Science: Screaming Challenge

With its four jet engines screaming like tortured banshees, Britain's De Havilland Cornet, the world's only jet airliner, took off on its first test flight last week and flew for 31 minutes over Hertfordshire. Test Pilot Captain John Cunningham made a cream-smooth landing and reported the flight "entirely successful."

The Comet is Britain's most ambitious challenge to the present worldwide supremacy of U.S.-built commercial air transports. British attempts to compete with the U.S. in long-range, propeller-driven airliners have been notable flops. Even her own overseas airlines fly U.S. aircraft. But a successful Comet could change all this by giving Britain the...

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