Aviation: Two Worlds of Speed

Even as it rolled out toward take off, its fuselage had the swift, forward-straining look that is a jet-age hallmark. But its wings stuck almost straight out from its sides with the leisurely air of an old-fashioned puddle jumper. The contradiction is designed to make General Dynamics' slow-fast F-111A fighter-bomber the forerunner of a whole new breed of military aircraft operating in two worlds of speed.

The F-111 had already demonstrated its airworthiness—but only with its wings in a slow, takeoff position. This was the time to test the wings' ability to move, to sweep backward so that the plane could...

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