Re: Safety of older aircraft
PostPosted:Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:57 pm
Quanta Mechanic wrote:Using a Spitfire as a simple example, would it then be right to say that if one was built today (with 100% the original parts and gadgets) would this still be deemed OK according to the CAA?
Yes. In fact, they are still being made these days to original plans (whenever someone finds a data plate on a heavily crashed one) and they are still being given a permit. There's one notable exception and that's the radio, it would need a modern 8.33kHz spacing VHF radio if it wasn't going to be non-radio everywhere. But then the old ones need to be retro-fitted as well.
Quanta Mechanic wrote:Or have some of the parts/instruments been made obsolete or no longer fit regulatory requirements?
But you wouldn't build a Spitfire for combat these days, you'd build an F-35 or something.
You'll also find that a PA28 from 1974 is remarkably similar to a PA28 made today! Though there's a trend these days to equip everything with glass cockpits, it isn't by any means universal or mandatory.
The regulatory environment can catch up with older aircraft though, especially passenger carrying ones. DC-3s , JU-52s, AN-2s, etc, used to give passenger rides fairly frequently, but various EU regulations have put a stop to much of this...for instance there's a requirement to have an exit slide from the door...notwithstanding that the DC-3's door is only a couple of feet off the ground. This may be in the EU "straight banana" camp, but it was one of the reasons given for stopping DC-3 passenger flights in this country when the new regulations kicked in. There was also the EU insurance requirement which put the B-17 in the same camp as a 737, and which nearly grounded the B-17s in Europe as insurance rates tripled.