AVIATION: Full Throttle at Cessna

One day late in 1939, a tall, slender Kansan flew to New York to show the wartime British Purchasing Commission a light, twin-engined plane he hoped to sell as a trainer for fledgling pilots. Before he could close the deal, Dwane L. Wallace, then only 28 and president of the Cessna Aircraft Co. of Wichita, Kan., was asked for some financial data on his company. The bank balance, said he, was $3. Without batting an eye, persuasive President Wallace explained that he had a good line of credit, landed a $6,800,000 contract...

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