Aviation: The Trouble with Jumbo

On the apron outside Boeing's plant in Everett, Wash., 15 enormous 747 jets stand high and silent, harbingers of a new era in aviation. They are painted in the colors of several international airlines: TWA, Pan Am, Lufthansa, Air France. For the moment, however, the planes are the world's largest gliders —because they have no engines. Pan Am had been scheduled to get the first three commercial giants, each with a capacity of 362 passengers, in late November. Last week embarrassed Boeing officials said that performance difficulties in the Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines would delay that delivery by...

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