Winged Wonder

Unveiling a newborn fighter

At Grumman Aerospace Corp.'s test-flight complex on Long Island, a band struck up The Stars and Stripes Forever. Then, as 1,500 employees and dignitaries applauded, the curtain rose on the X-29A, the experimental plane that the Air Force hopes will spawn a new generation of fighters. "That's a beautiful model," said Vice President George Bush, on hand to honor the new plane, "but they've got the wings on backward."

No, the wings are on right; they are supposed to sweep forward. They are mounted at the tail end and pitched ahead at a 35° angle....

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