GA refers to why you fly your plane, not what kind of plane it is. For example, John Travolta has (had?) his own personal Boeing 707, which is the first generation of jet airliner from Boeing. When he flew it, it was not under scheduled service, so it would be classified as a "general aviation" flight.
When flaps are retracted they do nothing, which is the whole point. The byproduct of lift is drag, a larger wing will create more lift, but more drag as well. More drag equals a slower cruising speed, or bigger engines to power past the drag along with higher fuel consumption. Flaps let airplanes cruise faster by getting out of the way.
Your concerns about heavy flaps are well founded. The designers try to get away with as few high-lift devices as they can afford to. But not fewer!
If you observe the trend over the years, flaps became more complex with every new airliner generation, starting from simple split flaps in the 1930s to triple-slotted flaps on the Boeing 747 in the late Sixties. ...
Because passengers really don't like enduring that kind of deceleration on landing. Scares them. Injures them. And if Junior is playing with his seatbelt latch at the wrong moment, there's a real risk of a fatal injury.
And because you still need the runways for any aircraft not equipped with this equipment, and for takeoffs.
If the Air Force doesn't want ...
Climb to cruise burns fuel.
Adding additional drag burns fuel.
Adding retractable mechanisms adds weight that burns fuel.
More drag, even at higher cruise altitudes, requires larger engines for the same cruise speed. Larger engines burn more fuel (despite increases in modern engine fuel efficiency).
Retracting high-lift, high drag devices reduces fuel burn ...
The questioner seems to have noted that the basic wing with flaps retracted provides a high ratio of L/D (or Cl/Cd). Where L denotes lift, Cl denotes lift coefficient, D denotes drag, etc.
We can certainly scale up the basic unflapped wing to provide as low a landing speed as we wish, although landing will be tricky due to the flat glide path. Flaps help ...
Weight and cost.
A tailhook landing puts a great deal of stress on an airframe, airplane structures would have to be reinforced along the frame to distribute the force across it and hold together. Airplane passenger seats would need 4 or 5 point safety harnesses to keep the passengers from getting injured on landing. All that adds weight, which reduces ...
It's important to understand that Bombardier Transportation/Aerospace, while ostensibly a company separate from the original Bombardier family (which only retained a minority stake when it was split off from Consumer Products - snowmobiles, watercraft, etc), is still actually controlled by the family due to a bizarre dual class share structure where the ...
General aviation (GA) is one of several classes of aviation activity, military and commercial being the two other main ones.
The airliner is a class of aircraft designed to carry a significant payload of passengers and perhaps also freight.
Most airliners are used for commercial operation, both scheduled and charter, but not all are.
The reason they are selling aircraft manufacturing lines to improve profit margin is because their aircraft business has a relatively low-profit margin. One of Bombardier most successful products is this:
Bombardier Zefiro. Source: Bombardier
It looks somewhat like an aircraft but it is missing the wings. It is called a "train".
Bombardier calls itself "...
I don't know if you've seen videos of aircraft carrier landings, but:
1) They have to slam the aircraft into the ground to guarantee the hook will connect. The G forces from this and the subsequent rapid deceleration are too high for your grandma to cope with, so passenger numbers will fall, seatbelts need to be redesigned, and landing gear strengthened.