Aviation: Jet-Age Hercules

The U.S. Air Force, whose jet bombers travel at 650-plus speeds, has long had one big problem: its cargo-carrying and military airlift planes traveled only half as fast, were chiefly propeller planes. Last week the Air Force took a $1 billion step to develop a cargo-carrying jet air fleet. From Lockheed Aircraft it ordered a new 575-m.p.h. cargo-carrying jet, the Super Hercules (SOR 182). Lockheed won the contract over the competition of Boeing, Douglas and Convair, expects to deliver the first plane by late 1963. All told, the Air Force will get more than 100 planes.

The belly of the...