The aerospace industry, particularly the commercial side of the business, has enjoyed an unprecedented period of prosperity during the last 50 years. With the introduction of the Boeing 747 in 1970, commercial air travel went from being the preserve of the economic elite to a truly mass transportation industry, changing the world immeasurably. In the U.S. alone, commercial aviation accounts for about 5% of gross domestic product.  Based on the demand for air travel, which has doubled ...

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