On September 29, 1959, a Lockheed Electra airliner suddenly plunged from the skies to explode on a farm in Texas. 34 people died. From then on this famous airplane, the ""most damned and defended"" in our time, became the subject of a roaring public and governmental controversy. Was the plane safe? Should it be grounded or allowed to continue carrying thousands of passengers through the air at high speeds every week? The story behind the controversy, which was heightened by the crashes of other under different conditions, begins back in 1930's, with Lockheed one of its first twin engine airliners with the proud name of Electra. Then comes the exacting development of the modern plane, which was tested far beyond normal boundaries before being put into service in December, 1957. Then we are involved in the government lockheed investigation as to why the Texas plane -- and another in Indiana -- had falled in flight. That story, told as an engineering detective year, will hold the reader fascinated from start to finish. The improved Electra, called by many of its pilots the best plane they'd ever flown, emerges victorians. A well told story of modern business and aviation, illustrated with helpful technical diagrams of the engineering problems encountered.