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...

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