Talk:Australian Flying Corps

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Suggestions for expansion/improvement[edit]

G'day all, great work creating this article. I have a few suggestions for expansion:

  • the operations section could be expanded to add a couple of subsections that discuss the campaigns in the Middle East and on the Western Front in more detail (maybe three or four paragraphs each);
  • the personnel section could also discuss topics like training and leadership;
  • a section could be added discussing the type of equipment used.

I'm willing to help out, of course, but will be heading off in a couple of weeks and probably won't have internet until mid-April again. Thoughts? Cheers, AustralianRupert (talk) 01:38, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Those are all excellent ideas. I strongly recommend Michael Molkentin's book BTW. Nick-D (talk) 10:40, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
G'day, I've added a bit from the few sources I have. When I get back to in April, I will try to get that book from the library. Cheers, AustralianRupert (talk) 07:31, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I think I've covered off on these. Are there any more suggestions? Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 23:09, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Looks to me like a decent overview, and the major sources have been employed, Stephens' general AFC/RAAF history, Cutlack, Molentin... I haven't walked though the entire article since I last tweaked a few things. Are you thinking of taking to GAN in its current state? If so it may work better if I leave it alone and just critically review there... There's plenty of scope for expansion, especially focusing a bit more on the personalities who made it (plenty of them in the sources) but that could wait till later. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 01:17, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look, Ian. At this stage I probably don't have time for GAN as work is very busy, but I am keen to do a bit more on this article in whatever spare time I can find. I'm also trying to devote a bit of time to the Gallipoli article at the moment, though, so its a balancing act. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 02:12, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Table of aircraft types used[edit]

I have taken the liberty of making the following changes to the (good) reworking of this.

1. No need for a citation on every line of the table, surely? I have cut the whole "notes column, as apart from repeated citation markers it had no notes. Sorry if I messed up something "in progress" here.

2. I have added "of America" to "United States" in the origin column. This is purely cosmetic, to push out the width of this column to make it look a little more balanced!

3. The B.E.12 and the Martinsyde "G" types were contemporaneously sometimes termed "scouts" but unlike most other aircraft of the time that carried this designation they were NOT used as fighters on anything but the most "part-time" basis. (In WW2 terms, think Wirraway). The description of their role as I have entered it is much more accurate.

4. The Martinsyde G.100 and G.101 differed only in the model of engine fitted - there were much more important differences between (say) the B.E.2a, B.E.2c and B.E.2e, all of which were used by the AFC. If we can sum up all the B.E.s on one line (and why not?), for consistency we should do the same with the Martinsyde Gs.

5. Some types were used by the AFC exclusively as trainers, but are in fact better known for their (former) roles as operational aircraft. I have added a note "(obsolete [former role])" in these cases for clarity. Actually almost all the other types were used as trainers in addition to their operational roles, of course - but I think this can be taken as said.

Otherwise, good - just what I meant when I mentioned that the original table needed work. While Wikipedia is based on sources, and while we don't contradict or distort the meaning therein, we don't have to mirror their exact wording or layout, especially when this might be unclear or ambiguous. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 23:41, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

1. citations on each line are better because they ensure each entry is mentioned - especially if the source didn't provide all the details for all aircraft listed.
2. "of America" is ugly and bloated and is substantially longer than other entries - and not needed. Indeed why not have United Kingdom of Great Britain while we are at it? No other list I have seen has wasted space on it. Indeed it would be still better to use UK and US.
3. Contemporary usage changed during this period and is unnecessarily confusing - in 1912 a scout was purely a reconnaissance aircraft - unarmed and often but not always a single seater. By 1917, with the addition of guns it was a fighter, and has been used that way since, which will confuse non-specialists who are likely to assume a scout is a fighter - we already had both fighter and reconnaissance listed as roles - including a role that cannot be clearly distinguished from either isn't adding anything. A note indicating that contemporary use referred to it as a scout may be a better solution.
4 Agreed.
5 The entry should only include the roles in which AFC units used the particular aircraft. The Avro 504 was first a bomber but that isn't relevant to how the AFC used it, nor is the Strutter well enough known to be the only one singled out.
Agreed - hence the need to dispense with Scout in such an ambiguous context. Cheers,NiD.29 23:58, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Also wanted to add - do the sources mention how many and when each type was used? The information would be useful and would better put the different entries in context.NiD.29 00:31, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Gday the source I originally used for the table (Issacs) does include numbers operated but it is split across several pages and b/n his own tables for types used by the Central Flying School and then AFC overseas (by time period) so would need some adding up and in my laziness I hadn't got that far yet (it was on the to do list). The generic roles I originally included were per the source too. The notes section was included because it is a standard inclusion / format adopted in many airforce articles, likewise with the colspan stuff, (I nicked the table markup from the RAAF page for instance) and I assumed it would be req'd at a later date as it was obviously a fairly rudimentary start at a table. For instance I foresaw including notes about specific usage / roles by the AFC in that section (which would probably have been a solution to the concerns raised with the role labels I provided). That said I'm not opposed to the changes that have been made either as they seem workable. I am a little surprise at the interest my attempt at the table caused though as it previously seemed to be "all quite on the Western Front". Regards. Anotherclown (talk) 01:20, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
1. "Citations on each line" of a table are equivalent to putting the same cite on every sentence in a paragraph (in fact much more intrusive even than that would be - more like on every word in a sentence!) - unless there's a better reason for them being there than was immediately apparent, like Anotherclown intended to insert more stuff from the original source in that "notes" column.
2. "Of America" is in this case only a "type-setters' trick" inserted to make that column a more comfortable width. It just makes the table as a whole look better balanced. If you know a way to make the width of columns format on anything other than the length of the longest entry, then go for it! I tried inserting spaces and all kinds of thing. And yet - in a table where most lines are "United Kingdom" it would be very easy for the sole "United States" to get lost. Nothing wrong with just making it stand out a little better.
3. The table (rightly) explains the roles in contemporary language and deliberately avoids ambiguous historical terms like "scout". On the other hand, we DON'T avoid the ambiguity of the word "scout" if we always translate "scout" as "fighter", even for such non-fighters as the Martinsyde and the B.E.12. We have to actually forget all about "scout", and describe what the aircraft DID (in the AFC in 1916-18), which is just what I've tried to do.
4. Thank goodness for that. (Glad we agree about something).
5. The roles they performed in the AFC are of course the ones we are concerned with in this table. On the other hand there are a couple of instances where we need to make this crystal clear. The Pup was quite a well-known fighter, its use as a trainer being more an afterthought. So much so, that a casual editor seeing the Pup described as a "trainer" and not fully au fait with the context here might be excused for "correcting" this to "fighter". With respect, the Strutter is almost as well known as the Pup, too. The little bracketed note makes it clear that the Pup (and Strutter) only entered AFC service after they had become obsolete as operational aircraft. Contrarywise - the Avro 504 had a very brief operational career right at the beginning of the war, and then served as a trainer for decades to come. No one will want to "correct" our trainer designation to "bomber" - in fact the idea of designating the 504 as an "obsolete bomber" is a bit comic, if you'll forgive me.
Excuse me if I seem to be hammering these points a little - I only raised them to explain the changes I made to the table - not to "argue", nor denigrate anyone else's work. Have a good look at the table as I left it. I really don't think it is that bad, or that we need to clutter it with more information. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 03:33, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Howdy, you guys sound far more knowledgeable about these types and their service than I am so I'm quite happy to defer to whatever consensus you come up with (I was just summarizing a single source I had on the subject). Ack re the typesetting reason for using the long form of "United States of America" - I think there is a way of "setting" the width of each column but I don't know what it is. I'll have a look. Anotherclown (talk) 06:34, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Table manipulation markup is covered here I think: Help:Table#Width.2C_height. Anotherclown (talk) 07:32, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I have a syntax page to help with just that, obviating the need to search for each type of formatting each time - and have changed the format to set the column widths - I made them equal but there was too much white space so I set the middle column narrower, and the other two equal.
Not sure what point 3 was about - I didn't suggest slavishly transcribing scout as fighter - merely noting the actual role - ie reconnaissance or fighter, depending on type and period, hence why I replaced scout in the table. Dates and numbers add context that is lacking - which types were important, and which ones were minor and used in only small numbers for instance.NiD.29 23:42, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm fine with the table "as is". Any additional information needs to be clear, consistent and concise - otherwise it may be a case of "less is more". --Soundofmusicals (talk) 04:03, 13 August 2015 (UTC)