ARMED FORCES: Wreck of Seamaster II

High over northern Delaware one afternoon last week streaked the U.S. Navy's unique bid for air supremacy—the experimental XP6M-I Seamaster, a giant multi-jet, $6.5 million seaplane proudly described by Chief of Naval Operations Arleigh Burke as the "fastest low-altitude attack aircraft in existence today." Fifty-two minutes before, trailed by an escort plane, the Seamaster had taken off from the Glenn L. Martin plant at Middle River, Md., on a routine test flight. As it yowled along at 22,000 to 25,000 ft. it was a thing of demonic beauty; with its 100-ft. swept-back...

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