Taking away the challenge – or the good old days


I attended an aviation club where a video was shown which depicts a fly-by-wire system for general aviation. The benefit of such a system is that a stall or unusual attitude is eliminated. The reception to the video was varied with some doubting that it would improve safety but one comment that caught my attention was that this advance removes the challenge of flying.

But progress is inevitable – here is a table of progress for general aviation planes, starting with the introduction of the aileron. So if you really wanted to go back to the old days, you would turn by warping the wing. Some pilots might enjoy the challenge of flying legacy (steam) gauges in a tail wheel plane without an autopilot in IMC but I would rather have all of the latest technology.

Original Item Revision Benefit
Warped wing Aileron Easier to turn
Carburetor Fuel injection No ice build up
Hand flying Auto pilot Relieves pilot workload
Legacy gauges Glass cockpit More information
Hand Flying Straight and level button Easier recovery from unusual attitudes
Tail wheel Tricycle Easier to land
No fly by wire Airbus style fly by wire* Can’t put plane in unusual attitude
No BRS BRS (parachute) Safer

*Not yet available for general aviation


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