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Aircraft Companies

A number of years ago the Douglas Aircraft company was competing with Boeing to sell Eastern Airlines its first big jets. War hero Eddie Rickenbacker, the head of Eastern Airlines, reportedly told Donald Douglas that the specifications and claims made by Douglas’s company for the DC-8 were close to Boeing’s on everything except noise suppression. Rickenbacker then gave Douglas one last chance to out-promise Boeing on this feature.

After consulting with his engineers, Douglas reported that he didn’t feel he could make that promise. Rickenbacker replied, “I know you can’t, I just wanted to see if you were still honest.”

Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 22