ARMED FORCES: Fast & Fully Loaded

The Air Force's F-86 jet fighter set a new world's record for level flight. Skimming the salt flats of California's Muroc Lake, Major Richard L. Johnson flew the North American plane with swept-back wings at an average of 670.981 m.p.h. in four passes, matching the record he had made unofficially in Cleveland two weeks earlier (TIME, Sept. 13).

The Air Force proudly pointed out that the plane was neither specially souped up nor an experimental model like the Navy's previous record holder, the Douglas 0-558 Skystreak. Johnson's plane was an off-the-line production job,...

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