In this, the 15th anniversary of the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994, the traditional aluminum airframe is still outlasting anything we can stuff into it. But before President Clinton signed that law, durability was considered a problem: It created an interminable liability tail for manufacturers. GARA capped that period at 18 years. During the lifespan of an airplane, propulsion science will advance — but electronics will move ahead even faster. When the economy ...

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