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8 Things That Are Disappearing From Your Airplane

Aviation is changing rapidly, and things are starting to disappear from your plane...

1) Retractable gear

There's a common theme between most new single-engine aircraft out there - they don't have retractible gear. Improved aerodynamics and stronger materials have contributed to the trend. Plus, fitting landing gear into these new, thin wings wouldn't be very easy...

Cessna Aircraft

2) The 6-pack

They've been a staple of cockpits since the 1930s, but they're starting to disappear at a rapid pace. Glass panels are becoming more affordable, and the situational awareness that they provide is priceless.


3) ADF

You won't see too many students pilots shedding tears over this one. The instrument popularized in the 1930s is finally being phased out of cockpits. And with almost everyone in the air having some form of GPS, it's probably time for it to go...

Dmitry Sumin

4) VOR

They're not going the way of the NDB/ADF anytime soon, but they're becoming harder to find in modern cockpits. And as a sign, 66 VORs have been shut down in the US since 2000.

Maurizio Pucci

5) Mixture control

The red lever is starting to disappear, but it will take some time for it to become extinct. That being said, digital engine controls that can automatically (and continuously) adjust your mixture sounds pretty good to us.

Chesapeake Sport Pilot (

6) Propeller control

Some people love the blue lever, but for others, it just gets in the way. And like the mixture control, having the airplane control the propeller through the entire flight is one less thing to manage (and possibly forget about).

Cirrus Aircraft

7) EGT

While they aren't completely going away, digital fuel management systems are making them obsolete for pilots during most operations.

Aircraft Spruce

8) Pilots

We're all becoming scarce - in some industries. The military and movie companies have made major leaps toward using remotely piloted vehicles, with a lot of success. But even though it's technically viable for airlines to fly unmanned aircraft, we don't think there will be an unmanned Boeing or Airbus anytime soon...if ever. Phew.

Alex Proimos

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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