˌlaɪzd / (adj.) – made or used for a particular purpose
Example: The astronaut suit is specialized for travelling in outer space.


Read the text below.
Canadian engineer Charles Bombardier [bom-bahr-DYEYhas recently unveiled a jet concept that would allow travelling from New York to London in 11 minutes.

The Antipode [AN-ti-pohd] is a proposed aircraft design that could fly 10 passengers at the speed of 12,427 miles per hour—24 times the speed of sound. At this pace, New York to London flights, which normally take around 7 hours, can be completed in only 11 minutes.

The speed of this hypothetical jet is a far cry from the speed of the fastest aircraft to operate commercially—the Concorde. The Concorde used to bring passengers from New York to London in only three hours, until its operations were halted in 2003.

Following the end of Concorde’s career, several superfast aircraft designs have been proposed by engineers, like the Antipode. But despite its very promising design, the Antipode has not yet been built.

The engineer who designed it fears that materials which could withstand conditions while travelling at very high speeds have not yet been invented. Aside from that, the special engine needed by the Antipode to be able to reach its maximum speed is still being developed in the United States and in China.

According to Bombardier, it is possible to build the Antipode if there is demand, but further research is still needed. Building an Antipode jet would cost at least $150 million.

The engineer envisions very specialized functions for the Antipode. According to him, the aircraft can be used for business or military purposes, transporting very important people across the globe in a matter of minutes during an emergency. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Aside from those mentioned in the article, what other possible uses can the Antipode have?
·         If you could ride a plane as fast as the Antipode, in what situations would you use it?

Discussion B

·         Do you think that research on advanced aircraft should be funded by the government? Why or why not?
·         If you could modify a mode of transportation to give it more advanced features, what would you modify and how?

April 6, 2016