In post-Bush America, the only threat to the smartest airplane in the universe is its evil twin, which is owned and operated by a terribly ambitious Japanese industrialist. There's an Italian-American in the White House now. The Russians are too busy digging out of their economic ruins to be much of a threat. Congress has been de-funding the Star Wars gadgetry. American's only really hot war-gizmo these days is Coyote, an ultra-super-high-speed computer-controlled airplane with a flexible skin and no windows. The pilot is just there so that the computers will have someone to talk to. However, before it can go to war, the plane's brain needs a final tweak of hotshot programming from a real flyer. Accordingly, hotshot Air Force flyer Lt. Col. Tom Wright is brought in to teach the computers his acrobatic tricks. Lucky thing, too. Wright's first flight lures from its hiding place the Japanese version of the Coyote. Wouldn't you know the perfidious masters of the electronic universe have pirated the darkest secrets of American technology and come up with a cheaper version? Wright becomes the heart of the plan to knock out the Oriental threat. While that's going on, an amusingly low- tech FBI agent ferrets out the rat who leaked the secrets. The rat is not Jennifer Fitzgerald, second smartest computer weenie in the world and Col. Wright's new squeeze. The superplanes are amusing, but the human beings provide the real fun. A neatly done first thriller.