Britain: Changing Altitude

The fate of Britain's unhappy aircraft industry involves not only 250,000 jobs and $400 million in exports but also the pride of a nation. The British, who built the heroic Spitfire and the world's first commercial jets, sometimes seem to feel the decline of their aviation more strongly than the decline of their Empire. The ominous signs have been obvious for a long time—the bad luck of the Comet, the financial losses of the Britannia, and now the lack of a market for the long-range, rear-engined VC 10. Though popular with passengers, the VC 10 is costlier to operate...

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