Aviation: The Giant Takes Off

U.S. airlines will soon enter a period of change that will be almost as pronounced as the arrival of the jet age. Late this year, they will begin to fly the huge Boeing 747 jets, which are faster, quieter, bigger and potentially much more profitable than the 707s and DC-8s. In the first test flight last week, a 747 cruised for more than one hour and then made a smooth landing near Boeing's Everett, Wash., plant. "This plane is ridiculously easy to fly," said Test Pilot Jack Waddell. "It's a pilot's dream."

It may...

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