Aircraft: Downdraft at Douglas

At a time when the rest of the aerospace industry is thriving on rising demands for commercial and military planes and other sinews of the Viet Nam war, Santa Monica-based Douglas Aircraft Co. has run into unexpected trouble. Though it boasts a hefty $2.8 billion order backlog, mostly for its efficient DC-8 and DC-9 jets, the company two weeks ago jolted both its own industry and Wall Street by reporting a $3,400,000 loss during the second quarter of its fiscal year.

With that bad news, Douglas' difficulties increased. In seven trading days, Douglas common stock sank 25¾ points to close...

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