Originally Posted by cpg35223
Yeah, but how many of you really want to fly around on an eighty-year-old plane? Unless you have seriously good diagnostic equipment, metal fatigue can be hard to detect--until it's too late.
Eh, no big deal. AFAIK, metal fatigue occurs from flexing, not from age. And it doesn't take too much to check for cracks -- a little penetrating dye, a flashlight, a magnifying glass.
There are still loads of 60 to 70--year-old planes flying out of nearly every airport in the country -- Piper Cubs, Cessna 120 and 140s, early Beech Bonanzas, etc.
I flew a '62 Piper Comanche for 20 years until the late 90s when I sold it to a friend who still flies it. With new paint and interior and a new avionics panel, it looks new, is still one of the nicest flying planes available and doesn't take a back seat to a 2010 for performance. Airplanes are thoroughly inspected annually or more often. The age wouldn't concern me in the least.