Aviation: Out of the Jet Stream

Trimmed in chocolate brown and canary yellow, the stubby jetliner with the peculiar T-shaped tail lifted off the runway at the Boeing Co.'s Renton plant near Seattle on its successful maiden flight. The plane is the Trijet medium-range 727, roughly three-quarters as large as Boeing's 707 and powered by three fanjet engines mounted in the rear. It is also the only commercial jetliner now under development in the U.S.—and it may be the last. While U.S. airframe companies are all but giving up planemaking, European planemakers are pushing ahead with bold new...

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