Business & Finance: Comeback at El Segundo

When jovial, ruddy-faced, six-foot Donald Perell Smith suddenly quit as Vultee Aircraft general manager in 1938, airport wiseacres said his luck had run out, figured he was through with aviation for good. Yet last week Don Smith was playing his biggest role ever: president and spark plug of California's Interstate Aircraft & Engineering Corp.—a smart, fast-growing aviation concern which has produced a plane so good the whole aviation industry is buzzing.

Borrow $80,000. Only a few months after he left his swanky Vultee office, Don Smith got a strange offer: take charge of Interstate Aircraft, a year-old, struggling parts maker with no...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!