Science: Supersonic Nemesis

Until recently most airmen believed that the problem of supersonic flight was tough, but eventually crackable. Last week they were muttering doubts. U.S. Army Air Forces at Muroc Dry Lake, Calif, had postponed their scheduled attempt to break the British-held speed record (616 m.p.h.). The British themselves were poking into hedgerows, looking for further bits of Geoffrey de Havilland's Swallow, which mysteriously came apart in mid-air (TIME, Oct. 7). Unofficial reports indicated that the Swallow had reached 650 m.p.h. in level flight before it disintegrated. This figure, many airmen now feared, might be...

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