AVIATION: Everyman's Jet?

Cessna Aircraft Co., fast overhauling Beech as the biggest U.S. producer of private planes, last week went into jets. The Air Force announced that it would buy more than 140 of Cessna's trim, twin-jet basic flight trainer, the T-37. Cost: $26 million.

By investing in its first jet-powered basic trainer, the Air Force hopes to save money by sharply reducing the flight hours necessary to qualify a cadet for supersonic fighters and bombers. Flight cadets will drop 90 hours of prop training in North American's T-28 trainer, take the stick of the Cessna jet after only 40 hours of basic...