Aircraft: Change in Pitch

Ever since they got together on the project in 1962, British and French plane builders have been boasting that their 1,450-m.p.h. Concorde would open the era of supersonic air transport. Now the pitch has changed slightly. Last week, speaking at an aviation-writers convention in Manhattan, British Aircraft Corp. Chief Engineer William Strang scratched a line in his text that touted the Concorde as "the world's first supersonic transport," settled for a declaration that "the Concorde will not fail."

Why didn't he say that the Concorde will be first? Engineers from B.A.C.'s partner, Sud-Aviation of France, recently came back from...

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