AIRCRAFT: No Market for the Jumbos

A scene outside Lockheed Aircraft Corp.'s assembly plant in Palmdale, Calif., symbolizes the condition of the $4.7 billion U.S. commercial aircraft industry today. There, glinting in the desert sun, stand five immense L-1011 TriStar jetliners, each worth $23 million. At first glance, they seem ready for delivery. The lettering on two of them spells out the name of Court Line, a British charter airline. The other three wear the bright symbol of Pacific Southwest Airlines' "grinning birds"—a broad smile painted under their striped cockpits. But Court went bankrupt in 1974, and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!