AVIATION: Clipped Wings

The Air Force last week let out a shocking fact: U.S. aircraft production is now lagging a full year behind schedule. In admitting this, the Air Force said that it needs another $25 to $30 billion boost in its appropriation—as if money could settle everything. Actually, production has fallen so far behind schedule that even a $100 billion boost would not get planes off the production lines any faster under present circumstances.

Privately, planemakers are bitterly complaining over loud assurances from Washington mobilization officials that production is only a little behind schedule. The statement is true only because the schedules...

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