WikiProject Aircraft talk — archives
|This page is an archive for old talk relating to WikiProject Aircraft. New questions, comments, and discussions should be directed to the project's talk page.|
Some of the (many) aircraft lists now:
Existing pages giving list of aircraft
- List of aircraft - lists by type; also contains a list of other lists of aircraft (!)
- List of aircraft by date and usage category is a big table (too big to fit nicely on my browser. x-axis is date; y-axis is category
- Fighter aircraft - contains a partial list of all fighter aircraft
(Other pages such as Bomber don't seem to intend to be a collection of all aircraft of that particular class.)
Unwritten (so far) lists:
- list of aircraft by date and manufacturer
- list of aircraft by date and distinctive features
- list of aircraft by date and country of origin
- list of aircraft by date of first flight
Lists for one country only:
- List of military aircraft of the United States of America
- List of aircraft of the USA military, World War II
- List of military aircraft of the Soviet Union and the CIS
- List of aircraft of the Armeé de l'Air, World War II
- List of aircraft of the Luftwaffe, World War II
- List of aircraft of the RAF
- List of aircraft of the RAAF
- List of aircraft of the SAAF
- List of aircraft of the Israeli Air Force
- List of aircraft manufacturers
- List of aircraft engines
- List of aircraft weapons
Here is my preliiminary proposal suggesting how we can unify this:
There are three ways we can categorise aircraft: by time, by nation and by function.
I suggest the most important of this is time. Two aircraft from the 1920s will be similar to each other, in the technology used in them, even if they perform different function (e.g. a bomber and a transport aircraft). Two aircraft from the 1990s will also be similar, (e.g. bombers and transport aircraft from this ear might both use jet engines and fly-by-wire). A bomber from the 1990s will have more in common with a transport aircraft from the 1990s than with a bomber from the 1920s.
After time, we have a choice: we can either subcategorise by nation first, or by function. I suggest that we categorise by function, for two reasons: (1) many aircraft are built by international consortia these days, and (2) an airliner from one country is more like an airliner from another conutry than a fighter from the first county.
So the scheme is:
- first by time (era or decade)
- within that, by category
- within that by nation (or international)
- within that, by category
I prefer using lists rather than tables. Partly because the table here looks too big on my browser; and partly because the software doesn't cleanly handle tables yet.
At the top level, each time category should get its own page. Partly because of this, I prefer time preiods to be decades rather than eras, so we would have for example Aircraft of the 1920s instead of Aircraft of 1920 to 1938.
Within the time-category page there would be headings, one for each category, within each heading, a sub-heading of country, and within that a list of models of aircraft. (If these pages get too big, they could always be subdivided into separate pages e.g. Helicopters of the 1960s etc.)
It seems the disticntion between aircraft types always blurs, and aircraft development takes a long time and so many aircraft could be in two categories of time. Even the manufacturer and designer can blur with joint ventures. I think the holy grail for the project would be to have all the aircraft in a large database, with a custimizable search engine to review them. Maybe have series of selectable drop down lists, rather then a hierarchy of clickable list links.
Have maybe a 'Time period', 'Propulsion Method', 'Number of Engines', 'Primary Construction Material', Manufacture', etc etc. So someone could select 'bomber' as under 'type', and list of all bombers, as well as articels on 'bombers' in general would appear. As an example, another sample search could be, 'British(under 'nation'), propeller-(under propulsion), single engine-(under engine number), wooden (under- construction material), ww2( under period). There person could even choose diffent time filters -- such ww2 era, and arbitrary span of years ( 1926-1928), or a decade 1960s.
The key difficulty here is haveing developing a standarized format and coding such a setup. Rather then us trying to decide on the best orginztion method-- lets have allow a person to choose. That way the if I had the question mentioned in discussion -"What are the contempories of the Bf109" I could find and answer by doing things like setting the filter as 'Modern', 'Fighter', 'German'. ( assuming I new what a bf109 was)
All the current lists could be kept as answers to more general quereis. If just 'german' was selected- then maybe "list of german ww2 aircraft", "list of german modern airliners" "list of german x-planes" would show rather then listing hundreds of plane links.
Well if anyone knows how to code this or have comments on it let me know. If this worked this would be a usefell setup for other "things" such as the weapons, or vechiles which both suffer similair problems as aircraft.
Greyengine5 February 4, 2003
(I orginally placed this under discussion but moved it here since it more of a new orginaizational structre then a list naming convention)
(please discuss conventions for lists of aircraft here)
I created the large table initially, but quickly ran into problems. One is the size as you mention, the other is that it's a pain to actually edit - very hard to find the right "box" to put something in. That said, I feel that the timeline is about right, I prefer it to decades, because decades are not a natural fit for the spurts in aircraft evolution (which mostly benefitted from the two world wars). Also, a particular model of aircraft would tend to span decades, for example the Spitfire would belong in the 1930s because that's when it was created, but most people would probably go and look for it in the 1940s - do we put it in both, which would be duplication, or in the first, where it might not be as useful? That's why eras work better I feel. As for tables versus lists, I think I agree with you there - lists are better with Wikipedia's current software. The table was one of my first pages I made on Wiki - since then I've come to realise that lists are a darn sight easier! My feeling is that as long as there are enough index pages of the various types, each linked to the others, then people will be able to find the articles, which is what counts. GRAHAMUK 03:25, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Regarding aircraft that span two time periods, this will happen whether we have decades or eras. I think it best to put the aircraft in the time period when it first flew; we could put a prominent notice to this effect on the main list of aircraft page. -- Cabalamat 03:34, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- OK, sounds reasonable, with only one problem I can see - what if somebody doesn't know when a particular aircraft first flew? It might be what they are trying to find out from the 'pedia. This is why I think additional indexes are needed - lists of types as well as by dates. I'm not sure if you were proposing one OR the other, but I'm proposing we have both. Of course the drawback is maintaining all of the lists when a new aircraft article is added... GRAHAMUK 03:39, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- I'm proposing types within dates. The idesa is that it'll only be necessary to list a particular aircraft once. If people are expected to list aircraft multiple times, it won't get done accurately, and the lists will get incomplete and messy. You make a good point regarding aircraft when the first-flew date isn't known. -- Cabalamat 03:47, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- I'm agnostic about era vs decade, but I guess I lean towards the era system, for reasons which GrahamUK has expressed already. The reality is that neither system is ideal, but that they are probably as good as we can get. No matter what we do, there will be ambiguities that have to be dealt with as best we can. By the way, we should bear it in mind that not everyone will know when a certain aircraft they are looking for first flew (even assuming we can pin it down to a particular date - which will only be [i]most[/i] of the time, not all). For example, I bet that a lot of non-aircraft buffs who happen to be looking up the big current American strategic bomber (B-52) will be astonished to discover that it goes back to the middle of last century - quite possibly before their parents were born! We should bear that sort of thing in mind. Great to see this project take off, and I hope to find the time to contribute a little to it now and then. Tannin
Bear in mind that if someone is interested in a particular plane, they'll type in "Spitfire" or whatever and be taken directly to the relevant page. -- User:Cabalamat
- Furthermore, if we don't put an aircraft in its time period by the date first flown, then we must choose some other (hopefully objective) criterion as to which group to put it in. We could for example, choose the time period when most numbers of that aircraft were built, but this has complications. Firstly, some aircraft were built over long periods of time, and it might be difficult to get accurate production figures. Secondly, some aircraft were produced in other countries after the initial manufacturer had ceased producing them - for example the Bf 109 or MiG-21. Thirdly, what about modified or upgraded versions? The B-52s in use today might have been built in the 1950s, but they've been extensively modieifed since then. -- Cabalamat 14:35, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- Oh, I'm not disagreeing with that, Cabalamat, it makes good sense. Is first flown a good date to use? First entered service would be better in many ways, as some aircraft have a first flight a long, long time before they are an actual reality. Consider, for example, the Harrier: which of the many, many prototypes over 15 years or so do we regard as the first "real" Harrier? You could pick that one with a pin. But there are difficulties with this approach too, of course. On the whole, first flight is probably as good a way as any, and better than most. Whichever way we go, there wil always be ambiguities and exceptions to deal with. We just have to deal with those as they come up. Tannin
- I think all the discussion above suggests that attempting to sort by era or decade is a lost cause; too much evolution on single airframes, too many hybrids and oddballs that don't fit. If the goal of the eras/decades is to answer readers' questions like "what were the Bf 109's contemporaries?" and you want something more tabular than the 109 article, then perhaps a short series of articles, say, Aircraft of 1903 to 1914, Aircraft of 1945 to 1958, etc that lists all types in use during the era irrespective of prototypes' first flight. B-52s and their ilk get to make multiple appearances, in one article as brand-new, and in others as old warhorses outliving their successors. :-) Stan 04:18, 5 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Stan, it's good that you ask the question, what's the point of the eras/decades. To me, the primary purpose of the lists is to be encyclopedic, that is, to have a comprehensive list of every aircraft that's ever flown, and some that never flew, if they're important enough. For two purposes:
- when someone writes a new article on an aircraft, there'll be a natural place to link to it
- also (and I expect this to be more common), a natural place to write a pointer to an as-yet-unwritten article about an aircraft (so it'll be an easy way of seeing what aircraft articles haven't been written yet, as well as whether an article for an aircraft has been written, but under a different name (there's a few instances where that could arise)).
It may well be that these lists are able to answer "what were the Bf 109's contemporaries?", but if they aren't, I don't think it's a problem, because there can be other articles that aren't merely lists. For example, one can have an article on the air war in Europe during WW2, or (and see the discussion on the Talk:Eurofighter Typhoon page) an article comparing the capabilities of contemporary fighters.
If we say that lists must include all aircraft that were in use over that time period, it'll make the lists a lot bigger. Furthermore, it'll require that Wikipedians know what dates an aircraft was used, for all its operators; this is going to take people more time than just finding out when it first flew. Also, we could have the list stating, at the top of the article, "All fighter aircraft that first flew from 1940-1945" (or whatever) which would make confusion impossible for all who read the article.
-- Cabalamat 17:26, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- Oh, if you just want every aircraft type, make the list alphabetical by name/designation (by definition, every aircraft article has to have a name). That's what my printed aircraft encyclopedia does. Personally, I think such a list is too broad to be of that much interest, and am content to arrange for its auto-generation when category tags are in place. But contrastingly I thought it would be interesting to have complete lists of the numbered US military planes, F-1 to F-23 etc, and went to a little trouble to build those lists. Another set of useful lists seemed to me to be all those constructed by a particular company, and I've added those to some of the company articles - makes it easier for editors to coordinate how company fortunes affected the aircraft and vice versa. In the end though, a lot of this gets figured out by just trying something and seeing how you and other people like it in practice. In my six months here, I've introduced about 20-30 different kinds of new lists, and maybe half have caught on, while the other half are unused and moldering away in obscurity. :-) Stan 19:19, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- Regarding the alphabetical idea, I really don't like it. I have a book about fighter aircraft, and all the entries are arranged in alphabetical order, by manufacturer. If I know the name of the aircraft, that doesn't help me to look it up. because I often don't know the manufacturer. Even if I do know, I'm unsure what to look up, given that names of manufacturers often change. Some aircraft are well-known under the name of the manufacturer, others are not. (This same point has been gone through in more detail in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (aircraft)). If the same book had sorted all the aircraft by date (either first flight or in-service date or whatever), then it would be much easier for me to look up an aircraft, because I know approximately what date it is. To say nothing of cases where I don't remember the name of the aircraft (e.g. the main Polish fighter in 1939). In short, I feel alphabetical order is arbitrary saying nothing about the nature of the aircraft, while ordering by date or function or nationality is much more meaningful. -- Cabalamat 21:05, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- Fortunately you're allowed to have more than one list. :-) Alphabetical is good if you have the name mostly right, but are mistaken about nationality or era. Ideal indexing would include as many orderings as needed for readers to find things. See list of cruisers of the United States Navy for a side-by-side list trick that's been very handy in keeping track of ship articles by both name and era. Stan 21:18, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)
- Alphabeting is useful under some circumstances, and it works well in your cruiser example. But I don't think it works for aircraft, as it's unclear in a lot of cases which name one would use - do I look up Messerschmitt or Bayerischeflugzeugwerke; Mustang or North American; BAe or Hawker Siddeley or Harrier; SAAB or Industri Gruppen JAS or Gripen? I think it's a lot harder for someone to mistake the nationality or era of an aircraft (I rarely do) than the manufacturer (many common aircraft I've no idea of the manufacturer's name unless I look it up). -- Cabalamat 23:41, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Whats the standard when it comes to refering to WW2 in wiki? WW2, WWII, World War 2, World War Two, World War II? I prefer WW2 simply because it has the lowest number of charaters to type in(-easiest) but it may not be formal enough for titles and it doesnt turn up as many many hits. So whats the wiki standard here, some ok to use in artiticles but not in titles? no standard?
Hits on Google (note: I put them in parenetheses so it would not search fragments, although none war related ones can still come up somtimes):
- WW2 310,000
- WWII 2,310,000 <---most hits abreiveited
- "WW 2" 58,300
- "WW II" 604,000
- "WW Two" 1,660
- "World War 2" 564,000
- "World War Two" 489,000.
- "World War II" 4,670,000 <---most hits wrtten out
- "Second World War" 2,130,000