Aircraft: Swing to a New Wing

When Boeing Co. beat out Lockheed Aircraft Corp. for the prize of building the U.S. supersonic jet transport, it was on the basis of a venturesome swing-wing concept that many aeronautical designers predicted would never work. Last week, 21 months and many millions later, the skeptics were proved right. Boeing is now scrapping its movable wing. To take its place, the company has decided on a stationary swept-back configuration that bears more than a passing resemblance to Lockheed's original "delta" wing design.

Beset by problems from its inception, the American SST will not...