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Until now, the sonic boom has kept faster flight from being possible. But the space agency might have the answer

来源:中国日报    2017-08-07 09:14

        Nasa might be famous for sending rockets up to space quickly. But it could be making your next holiday come more quickly, too.        美国宇航局也许因为飞速把火箭送入太空而闻名,但它也有可能为你下个假期所乘的航班提速。
        The space agency is working on a new plane, dubbed Concorde 2 by some people, that could solve the problems of super-sonic flight and vastly increase the speed of journeys abroad.        该机构正在研发一种新型飞机,有人称之为“协和式二号”,它或许可以解决超音速飞机的问题,大幅提升国际航班的飞行速度。
        If successful, the plane would be able to fly between New York and London in just three hours. And it would halve the time spent flying other journeys, since it could be used more broadly.        如果新型超音速飞机研制成功,那么从纽约到伦敦的飞行时间只需要3小时。该飞机还也可以广泛应用于其他行程,将飞行时间减半。
        Until now, the problem with such planes has been the sonic boom, made famous by the original Concorde. That happens when a plane reaches supersonic speeds.        目前为止,超音速飞机始终存在音爆问题,当飞机的速度超过音速时,就会发生音爆。初代协和式飞机就让人们普遍认识到这点。
        It is a thunderous noise that upsets people on the ground – disturbing livestock and even causing physical problems to materials and houses underneath. It was irritation with that effect that led Congress to ban such planes from being used over US land, a decision that in turn was partly responsible for Concorde failing to be commercially viable and getting mothballed.        音爆是一种雷鸣般的噪音,它让地面上的人牲感到不适,甚至还会对物体和房屋造成物理伤害。正是这些负面影响引发的不满导致美国国会禁止了超音速飞机在美国国内飞行,这个决定继而部分导致了协和式飞机不能继续商用,最终停飞。
        The space agency has successfully tried out the technology in wind tunnels, and now believes that it could be put to commercial use. It now wants to test that out by having commercial companies build a version of the plane that could be put to use.        美国宇航局已经在风洞里成功测试了相关技术并相信可以将其运用在商业飞行中,他们现在希望由商业公司制造一架可以投入使用的飞机以进行试飞。
        That plane will fly as high as 55,000 feet – far higher than normal planes – and make a sound of only 60 decibels. That's far less than the 90 decibels thrown out by Concorde, and is roughly in line with a car on the motorway or a busy restaurant.        新型超音速飞机将在17000米的高空飞行,飞行高度比普通飞机要高得多,其发出声音只有60分贝,远小于协和式飞机的90分贝,与高速公路上行驶的汽车和热闹餐馆里的音量大致相当。
        “Now you're getting down to that level where, as far as approval from the general public, it would probably be something that's acceptable,” said Peter Coen, project manager for NASA's commercial supersonic research team, in a new Bloomberg report.        美国航空航天局商用超音速飞机研究团队的项目经理彼得•科恩在彭博社的新报道中指出,“现在我们已经要成功了:只要公众同意,新型飞机就很可能被大家接受”。
        If that allows the team to get approval, it hopes to have full-sized versions of the planes to try out by 2022.        如果该团队能得到公众支持,那么有望在2022年前对原型飞机进行测试。

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