Stung Hornets

Cracks in a hot Navy fighter

It is, according to Navy Secretary John Lehman, "the most capable air-to-air maneuvering aircraft in the world." But last week the Navy announced that its new F/A-18 Hornet fighter-bombers had a design flaw that produces cracks in the twin tail assembly. The planes will be grounded for three or four days while the tail assembly is modified. At least ten Hornets have developed the cracks and will be out of service for a longer period.

So far, the Navy has acquired 148 Hornets at a cost of $30 million each. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said that the...

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