CORPORATIONS: Star-Crossed Lockheed

Close brushes with financial catastrophe have become an unwitting specialty of Lockheed Aircraft Corp. In 1971 the aerospace giant faced bankruptcy because of cost overruns on the C-5A transports it was building for the Air Force; the Pentagon eventually let it escape with a $200 million loss. Almost immediately, Lockheed's effort to build the L-1011 TriStar nearly crashed before the jumbo jet ever got off the ground when Rolls-Royce, builder of the plane's engines, went bust, eventually saddling Lockheed with $190 million in unplanned expenses. That time it took an act of Congress (approval of an unprecedented Government guarantee...

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