Science: Tough Jets

Jet fighters, the slim, fast whippets of the sky, look delicate. Actually, they are tougher, said the Air Force last week, than comparable propeller-driven aircraft. They can absorb an astonishing amount of battle damage and bring their pilots home alive. In Korea, up to mid-November, the Air Force's busiest jets (Lockheed F80 Shooting Stars) flew 57% of the fighter missions and suffered only 25% of the losses due to enemy antiaircraft fire. The Navy made a similar report on its Grumman F9F Panther.

One reason for the jet's high survival value is its structural...

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