Science: Vicky

Britain's air scientists made a good try last week at passing the speed of sound with a controlled but unmanned "airplane."

Over the English Channel near Lands End, a Mosquito light bomber climbed to 36,400 feet. Lanky "boffin" (scientific expert) Gerald Bernard Lockee Bayne of the Ministry of Supply touched the bomb-release button, and "Vicky," the Ministry's bomb-airplane-rocket, plunged down through the thin, cold air.

From 2,000 yards away, Test Pilot Keith Butler dived his Meteor fighter at Vicky's torpedolike body and rudimentary, penguinlike wings as if he wanted to shoot her down. But...

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