Transport: Stratoliner's Crash

The residents of the little village of Alder, Wash, heard the sedate rumble of her four 1,100 h.p. engines change to a snarling roar as her pilot put her nose downhill through the overcast one day last week. From the clouds 10,000 feet above them she burst into view, fleet, round-bodied. A black speck burst from her left side, grew with incredible rapidity as it hurtled to the ground—an engine. Her sleek left wing swung back, twisted in the air and fell away as her engines alternately roared and growled.

Boeing's 33-passenger Stratoliner, pressurized to travel above the airways at 20,000 feet,...

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