A Smashing Breakthrough
Some years ago I had the pleasure of joining a tour of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's restoration facility in Silver Hill, Maryland. There, I encountered a fascinating collection of aircraft and pieces of aircraft. At each stop the docent conducting the tour provided interesting, sometimes colorful anecdotes. Near a TBF Avenger, he explained that the manufacturer's intent was to produce a truly sturdy, survivable plane. As he put it, "First Grumman built a mockup out of concrete, and then they made the real plane even heavier."