AVIATION: Pilot's Choice

The big, hot, twin-jet Scorpion interceptor—shiningly fresh from Northrop Aircraft Co.'s assembly line—looked like a purposeful insect as it edged out on to the runway at the Ontario (Calif.) International Airport. Few heads turned as it took off at exactly noon one day last week —it was being flown on a routine production test, as a preliminary to being delivered to the Air Force. But two minutes later the airport tower man strained to watch it; the voice of the Scorpion's pilot had just spoken eight chilling words from a loudspeaker at the field: "Get out the fire equipment....

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