The attractive physical and mechanical properties of ordered intermetallic alloys have been recognized since early in this century. However, periodic attempts to develop intermetallics for structural applications were unsuc cessful, due in major part to the twin handicaps of inadequate low-temper ature ductility or toughness, together with poor elevated-temperature creep strength. The discovery, in 1979, by Aoki and Izumi in Japan that small additions of boron caused a dramatic improvement in the ductility of Ni3Al was a major factor in launching a new wave of fundamental and applied research on intermetallics. Another important factor was the issuance in 1984 of a National Materials Advisory Board reported entitled "Structural Uses for Ductile Ordered Alloys," which identified numerous potential defense-related applications and proposed the launching of a coordinated development program to gather engineering property and processing data. A substantial research effort on titanium aluminides was already underway at the Air Force Materials Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and, with Air Force support, at several industrial and university laboratories. Smaller programs also were under way at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, under Department of Energy sponsorship. These research efforts were soon augmented in the United States by funding from Department of Defense agencies such as Office of Naval Research and Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and by the National Science Foundation.