Science: Lady Aloft

The female voice sounds out of place in the cramped cockpit of a high-flying B58 bomber: "Oxygen quantity low. Oxygen quantity low. Descend to safe altitude.Monitor oxygen system until descent is accomplished."

Air Forcepilots are learning to recognize and respond to those warm, well-modulated tones—and to rely on their disembodied presence. For the voice of Northrop Corp. Secretary Gina Drazin rides with the big delta-winged birds, ever alert to warn against airborne dangers.Recorded on tape and coiled into the complex innards of VIPS, Northrop's Voice Interruption Priority System, Gina's voice makes instant report then...

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