AVIATION: On a Dour Note

During the war, Planemaker Donald Douglas half-seriously announced a grim postwar plan: "Shut the damned shop up" (TIME, Nov. 22, 1943). In Los Angeles last week able, dour Donald Douglas, still in business, told his 8,763 stockholders that the Douglas Aircraft Co., Inc.: 1) had made a profit of $8,900,000 in 1945; 2) had a backlog of $219,000,000 in military and commercial orders; 3) could expect no profits in 1946.

Paradoxically, the Douglas profit picture looked dim because the future of aviation was so bright. Aviation is making such tremendous strides that new planes often become obsolete before they get...

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