It is no trade secret that the big planemakers have been having trouble. But how bad is it? The planemakers last week answered with a single word: "Help!"

Lockheed's Robert E. Gross had thought he had "ample reserves to face the peace." Now they are gone. The Glenn L. Martin Co. laid off 2,000 workers last fortnight, and last week announced it would skip its quarterly dividend. Douglas Aircraft Co., which can usually make money if anyone can, reported a loss of $807,000 in the quarter ending Feb. 28. On the first 20...

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