Science: Electra in the Wind

Engineers from Lockheed last week were examining two other mysterious mishaps: the midair disintegration of two turboprop Electras—over Buffalo, Texas, and Tell City, Ind.—at a cost of 97 lives. In one of the biggest and most expensive (estimated cost to all participants, including F.A.A. and the airlines: $25 million) test programs in aviation history, Lockheed has placed an entire airplane in a huge mechanical jig, is literally shaking it to test its vibration tolerances. A whole wing section complete with engines has been taken off the production line, is being twisted and...

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