Aviation: SSTart

Into the Federal Aviation Agency's headquarters in Washington last week were carted more than three tons of closely guarded papers. The stacks of documents were the entries of three of the nation's leading planemakers—Boeing, Lockheed, and North American Aviation—in the biggest design competition in the history of U.S. civil aviation. At stake is the Government contract, worth at least $750 million, to build a supersonic transport.

The companies are under strict orders to keep their proposals secret, but enough has already leaked out to produce some reasonably accurate ideas about designs for...

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