CORPORATIONS: Flight of the Friendship

With a whine of turboprop engines, a fat new airliner quickly gathered speed at Hagerstown, Md. one day last week and took off on its maiden flight. The plane was Fairchild Engine & Airplane Corp.'s F-27 Friendship, the company's jet-age answer to the problem of replacing the hundreds of aging DC-35 still hauling passengers and cargo on U.S. airways. At $590,000, Fairchild's new aircraft will carry almost twice the load (40 passengers) at half again the speed (more than 280 m.p.h.) twice the distance (1,700 miles), and accomplish the task in pressurized,...

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