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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
Men first took to the skies in balloons fashioned out of cloth and powered by hot air in the late 1700s. Two Frenchmen manned the balloon, which was filled with hot air from burning wool and straw, and floated for eight kilometers over Paris.

A hot air balloon has a bag which is made of a durable material and filled with heated air or a light gas. This air or gas is lighter than the surrounding atmospheric air, so the balloon will rise and float in the air. The hot air balloon generally depends on prevailing winds to steer it towards a certain course and man can only exert a limited amount of control over it. In the distant past, it was the only means of air transport, but its instability made it unreliable as an air-transport vehicle. Furthermore, it could only carry a limited number of passengers.

In 1852, a French engineer, Henry Giffard, built and piloted the first powered and manned airship. It evolved from the hot air balloon but it had most of the equipment for steering and was powered by engines attached to the craft. This lighter-than-air aircraft had a huge main body with gas bags that contained a gas that was lighter than air. Hydrogen was initially used to fill the gas bag but it was highly flammable and resulted in a number of airship disasters. One such tragic example was the explosion of a German airship, the 'Hindenburg', which marked the end of the use of airships to transport passengers.

Since the Wright brothers built their first airplane in 1903, man has not looked back. Now, we have modern airplanes that can carry more than a hundred passengers at one time and fly over large expanses of land and sea. Air travel has become so much cheaper and more efficient that it is now the preferred mode of travel for most people when they travel or want to save time.

Today, nobody travels in an airship any longer though there are groups of balloon enthusiasts who take part in various competitions around the world. Their flights of fancy add colors to the sky as they take off in balloons of various shapes, patterns and colors.

     
  1. The bag of the hot air balloon which was 'made of a durable material' ( paragraph 2 ) suggests that it was ______.
       
    (A) thick
    (B) robust
    (C) thin and light
    (D) non-flammable
       
  2. A hot air balloon is an unreliable means of transport because ______.
       
    (A) it is only a balloon
    (B) it cannot be steered
    (C) it can only carry a limited number of passengers
    (D) it is filled with hydrogen, a highly flammable gas
       
  3. What is a difference between the hot air balloon and the airship ?
       
    (A) The airship can be steered while the hot air balloon cannot.
    (B) The airship is lighter than air while the hot air balloon is not.
    (C) The hot air balloon needs to be manned while an airship does not.
    (D) The hot air balloon is filled with air while the airship is filled with gas.
       
  4. Which of the following best explains why the airship was not a feasible means of transport ?
       
    (A) It had a huge body.
    (B) It was lighter than air.
    (C) It was prone to explosions.
    (D) There was no proper steering equipment.
       
  5. Why did the writer describe the rides in hot air balloons as 'flights of fancy' ( paragraph 5 ) ?
       
    (A) They add colors to the sky.
    (B) People use them for pleasure.
    (C) The balloons come in different shapes, sizes and colors.
    (D) People use them to complete in various contests around the world.
       
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