Science: Folded for Speed

Wings spread as it wheels through high, slow arcs, wings tucked back as it plummets in a swift hunting dive, the peregrine falcon is a picture of functional perfection. No airplane has yet come close to copying its easy versatility. But aeronautical engineers have never stopped trying, and the Department of Defense is convinced that government scientists have finally turned the trick. Last week leaders of the U.S. aircraft industry were locked in fierce competition for the privilege of building a "variable geometry" fighter that can stretch its wings at low speeds during...

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