Aviation: Jumbo Beats the Gremlins

Just about every new passenger plane has been infested with gremlins in its early months of flight. The first 707 jets, for example, suffered from a dangerous case of bad brakes. Because it is the biggest jet of all, Boeing's 747 was widely expected to run into more bugs than most planes when it began carrying passengers last January.

And troubles there were. Defective air conditioning, blinking cabin lights and long lines in front of the twelve toilets have inconvenienced passengers aboard the jumbo plane. Pilots have had to cope with sticky controls, inadequately lubricated engine instruments and an anti-icing...

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