Aviation: Waiting at the Runway

For months the U.S. aviation industry has been waiting anxiously for May 1, the day on which FAA Administrator Najeeb Halaby was scheduled to announce the winners in the first phase of the design competition to build the airframe and engines for a U.S. supersonic airliner. Last week May Day came and went—and no announcement from Halaby. The U.S. aviation industry suddenly has good reason to remember the meaning of mayday in international code: Help!

Instead of letting Halaby go ahead, President Johnson stepped in and, in effect, canceled the FAA-directed program....

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