AVIATION: After the Rainy Day

For Curtiss-Wright Corp., once the biggest U.S. aircraft company, a new war began when peace came. It seemed to be a losing battle from the start. With 16 of its 19 plants shut down, Curtiss-Wright began losing out on orders from the Air Force. It also got little business from civilian customers. It still had $100 million in cash, but President Guy W. Vaughan was saving it for a rainy day.

Stockholders, who thought the rainy day had arrived, last spring clamored that the money should be spent for dividends. Curtiss-Wright paid out...

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