For decades, the general aviation industry has struggled with finding a replacement for leaded avgas without success. The biggest driver of this failure is that there’s no reason to do so because the industry has been given an exemption to continue using lead. In this two-part series, AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli explains how industry inertia and bureaucratic foot dragging killed efforts to eliminate lead from aviation fuel. See Part 2 here.
The years between the world wars are widely considered the Golden Age of flight. In the midst of it, Charles Lindbergh flew the Atlantic, air races were wildly popular, aircraft were making huge strides in performance and safety and passenger flights were accessible, if not cheap. Americans couldn’t get enough of airplanes and this was reflected in movies like Flying Down to Rio, with chorus lines atop a Lockheed Vega.