As I write my final editor’s column for 2013, I’m encouraged by the many activities Aircraft Maintenance Technology magazine has experienced in recent years. We’ve broadened our coverage to include feature articles pertaining to all segments of the industry. But the greatest excitement will be coming in 2014. One year from now this industry-leading magazine will have been published for 25 years and we have many interesting things planned throughout 2014.
Beginning with the first issue for 2014 we will celebrate by featuring aircraft, technologies, people, organizations, and businesses having an impact on the aviation and aircraft maintenance industry over the past 25 years. We plan to regularly include then and now feature articles looking at the past 25 years of aircraft, technologies, people, and businesses, including an eye toward the years ahead.
25 years ago few of us knew what fly-by-wire was about and the use of advanced composite materials in aircraft construction was generally limited to flight controls and nonstructural items on aircraft. Today, 25 years later, fly-by-wire systems are common place in modern aircraft and primary structures including entire aircraft fuselages small and large are built using composite materials.
25 years ago many of us were using 80 octane avgas in our small general aviation airplanes. Today, 80 octane avgas is no more and the general aviation industry faces uncertainty regarding the use of aviation gasoline.
25 years ago the Concorde was used for supersonic transatlantic flights. Today it is merely a memory.
25 years ago most of us were stable in our chosen jobs and career paths. Few of us were concerned about company mergers leading to major life-changing decisions.
25 years ago little emphasis was placed on human factors in aircraft maintenance and the terms safety management systems and voluntary reporting were for the most part unknown. Today, these practices are widely used and even required in some situations.
The aviation industry has changed over the past few decades and so will this publication. The pages of Aircraft Maintenance Technology will appear different in 2014. The feature section of the magazine will be aligned with the segments of the aviation industry such as: General Aviation; Business Aviation, Airline and Commercial MRO, Helicopter, Military, and more. Our Industry Outlook, Management Matters, FAA, Safety, and Legal sections will remain.
Celebrate with us. We’d like to hear from you. Which aircraft, technologies, or people have positively impacted you or your business or the past 25 years?
Ron Donner has held both technical and management roles in general aviation and during his 27 years with Northwest Airlines. He holds FAA certificates as an A&P/IA and a commercial pilot.