Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (aircraft)

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Titles for aircraft which have changed manufacturer names[edit]

There is currently a long discussion at Talk:McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle#Rename to Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle regarding the maunufacturer listed in the aricle's title. WHile we have no guideliens for which manufactuer should be listed first in cases where another company has taken over production, we generally give prefernce to the manufacturer that designed the aircraft and produced a sizeable amount of the production run, even if it's not the majortiy produced. Do we need to craft some specific guidelines for this isssue? It seems to be an issue especially for aircraft in current production, such as the F-15E and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, currently being produced by Lockheed Martin.

A solution used in some proint sources is to list the aircraft under the current manufactuer, with the previous company in parentheses/brackets. Aexamples would be Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15E Strike Eagle, Lockheed Martin (General Dynamics) F-16 Fighting Falcon, etc. This would make the article titles quite long in many cases. Is this a solution we want to at least consider? (Note: I don't know if there is a limit on title length for WP articles.) - BilCat (talk) 03:37, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

I originally raised this issue on the F-15E page. I believe that the name used should be the name of the current manufacturer, so Boeing (which has manufactured the F-15E since 1 August 1997) and Lockheed Martin (which has manufactured the F-16 since 1993/1995) would appear in the respective titles with redirects from the original designer-manufacturer. Mztourist (talk) 07:11, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
The standard here does give some useful guidance in that its says "Manufacturer: This should be the main designer and manufacturer of the type. If the type has been produced by different companies or different company names then consensus should be reached on a case by case basis on which to use. Example include Supermarine Spitfire rather than Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire although either is correct the former is used by consensus. Be wary of using non-contemporary names like Boeing DC-3 or British Aerospace Spitfire.". The policy is at WP:COMMONNAME which says "Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it instead uses the name which is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources. This includes usage in the sources used as references for the article." It looks to me like you have to gain consensus on the article talk page based on these factors. - Ahunt (talk) 11:54, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes I have read that thanks. The situation of a merger is rather different from one where an aircraft was manufactured by various different manufacturers in wartime as was the case for the Spitfire and other aircraft. All reputable sources post the Boeing-McDD merger refer to the aircraft that remained in production as Boeing products [1]. A newbie reading a news article like this one [2] will expect to see the Boeing F-15E page and not the McDD F-15E page. Mztourist (talk) 12:44, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Minor point with regard to Spitfire - Supermarine to Vickers Supermarine then eventually BAe are successor companies created by merger and acquisition so no different then McDonnell - McDonnell-Douglas - Boeing. Nothing to do with manufacturer by other companies. MilborneOne (talk) 13:16, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm not saying that all former McDD products should be relabelled as Boeing, so no Boeing Phantom II etc, just that those aircraft that have continued in production post merger should be renamed. In relation to the Spitfire its totally different from McDD. Supermarine was part of Vicker-Armstrong since 1928, but Vickers continued to use the Supermarine brand up until the Scimitar in 1956/57. Since the Boeing-McDD merger/takeover, all former McDD aircraft still in production were rebranded as Boeing products.Mztourist (talk) 14:54, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I think this is really an issue for the specific article talk page as it really has to be decided on a case-by-case basis. There isn't much that could be added to this standard beyond what is here now that would help, although it certainly should be quoted on the article talk page as a basis for the consensus there. - Ahunt (talk) 13:11, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
BilCat brought the issue here from the Talk:McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle#Rename to Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle page to try to see if the naming convention could be used to resolve this issue. Mztourist (talk) 14:57, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I would support not changing the guideline, the few types where a choice is not clear should be left to article consensus to deal with within the spirit of this document. We have had problems with guidelines in the past trying to detail every permutation possible and in the end a local agreement is best. MilborneOne (talk) 19:11, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I just brought up the issue here to see if we wanted to make any changes to the conventions to help resolve such issues, not to solve the F-15E issue directly. Consensus does change over time, as we saw with adding the manufacturer's name to US military aircraft titles, so it does help to bring up the issue every year or so to gauge consensus. As long as were content to leave the guidelines as they are, then that's good. For now, there's no consensus to rename the F-15E page to Boeing. It's probably a good thing to keep it under McDD for now, as further new orders/production will most likely be of the Silent Eagle variant, which is definitely a Boeing product. - BilCat (talk) 20:20, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I had the same desire to have Boeing AH-64 Apache moved to McDonnell Douglas AH-64 Apache, Being take MD had completed the final years of the chopper's development, produced the entire first generation, spent several years devising the AH-64D, brought that into service and initially produced, and pretty much all Boeing have done for the aircraft is left the production lever on and slapped their name on the side. Consensus did not generate support for the movement. Although we both feel that the shift is justified, and have our reasons and preferences, the community's word speaks louder than the individual. I see the article devision between McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as pretty much perfect, but such fortunant situations do not exist everywhere. I certainly wouldn't recommend a split in the F-15E's coverage, but I personally feel the original manufacturer's name is quite suitable, as the aircraft is fairly well known by that name in official sources. MDD may fade, or it may stay as alive as Avro or Supermarine. Kyteto (talk) 21:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
To clarify, the Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle article already exists, so if that version is ordered, that's where the new production would be covered. There are significant differences between the F-15E and the F-15SE that justify having a separate article for new production. Also, until quite recently, McDD continued to exist within Boeing as a subsidiary, though I'm not certain what they procuced. - BilCat (talk) 21:40, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
My personal opinion is F-15s up to the E, should be McDD, the Slam Eagle and Silent Eagle should be Boeing. F-16s should be GD through the D, with L-M being the title company if the E/F (Block 60+) aircraft get their own articles. AH-64 should be McDD, but... - The Bushranger One ping only 23:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Systemic common name rule violations[edit]

Initial discussions[edit]

I believe the aircraft naming conventions currently in use violate Wikipedia's common name rule. The common name rule states, "Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's 'official' name as an article title; it instead uses the name which is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources." The common name rule is a Wikipedia policy, not a guideline.

The goal of the article title is to have it match what people are most likely to search for, while still being a unique article identifier. I understand that Wikipedia is currently following the standard of aviation reference books, but news articles are also considered reliable sources and probably better represent the names most common in the minds of the public. Very few people actually read aviation reference books.

WP:COMMONNAME states, "In determining which of several alternative names is most frequently used, it is useful to observe the usage of major international organizations, major English-language media outlets, quality encyclopedias, geographic name servers, major scientific bodies and scientific journals, and a search engine may help to collect this data. When using a search engine, restrict the results to pages written in English, and exclude the word 'Wikipedia'." Therefore, news articles and Google search results can and should be used in judging the common name.

Although not part of WP:COMMONNAME, editor s of this article could ask themselves whether they really go around using the term "General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon" most of the time, or whether they more often use an abbreviation such as "F-16 Fighting Falcon" or simply "F-16". If even die-hard aviation aficionados use abbreviated names, it is unlikely that "General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon" is really the common name.

Here is a short table comparing the Wikipedia title to its corresponding Encyclopaedia Britannica title. According to Wikipedia policy, Britannica is considered a reliable source.

Wikipedia Title Britannica Title
Grumman F-14 Tomcat F-14
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle F-15
McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle F-15
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16
Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk F-117
Rockwell B-1 Lancer B-1
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress B-17
Boeing B-29 Superfortress B-29
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress B-52
Douglas DC-3 DC-3

It looks to me like Britannica is obeying Wikipedia's common name rule and Wikipedia is not.

The Britannica titles can occasionally cause problems on Wikipedia. For example B-1 leads to a disambiguation page because the name is common for many things besides aircraft. In addition, there are multiple B-1 aircraft, so Wikipedia has a list of B1 aircraft. I propose switching to a system of *DESIGNATION* *NAME* for U.S. military aircraft and *MANUFACTURER* *DESIGNATION* for commercial aircraft, e.g. F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35 Lightning II, Boeing 747, Airbus A380. (I am unfamiliar with foreign aircraft naming conventions.) This would better match the common names used by the public, while still being unique identifiers for just about all aircraft, even the B-1. In addition, my proposal matches what most Wikipedia aircraft articles I've seen are using in their infoboxes.

Personally, I think that simply using *DESIGNATION* (e.g. F-16, B-2) for U.S. military aircraft best complies with the common name rule, but my proposal of *DESIGNATION* *NAME* is more likely to win acceptance among other editors and would still be an improvement over the current naming scheme. --JHP (talk) 23:45, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

  • This has been debated before. Strictly enforcing WP:COMMONNAME de facto establishes a two-format standard for aircraft articles - one for the United States, not using the manufacturer's name, and one for everyone else, using the manufacturer's name. Your proposed "designation name" format was, in fact, the format previously used by Wikipedia; during the middle of last year this was extensively debated, and the "m-d-n" format was established by consensus as the format to be used by all aircraft articles, regardless of nationality I doubt there is any desire by editors to change back. (In addition, comparisons to Britannica should bear in mind WP:NOTPAPER.) Ignore all rules is the fifth pillar of Wikipedia; this is a case where consistency and clarity trump COMMONNAME. - The Bushranger One ping only 23:50, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
I understand that this was debated recently, but editors often make decisions based on what they personally like, rather than based on Wikipedia standards. The current naming scheme is INCONSISTENT with the naming of most other articles on Wikipedia. --JHP (talk) 23:58, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
WP:NOTPAPER does not apply. WP:NOTPAPER is only about article length and number of articles. That is not the issue being debated. WP:NOTPAPER has nothing to do with article naming. --JHP (talk) 00:05, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose any change, this has been debated recently and in-line with the Wikipedia:Article titles policy in particular note titles which follow the same pattern as those of similar articles are generally preferred. Many of these patterns are documented in the naming guidelines listed in the Specific-topic naming conventions box the current consensus is m-d-n for all aircraft articles. MilborneOne (talk) 00:02, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Just to note you mention names in the infoboxes as a guide, this is subject to a different consensus which has nothing to do with the article title. MilborneOne (talk) 00:06, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
You mentioned consistency from WP:TITLE#Deciding on an article title, but let's look at the other four criteria which are being violated:
  • Recognizability – One important aspect of this is the use of names most frequently used by English-language reliable sources to refer to the subject. - Violated.
  • Naturalness – titles are expected to use names and terms that readers are most likely to look for in order to find the article - Violated.
  • Precision – titles are expected to use names and terms that are precise, but only as precise as is necessary to identify the topic of the article unambiguously. - Violated
  • Conciseness – shorter titles are generally preferred to longer ones. - Violated
--JHP (talk) 00:16, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose any change. To be honest, I actually do like the D-N format , and would prefer it to the m-d-n format. However, I supported the change to the M-D-N format, as the d-n format caused a lot of controversy because it differed from the other aircraft articles. After several years of debate over the issue, a consensus was finally reached, and the change-over was suprisingly well received. I don't think we've had another complaint abou the new M-d-N format since the change over, which is far different from the situation before the change. - BilCat (talk) 00:15, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
You guys are agreeing, but you are doing so by violating WP:TITLE. --JHP (talk) 00:20, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
That's only your opinion/interpretation. WP:TITLE also says:
"Most articles will have a simple and obvious title that is better than any other in terms of most or all of these ideal criteria. If so, use it, as a straightforward choice. However, it may be necessary to trade off two or more of the criteria against one another. Consensus on entitling articles in specific fields, or with respect to particular problems, is stated and explained on the guideline pages referenced." (Italics added)
I think the guidelines here fit well with the spirit of the policy, especially the part I've italicized. - BilCat (talk) 00:33, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
I also oppose changing it again right now. As noted we recently had this debate and came to a wide consensus on the current nomenclature for exactly the reasons that you specify. I would argue that the current system does violate "Conciseness", but within aviation circles and nomenclature, the current system does not violate "Recognizability", "Naturalness" or "Precision". One of the problems is that what the average general public reader vs the somewhat knowledgeable aviation reader would use. Face it if we relied on the former the article on Helicopter would be found at "Chopper" or some other similar term that is not used in the aviation community. The other main problem is one of "Precision" and consistency. There is only one "172", but does "206" mean a "Cessna 206" or a "Bell 206"? There are at least five aircraft called a Cloudster which would be the common name for all of them. This would lead to a very patchwork nomenclature whereby some aircraft would require very precise names and others could get away with very imprecise names because everyone knows what it means. Do keep in mind that the reason for WP:COMMONNAME is to make the articles easy to find. Once you find the article the title is not very important. Most of us create lots of redirects and disambiguation pages to make sure that any search will quickly allow the reader to find what they are looking for. - Ahunt (talk) 00:38, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
From WP:TITLE: "The choice of article titles should put the interests of readers before those of editors, and those of a general audience before those of specialists." --JHP (talk) 00:42, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
...which is exactly what is being stated. Using your system would only lead to reader confusion. - The Bushranger One ping only 00:49, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
No, it's not what he stated. He's arguing in favor of "the somewhat knowledgeable aviation reader" over "the average general public reader". --JHP (talk) 00:54, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) That's where the "Consensus on entitling articles in specific fields, or with respect to particular problems" part comes in. The guideliens ars constituted address the particular problems as we've explained. Also, most of the objections to the separate m-m/m-d and d-n formats did come from casual readers, who could not understand why one format was used for the bulk of the world's aircrft, but US (and also Canadian) military aircraft articles used a differnt format without the manufacturer. Again, no one has expressed difficulty in finding the articles. Your primary objection is on the grounds that it's not following COMMONNAME very strictly - not that you have had difficulty finding the aircraft articles you were looking for. - BilCat (talk) 00:53, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
If I understand it correctly, the previous problem was that different countries have different naming conventions for their aircraft, and that there are different naming conventions between military and commercial aircraft. I don't understand why that would be an issue. Just use the naming conventions of the home country. Am I missing something? --JHP (talk) 00:37, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
We do use that - whatever the manufacturer designates and names it, we use that. - Ahunt (talk) 01:00, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
The main statement for the policy is "Generally, article titles are based on what reliable English-language sources call the subject of the article. There will often be several possible alternative titles for any given article; the choice between them is made by consensus." In almost all reliable aviation sources aircraft are called by their "manufacturer-designation-name" at first mention and in the article title and then shortened afterwards. Also from the same policy, "Consistency" which says: "titles which follow the same pattern as those of similar articles are generally preferred." More than anything that is what we agreed on. Because some aircraft require very specific naming to avoid confusion with similar names the principle of "Consistency" is invoked to avoid a massive hodge-podge of inconsistent naming. I would say that our current system hits four out of five conflicting requirements. - Ahunt (talk) 00:59, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
I think you guys are starting to argue in circles. I already addressed the "aviation sources" and "consistency" arguments. I say you're hitting one out of five of the article naming requirements. I have to go. I don't expect any immediate changes. I request that this section remain unarchived for a while so others have an opportunity to reflect on whether aircraft article titles really comply with the letter and the spirit of WP:TITLE. --JHP (talk) 01:08, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why not to leave it here for others to comment on, but so far we seem to have a pretty solid consensus, although that can be revisited any time. - Ahunt (talk) 01:19, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Later discussions[edit]

Later discussions
The recent swathe of title changes appear to have been motivated by a desire for consistency. WP:COMMONNAME isn't about consistency and WP:TITLE seems rather flexible about it; both are mainly about recognisability for the public. Commonname even specifically points out that technically correct names aren't essential. I can see very little reason to call an article McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle when F-15 Eagle is more immediately recognisable, more concise, and more natural. It is marginally less precise, and consistency is a more complex issue - one standard which would have relatively few inconsistencies would be <Designation/Number> <Most common name used in English> - Which would yield F-15 Eagle, MiG-29 Fulcrum, and so on.
There seems to be a strong urge not to use NATO reporting names, but the fact is, they tend to be the most widely recognised names in English. (Hohum @) 17:50, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
They are used in the article text, just not in the title as they represent a US, NATO or western-centric POV, which Wikipedia strives to avoid. - Ahunt (talk) 21:18, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm also unconvinced that this discussion has enough visibility across wikipedia - currently it's rather a clique consensus, arguably in the face of Policy. How about putting up a WP:NOTICE asking for wider opinion, or temporarily tag the articles being changed with a message template. (Hohum @) 18:00, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Most articles were changed over 9 months ago so asking for an opinion on last years changes is in my opinion a bit late. So far only two users have been to this page with an objection to the current guideline. You are welcome to make any suggestion to change the guideline and that can be discussed. MilborneOne (talk) 18:17, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
This guideline does have wide support amongst editors working on aircraft articles. - Ahunt (talk) 21:18, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
MilborneOne; I only just noticed the change. I don't think it's ever "too late" to discuss issues, there isn't a deadline for a final version of wikipedia, and a core value is to continually improve it.
Ahunt; Article naming using common names which our users will most readily recognise isn't POV - not using them seems closer to pandering to political correctness IMO.(Hohum @) 20:39, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This has been dealt with in detail in the sections above, especially on how the general naming conventions do allow projects to create naming conventions that suit their subjects. Rather than rehash the same arguments over again, it wiuld be better to seek outside opinion through an RFC, or take the issue up at a central location for naming convetion discussions on WP. Please note that other WP projects have naming conventions that do not follow COMMONNAME, and these should probably be dealt with at the same time, in such a central location. - BilCat (talk) 22:08, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

In particular, the guidelines for US city names do not follow the Common name guideline in that most of the articles are required to use the stste name. Even Canadian cities have not been required to use their province name unless it's needed for DABbing for several years now. It would probably be best to tackle the whole issue of projects that do not abide by the Common name guidelines at one central location, rather than have such battles fought in individual projects. This would help to settle the issue with a general consensus once and for all. - BilCat (talk) 22:19, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Just to inject my two cents here; I recently looked over some aircraft names and, not having been involved with aircraft pages before, it also struck me that the current naming convention contradicts WP:COMMONNAME and ought to be brought back into line. I support JHP's original sentiment and would like to like to see some kind of RfC on this issue. NickCT (talk) 15:07, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Go for it! If an extremely narrow interpreation of COMMON NAME is upheld to be the most important aspect of WPTITLE, I look forward to challenging other project guidelines that don't strictly abide by such a narrow interpretation either. Ought to be a lot of fun, especially those projects I haven't been involved in either, and therefore really don't have a clue as to why those guideliens exist as they do, but oh well, if COMMONNAME is most important, so be it. - BilCat (talk) 19:38, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Looking over this again, I think it's worth noting that cars seem to almost universally be titled using a "make & model" formulation even when that formulation might arguably contradict WP:COMMONNAME (i.e. Lamborghini Diablo, Ford Mustang). Perhaps planes could be similar? On the other hand, planes are cars are quite different in that Diablo and Mustang have to use disambig pages, whereas something like B-2 Spirit does not. NickCT (talk) 12:57, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
In the British media, in my experience, the B-2 Spirit is called the "B-2 stealth bomber". GraemeLeggett (talk) 15:48, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
In the Canadian general media in my experience Piper PA-28 Cherokees are most often called "Cessnas" and Cessna 172s are most often called "Piper Cubs". - Ahunt (talk) 21:35, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
In common parlance, cars are often referred to as Make-Model as google book and web searches will show, this fits entirely with the common name policy. Military aircraft are normally referred to by Designation-Name (as searches will also show). My current favourite for worst named aircraft article is CAC / PAC JF-17 Thunder.
Most of the dismissal of WP:COMMONAME and WP:TITLE appears to be hand-waving which ignores the point of the policy - for articles to be named according to Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Conciseness, and Consistency - not for Consistency, Consistency, Consistency, Consistency and Consistency. (Hohum @) 18:22, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Just to note that not all military aircraft are referred to by designation-name as has been said before designation-name is mainly a US thing. Perhaps we should also add WP:BIAS to the alphabet soup. MilborneOne (talk) 18:52, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
No, not all will be consistent, they don't have to be. Consistency is one of the five criteria, and it doesn't trump the others. Using the most common English name for US planes with one style, and (for instance) Russian ones with another isn't bias, it's reflecting what English speakers commonly use. (Hohum @) 20:46, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
At the start of this discussion it was "....most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources" now it's just what the English speaking (public) use? GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:16, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
We actuslly did use two separate systems for the first 4 years that I was on WP from 2006-2010: designation name for US military aircraft, and manufactuer-name or manufacturer-designation (some types have only a name or a designation) for almost all others. But that was a very contentious system for the the whole 4 years. Many of those complaining were not WPAIR project members. We finally adopted the new M-d-n system last year, and have had absolutley no complaints about it, within or without the project, except for those mentioned in this thread, and one other. For me, "if it works, don't fix it". You're welcome to disagree, but simply continuing to complain about it is not productive. File an RFC already, or please move on. - BilCat (talk) 21:18, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Does it matter if redirects or DAB pages are in place for all variations of an aircraft name? Let's try the F-4 Phantom; Phantom (second entry under 'Military'), F-4 redirects to McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, F-4 Phantom redirects to McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Phantom II (first entry). I personally disagree that it should be 'Phantom II' as it is unlikely to be confused with the first Phantom as it is an obscure type and no one ever calls it that, but there it is. In fact there are 56 redirects in place just for this one aircraft type. This, to me, shows that considerable thought has been expended by many editors on helping readers to access the article.

For busy editors creating navboxes consistency in aircraft type naming convention is paramount, if a redirected article name is used in a navbox then it does not automatically display as bolded in the navbox as it should, there is a bot running around fixing this very problem. To sift through and find the right names would take forever, if we can have an educated stab at what it should be called then life is easier. There are over 10,000 aircraft type articles, it's entirely possible that some of them don't have the ideal name.

In short, it's all very well to complain about an article title but it must be considered that the current situation has not been arrived at by accident. I too would like to participate in an RfC on this subject having pushed for the US military aircraft articles to align with the rest of the world, there were no objections when the change happened and indeed there was a massive effort to correct them all, mostly by US editors. BTW, 'violation' is a silly term and should not be used on WP. Nimbus (Cumulus nimbus floats by) 00:34, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

I have to agree with Nimbus that the most important factor is "can the readers find the article?", not so much what the article name actually is. That means that redirects and to some extent the use of disambiguation pages, are the key issues. I know when I create a new aircraft type article the first thing I do after the article is complete is to create as many redirects, plus links on disambiguation pages, as I can to make sure that readers can find it easily. - Ahunt (talk) 11:56, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
@Ahunt - re "can the readers find the article?" - I think we all agree that is the most important factor. Unfortunately, there are a lot of sticklers out there who insist that articles are titled in a systematic and logical fashion. NickCT (talk) 18:16, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
GraemeLeggett: "At the start of this discussion it was '....most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources' now it's just what the English speaking (public) use?" The policy WP:TITLE says it should generally be the former.
BilCat: This is a discussion, not a "late complaint". There is no deadline and no final state for wikipedia articles or their names. If you don't want to discuss it, that's fine, but trying to dismiss discussion isn't helpful.
Nimbus/Ahunt: Finding the article is moot; if all of the aircraft articles were renamed Gobledygook-<serial number>, people would still be able to find them because of all of the redirects. The discussion is about the actual titles used. Using a title so an infobox entry is in bold seems to be the tail wagging the dog.
I'm hesitant to start an RFC unless it seems warranted. They can eat up the time of editors, and fray their nerves - which is unproductive to wikipedia as a whole. On the other hand, some articles now (IMO) have needlessly verbose, slightly unnatural, less instantly-recognisable, overly precise, but consistent titles.
Can anyone explain why consistency should override the other criteria for aircraft articles? (Hohum @) 18:55, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I just wanted to clarify that point, because in my experience reliable sources eg Flight use the manufacturer name. GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:02, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Most published aviation reference works also list their entries by the m-d-n format. - BilCat (talk) 21:41, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Per COMMONAME, Fixed-wing aircraft (in quotes, 2.33 million ghits) should be at Airplane, which gets 70 millon Ghits, to Aeroplane's 9.6 million. Plane (aviation) is even more common, with all definitions of that word get 274 million ghits, but filterin down the results to the correct meaning is problematic. - BilCat (talk) 21:41, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

And if you use the general media and general public in my country as a guide then you would have all light aircraft types from Aeronca to Zlin under one article called "Cessna", because that is what most people think they are. While the M-D-N may seem a bit longer than you might like, it is still the least-worst solution. We have been around this before, but if you want to give some examples of articles that you think should be renamed then we can look at that and see if it creates any known problems. Let's start with the article I created yesterday, which was Schreder HP-13, which is M-D-(no name ever given), what would be a better name for this article? - Ahunt (talk) 22:09, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure why "General media" is being discussed when I already agreed that the usage in reliable sources is what WP:TITLE recommends (as does WP:COMMONNAME, contrary to BilCats incorrectly self defeating comment)?
"The term most typically used in reliable sources is preferred to technically correct but rarer forms, whether the official name, the scientific name, the birth name, the original name or the trademarked name. Other encyclopedias may be helpful in deciding what titles are in an encyclopedic register as well as what name is most frequently used."
Jane's World Recognition Handbook, Flight and my rather ancient copies of The Encyclopedia of World Air Power and Ian Allen guides use the long version, while Encyclopædia Britannica (eb.com) seems to use the shortest title possible - but is hardly exhaustive in its coverage of aircraft.
I'm happy to go with Jane's et. al., and don't see an RFC as likely to be productive. (Hohum @) 16:15, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
That is exacty what we settled on some time ago, what Jane's uses for titles, which is Manufacturer-Designation-Name. The only difference is that we sometimes group similar types into one article, which results in a shorter name. For example the 1982-82 edition of Janes All The World's Aircraft describes the Circa Reproductions Nieuport 11 and the Circa Reproductions Nieuport 17, etc. We have combined them into Circa Reproductions Nieuport. - Ahunt (talk) 16:35, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Hohum, I do hope you leave us alone now, and perhaps give greater weight to a project's views before wasting their time re-inventing the wheel. - BilCat (talk) 17:36, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
No Bill, what I'll do is have the temerity to have a simple discussion when I feel it's warranted. You do great editing work, but appear to have ownership issues. (Hohum @) 20:09, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Ownership? No, I just dislike people who treat others as if their stupid for holding a certain view, and then adopt that same view for the exact same reasons later on, with no apologies whatsoever. "currently it's rather a clique consensus, arguably in the face of Policy" is quite indicitive of your attitude here. That's not "temerity", it's arrogance. Be a bit less contentious, and treat others as if they might be a smart as you are, and have some wisdom and experience worth sharing. Anyway, I am as fully capable of making this as personal as you are, though why you've chosen to do so here and now is beyond me. If you'd like to move on before someone sends us both to ANI, then now would be the time, otherwise it might get ugly. - BilCat (talk) 03:24, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Time to close I think. MilborneOne (talk) 06:52, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Newest discussion[edit]

  • The guideline should at least cite Jane's All the World's Aircraft or some other authority. Now it's presented like a royal decree on aircraft names. Wiki has no authority to set an international standard. It should not be assumed that every aircraft has a name in some particular format. IMO, the JAWA name should be treated as a long-form official name, given boldface in the opening. The article title should be the common name. Kauffner (talk) 02:36, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
No one is "naming" the aircraft, or trying to set an international standard. What we have done is try to list the aircraft as they generally appear in most reference works, including Jane's, and that is in the m-d-n format. Does Jane's list aircraft according to common name only? Apparently even you have admitted that they do not. If we need to cite sources for what an aircraft's manufacturer, designation and name are, individually per reliable sources, I have no problem with that, and in fact most of the time that info is available in the sources already cited in an article.
What you are proposing is merely to allow aircraft articles such as that on the "Barling Bomber" to be listed as such, rather than as Witteman-Lewis XNBL-1. These should really be dealt with on a case by case basis by consensus, which is already permitted by WP guidelines, and which we are doing on that article's talk page. "Spruce Goose" is another example of an aircraft type with only one built and a common name, and it is at Hughes H-4 Hercules, also by consensus. As to whether the common name guideline should apply to all aircraft articles without following any set format, that has been dealt with extensively in the sections above, with no consensus reached to change the current format. - BilCat (talk) 04:42, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
It's of course not a question of documenting the manufacturer, designation, or name, by rather the use of the m-d-n form for a specific aircaft. Even when such names are documented, using them as article titles is the equivalent of putting John Wayne at Marion Mitchell Morrison, giving a monarch his full list of titles, or having an article entitled Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Kauffner (talk) 06:54, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Articles about aircraft types have more in common with articles about car types (which include the manufacturers name - e.g. Ford Model T) than they do with articles about people or countries. And anyway, if every country name was of the form "X Republic of Y" and the X was sometimes necessary to resolve ambiguity then that probably would be the WP standard. The Hughes H-4 Hercules article is about an aircraft type (it has specification etc). If you think that the convention for the titles of aircraft type articles should depend on the number built (0,1,2+) then please explain what the advantage of this would be. DexDor (talk) 19:44, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
After re-reading all of the objections to using the M-D-N as the primary method for naming aircraft it is apparent that, contrary to what has been stated on the Witteman-Lewis XNBL-1 talk page, there has never really been a consensus on making this the standard naming format. It is clear that there has been strong objection all along, though a small number of supporters seem to be having their way without any real justification. Perhaps it will help those opposed to know that the M-D-N format is one of two commonly used naming conventions, and outside the the U.S. probably not them most commonly used. The convention Designer-Designation-Name was used in the United States in the early years of aviation, and in Germany until after the end of WWII. An example of this naming convention in use in the United States is the Kettering Bug, and the Barling Bomber, which has been the subject of discussion recently. In Germany the D-D-N can be found in the names of aircraft such as the Ta 152 and Ho-229. In Russia D-D-N has been the only naming convention, with all Russian/Soviet aircraft using the name of the Design Bureau first, followed by the designation, than the common name (if any). The point that seems to have been missed is that the Design Bureau does not manufacturer the aircraft. At least until the early 1990s Russian aircraft manufacturing was done at any of a variety of state-owned factories, which may be building MiGs one month and refrigerators the next. That is the main reason that there is such a problem with commonality of parts on Russian aircraft. The canopy of a MiG-19 constructed at one factory will not fit on a MiG-19 constructed at another. I propose that the naming convention for aircraft on Wikipedia should be amended to include both M-D-N and D-D-N at the very least. Once that has been done it should not be difficult to figure out which naming convention is most correct for the aircraft, and it will eliminate heated discussions of trying to fit aircraft that were officially name under one convention from being re-named to comply with another. - Ken keisel (talk) 19:11, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the current system is working well for everyone except Ken. As it explains, exceptions need to be discussed and a consensus found when needed, we have done that quite successfully in a number of unusual cases where the guideline doesn't produce the best article title. A good example is the consensus named article Flightstar, which the guideline would name confusingly Flightstar Flightstar, but the proposed D-D-N would produce the never-used Peghiny Flightstar. The current system works, it doesn't need changing. - Ahunt (talk) 20:28, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Ken, Can you explain precisely what change to this guideline you are proposing ? DexDor (talk) 21:37, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
    • Certainly. Because the Soviet Union used the naming convention Designer-Designation-Name (D-D-N), and the majority of military aircraft constructed during the Cold War were of Soviet design, the current naming convention of Manufacturer-Designation-Name is an "exception". It doesn't work to have the "convention" be an "exception" (and we're talking about a lot of airplanes here). Fortunately, allowing two possible naming conventions, D-D-N, and M-D-N, will accommodate the correct names for over 95% of all aircraft. It will also put an end to trying to force a D-D-N name into a M-D-N convention, which has resulted in recent (justified) disputes. I therefore propose that the naming convention for aircraft consist of either D-D-N or M-D-N, with the correct interpretation being drawn from the most accurate official records that can be found. - Ken keisel (talk) 21:23, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
The guideline already explains that "manufacturer" in M-D-N means "main designer and manufacturer of the type" so it accommodates Soviet aircraft etc. However the guideline probably could be made clearer - for example here's a suggestion based on WP:WPAC (I realise it's not perfect because we don't normally use the terms make and model in this sense) DexDor (talk) 22:30, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Articles about aircraft types should generally be placed under a title named in a two-part format: <Make> <Model> (for example "Panavia Tornado"). The make should be a short form of the manufacturers name (or the designing organisation if that is different), as would be commonly used (see: Wikipedia:Common name), unless disambiguation with other makes is required. For most aircraft types the model consists of an alphanumeric designation (e.g. "VC-25"), a name, or both (e.g. "MS.755 Fleuret"). The article name needs to include the make because many aircraft model names are often too ambiguous by themselves. Rather than ad hoc disambiguation, it is better to have a consistent standard, which also happens to be the de facto standard in use.
For an improved version of this see User:DexDor#Aircraft name guideline. DexDor (talk) 18:20, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately we are running into problems with this. There are a few here who have become stuck on the M-D-N convention, even when the D-D-N is identified in official records. So far the problem seems to mostly involve early aircraft of the 1910s and 1920s, a time when the U.S. military often named the aircraft for the designer before putting it up for construction bids. Hense we have the "Kettering Bug", and not the "Dayton-Wright Airplane Company Bug", and should have the "Barling Bomber NBL-1" instead of the "Witteman-Lewis XNBL-1". Having two possible naming conventions will eliminate the problem, and put an end to attempts to force M-D-N names on aircraft that were originally named using a D-D-N method. - Ken keisel (talk) 23:02, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Ken, if you tell us exactly what you would like changed in the guideline (e.g. "In the first sentence of the lede replace ... by ...") we might be able to make some progress. DexDor (talk) 18:20, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay. I have two books I'm working on at the same time, and a chapter deadline came up. Based on the comments below by BilCat, and GraemeLeggett, it appears there is a misunderstanding as to what is meant by the use of the term "designer". I will try to elaborate, as once this is made clear there really isn't that much difference between the more precise naming convention and the one that is currently in use here. There are just a couple of very important points that have been overlooked.
  • The primary convention for naming aircraft, which seems to have been accepted worldwide since the beginning of aviation, was to base the aircraft's name on the designing entity. In most cases the designing entity is either the designing manufacturer, a design bureau, or an independent designer. As is the case with most creative endeavours, the purpose behind the name is to give credit to the creator of the work, though here it also has a secondary purpose; in the event of a problem with the design it allows the operator, or licensing agency, to identify the aircraft's origin. Because aircraft are very complicated most are designed either by a designer who has their own manufacturing capacity, or by a team of designers employed by the designing manufacturer. In this case the aircraft's name begins with the name of the designing manufacturer (using the name of the company at the time of the aircraft's introduction). It is important to note that this rule holds true regardless of what company ultimately manufactured the most examples of the aircraft. Examples of this are the Vought F4U Corsair, and Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, which were designed by one manufacturer but produced in greater numbers by other manufacturers. In the case of aircraft designed within the former Soviet Union the convention is simplified. All Soviet aircraft were designed by one of several design bureaus, generally named for the bureau's founder. Aircraft were named for the design bureau, and manufactured at various state-owned factories that had no connection to the aircraft's development. A third version of this convention is the case where an aircraft was designed by an individual with no manufacturing capacity, and produced by a manufacturer not involved in the aircraft's design. In this case the aircraft is named for the designer, not the manufacturer. Examples of this are the Kettering Bug, and the Horten Ho-229. As always, there are exceptions to the rule. The most common exception is the case where an aircraft was designed by a manufacturer that has gone out of business, and later produced by a different manufacturer who has acquired sole design and production rights. Examples of this are the American Champion Decathlon, and the Fairchild C-123 Provider. A second exception is the curious tendency of the U.S. military to change the name of foreign-designed aircraft (usually British) when they're put into domestic production. Examples of this are the Dayton-Wright DH-4, and Martin B-57 Canberra. In reply to the question asked, I recommend that the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (aircraft) be amended to read:
    • The naming of aircraft articles should follow a standard format of designer-designation-name, for example Morane-Saulnier MS.755 Fleuret. In some cases, the type may not have a designation or name, or its inclusion would not make sense to meet the common name criteria.
    • Designer: This should be the aircraft's designer, design bureau, or the original designing manufacturer of the type. Aircraft designed by a manufacturer should generally be named after the manufacturer that designed the type, but if the type has been produced by different companies or under different company names then consensus should be reached on a case by case basis on which manufacturer to use. Examples include Supermarine Spitfire rather than Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire. Although either is correct the former is used by consensus. Aircraft designed by individuals and manufactured by a company not involved in the design should be named for the designer. Examples include the Kettering Bug, and Horten Ho-229. Be wary of using modernized names like Boeing DC-3 or British Aerospace Spitfire.
      • I hope this clears things up. - Ken keisel (talk) 18:59, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The current system already allows exceptions to be discussed on local (case-by-case) basis. Having two accepted styles wouldn't eliminate the disputes, as we'd still have discussions over which syle is appropriate. We'd still have to have a move discussion for Barling Bomber, and I don't see the consensus changing in that case just because we allow editors to use D-D-N style when creating articles. - BilCat (talk) 05:19, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
    • Although the current system allows for exceptions, it unfortunately generates exceptions that aren't actually exceptions at all if the convention were worded properly. When we switch "manufacturer" to "designer" we eliminate any confusion over who has priority in a designer-manufacturer conflict. It also places greater weight on the designing manufacturer, as has been the convention for over 100 years. The term "designer" and "designing manufacturer" can be used interchangeably when discussing an aircraft designed by a company, and this still allows for the crediting of an individual when an aircraft has been designed by someone with no production capacity. - Ken keisel (talk) 19:20, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
      • There's no need for "crediting of an individual" in the title - that can be done in the text, and in the Infobox if it's a single-person designer. - BilCat (talk) 00:42, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
        • We're not talking about crediting an individual in the body of the article, we're discussing how the aircraft was originally named. - Ken keisel (talk) 17:25, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment for US military aircraft the Manufacturer-designation-name format seems to be extensively used by sources and in some cases retrospectively applied. There are instances where multiple designations are used in the course of the aircraft's use and after. We need to balance what the (third-party) sources use against common name (which is not always helped given that wikipedia, mirrors and lifts is now a dominant element in searching). Creating a second naming system will not be useful, better to draw up clear guideline based on consensus as to how to handle exceptions. Eg add to the guideline text such as "during the period 19** to 19**, the Department of xxxx, referred to aircraft by the designing company name rather than that of the manufacturer. For these aircraft, where a consistent name has not been established in reliable sources, it is preferable to place the article at.... and create redirects from common alternatives." GraemeLeggett (talk) 10:30, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
    • I hope you see now that this would not create a second naming system, but rather clarify the system now in place, placing greater emphasis on the designing manufacturer, as well as individual designers, and encompassing several situations that would previously have been considered exceptions. - Ken keisel (talk) 19:20, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • We have dozens (possibly hundreds) of aircraft articles with titles that begin with the designing organisation rather than the main manufacturer(s). Examples include Soviet aircraft (e.g. Mikoyan-Gurevich...), some European aircraft (e.g. Eurofighter...) and aircraft licence-built by companies other than the original designer/manufacturer (during both World Wars - e.g. Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2). (The OKBs were generally not mass manufacturers). In fact in all the cases I can think of where the designing organisation (DO) and manufacturer (M) are different the WP title begins with the DO. The first part of aircraft type article titles should be (in order of priority):
1. Designing organisation (provided RSs use that in the aircraft title).
2. Manufacturing organisation (provided RSs use that in the aircraft title).
3. Designing person (provided RSs use that in the aircraft title).
4. Whatever else RSs use.
It might be clearer if the guideline referred to "make" (as a noun) rather than "manufacturer" and also emphasised the importance of only using an article title that matches a title found in RSs. DexDor (talk) 19:46, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Would it be pedantic to point out that the Royal Aircraft Factory did build some of their designs first though bulk manufacture during the war was by other companies? Or that Eurofighter GmbH is a consortium formed by the companies that do manufacture the aircraft? I think it questionable though that we choose the priority for name choice. GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:09, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Re: "In fact in all the cases I can think of where the designing organisation (DO) and manufacturer (M) are different the WP title begins with the DO." There are several cases where this isn't so, and probably more if we search for them. One that springs to mind is an aircraft engine, not an aircraft, though the aeroengine articles follow the WPAIR aircraft naming conventions without exception. The J33 and J35 were both designed by GE, but the production licenses and rights were given by the US government to Allison, thus our articles are at Allison J33 and Allison J35]], which is what most reliable sources list these engines as, not as GE products. I don't know if the following applies to the Barling Bomber, but in the US in the early 20s, the US government often bid aircraft designs to other contractors for production, and those manufacturers would then own the rights to production. We'd have to investigate those individual cases so to see how're there listed on WP and other reliable sourcers, as I can't recall which aircraft were affected by that policy. - BilCat (talk) 18:46, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
It would be best to use the order:
1. Designing organisation (provided RSs use that in the aircraft title).
2. Designing person (provided RSs use that in the aircraft title).
3. Manufacturing organisation (provided RSs use that in the aircraft title).
4. Whatever else RSs use.
The emphisis should always be on giving credit to a designing entity before resorting to a non-designer. - Ken keisel (talk) 21:29, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Why should "The emphisis should always be on giving credit to a designing entity before resorting to a non-designer"? How did you decide on that order? You've been railing agaisnt so-called fictional names, so where did this order come from? In general, most reliable aviation publishers use the m-d-n style, and that's what WP:AIR has chosen to follow. Not some fictional priorty list made up by a user who has threatened to tamper with sources to obtain the results he wants, and now wants to tamper with the guidelines to suit his preferences. - BilCat (talk) 00:49, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
If you look at the "official" names you will see that the emphisis has always been on crediting the name to the designing manufacturer, not just any manufacturer. That's the distinction that's being addressed here. - Ken keisel (talk) 17:25, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
As you've written it, it's synthesis. You're putting together your own priorities, not necessarily reflecting the priorities of reliable sources, to suit one aircraft. It's more complicated than that, plus we give common usage in reliable sources as much weight as "official names", if not more. Again, the problem with the Barling Bomber's title is that there is no one common "name" used across sources, which is why the article's title is an editorial decision. Changing the wording guidelines to artificially give more weight in favor of the "designing entity" won't help change the fact there's still a dispute among the sources, and thus a dispute among the editors, on that one article. - BilCat (talk) 18:22, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Ken's priority order is better than mine - stressing that this would only come into play in the rare cases where looking at RSs hasn't made it obvious what the "make" part of the article title should be (and we probably don't need the bulleted list itself in the guideline). Wiktionary:manufacturer says "one that [makes] goods systematically or on a large scale" so making a few prototypes prior to mass production elsewhere (e.g. the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2) doesn't fit that definition of manufacturer. Similarly Eurofighter descibe themselves as "co-ordinators" - AFAIK they don't have any factories. As to the comments about this being "synthesis", isn't that normal for WP guidelines ? - for example in writing WP:AIR/NC/BRITMIL I combined information from RSs (RAF Museum Aircraft Thesaurus), from existing WP guidelines (e.g. MOS) and comments from editors. We're suggesting the guideline should be changed to make it match RSs more, not less. DexDor (talk) 21:21, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
My point on synthesis is that Ken has been accusing our guidelines of promoting "fictional" "names", yet he then produces a list based on his own priorities that is not always followed in real-world sources. As to Eurofighter Gmbh, I think it's best described as a joint-venture "consortium", which is somewhat common for aircraft and aero-engines produced by multiple manufacturers. It is properly the designer and manufacturer. Some other co-produced aircraft and engines were made by such consortiums, such as SEPECAT, Europrop International, International Aero Engines, AMX International, etc. On the other hand, some were just co-produced, such as with the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet and others. Again, I don't think reliable sources always follow Ken's priorities, if ever, so trying to standardize on that list - itemized or not - isn't the best format to me. I think handling the situations on a case by case basis is still the best way to go. Editors just need to realize that there preferences won't alwys win the consesnus, accept that as part of life on a cooperative encyclopedia, and move on. - BilCat (talk) 21:50, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Actually it was me who drew up the list first. You still haven't explained why the current guideline (which doesn't match what RSs normally do) is preferable to one that is based on what RSs normally do. Eurofighter could be described as a JV, but the factories that actually do the assembly are not part of that organisation. DexDor (talk) 22:08, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't accept the premise that it's been proven that our current guidelines don't follow what the reliable sources generally do. So far, only you and Ken support that premise, and there no consensus yet that the guideliens need to be changed beyond a possible minor rewording for clarification. I;ve also give examples of where reliable sources don't follow the proposed priorities. As to Erofighter, as I understand it, the factories that build the Typhoon belong to companies that are members of the joint venture: EADS, BAE Systems, and Alenia Aeronautica, not including sub-contractors. If a joint venture isn't named, we usally list the prime contractors by name. The major exception is the Concorde, but that is for reasons not related to this discussion. Btw, I disagree with the consensus as not following what reliable reference works use, but a consensus does exists, so I support it none-the-less as the consensus. I haven't made a major issue of it at every opportunity, nor have I been a disruptive presence in opposing it at several venues. Perhaps one day the issue will be brought up, and the consensus may change, but I don't see any support for changing it to this point, so vrigning it up now as a issue will probably fail to change it. - BilCat (talk) 22:41, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree with User:BilCat. I don't see any persuasive argument presented here that the current guidelines are a problem or that they aren't working and need changing, beyond maybe a note or two of clarification. We use M-D-N unless there is a reason not to and then it is discussed and a consensus formed for a more appropriate name. If the naming of the aircraft type is unclear, if different sources use different names, or similar problems, then the article should note that and all possible names should redirect to the article so that readers can find the article no matter which name is used for the article title or which one is searched for (example). There is no need to change what we have. - Ahunt (talk) 22:51, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

What if we changed the "Manufacturer" to the more vague "Company", for "Company-designation-name" (C-D-N)? Would this be acceptable, as long as we realize that changing the manufacturer's name to the designing person's name still needs to be discussed locally to gain a consensus? We often use "Manufacturer" and "Company" interchangably in writing the articles anyway, and this would allow using the OKBs to be more clear. BilCat (talk) 11:12, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with that! - Ahunt (talk) 12:49, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Is "company" (a commercial venture) appropropriate for (Soviet era) OKBs, gov agencies etc ? DexDor (talk) 13:29, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Loosely interpreted, yes. Armies have companies, after all :) - BilCat (talk) 14:00, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
As Wikitionary states a company is just a "companionship" or "A group of individuals with a common purpose". - Ahunt (talk) 14:03, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there's any reason to change the word "Manufacturer" to "Company", as "Manufacturer" is a bit more specific, and the word "Company" would not be appropriate for describing a Soviet Design Bureau. The Soviet Union didn't allow the existence of a "Company", as the term is applied to business. Regarding Ahunt's claim there isn't any evidence "that the current guidelines are a problem or that they aren't working and need changing". A good example of the problem the current guidelines are generating is the discussion going on on the talk page for the Barling Bomber. The aircraft was officially named using a convention that places the emphasis on acknowledging the aircraft's designer, in deference to a manufacturer not involved in the aircraft's design. That shows a glitch in our naming convention, which currently allows an uninvolved manufacturer to have the aircraft named after them instead of the designing firm or designer, as is the case in most RS. It's a subtle but important distinction that needs to be addressed. Correcting it will allow the naming convention to follow the RS more closely (I've gone through 22 reference books in my collection and have found the aircraft identified as the "Barling Bomber" in all 22 books). - Ken keisel (talk) 18:55, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Ken: That example doesn't show any problem with the naming guideline. The aircraft's name is unclear from the sources available and so there should have been a discussion and a consensus formed, which there was. The article should also explain that the refs disagree and illustrate the names the refs use, which it does. The fact that you disagree with the consensus would not be rectified by anything you have proposed here. - Ahunt (talk) 19:05, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Was Witteman-Lewis not involved in the design of the aircraft? The Blackburn Roc was designed by Blackburn Aircraft but "detailed design" was by Boulton Paul who also built it. Were Witteman-Lewis just some carpenters and metal workers who worked entirely from plans supplied by Barling? GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:32, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Witteman-Lewis was not involved in the design of the aircraft. They won the bid to construct it after the aircraft had already been designed by Walter Barling and named the ""Barling Bomber NBL-1" by the Army Air Service. - Ken keisel (talk) 19:55, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
If you ignore the manufacturer as has been suggested and use the designing organisation then in this example you would actually be the "Engineering Division NBL-1 Barling Bomber" as Barling designed it under contract for the Army Engineering Division. MilborneOne (talk) 20:05, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Is that name used in an RS ? DexDor (talk) 21:15, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Aerofiles.com [3] uses the term Engineering Division NBL-1, it is considered a reliable source for information on American aircraft. MilborneOne (talk) 21:29, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I obtained the original Army Air Service Test Manual from 1926 from the Air Force archives. It identifies the aircraft as the Barling Bomber NBL-1. I also had the original Air Service bid proposal which identified it as the Barling Bomber NBL-1. Both Robert Jackson and Ray Wagner identify it as the Barling Bomber in their reference works. Jane's identifies it as the Barling Bomber. Artifacts from the aircraft are on display in the Air Force Museum under the title Barling Bomber. So far, all I have been able to find out about Witteman-Lewis was that it was formed by a group of investors just to bid on the Barling Bomber contract. When they failed to secure a production contract the company folded before the aircraft was even operational. They didn't assemble the aircraft. It was shipped in crates by rail to Dayton where a team of people working at the Fairfield Air Depot took 94 days putting it together. Based on the discussion on the article's talk page the current aircraft name was created in order to satisfy the current naming convention. This is one of the reasons I have proposed the naming clarification we are discussing here. I've recently seen the aircraft mentioned on eBay as the Witteman-Lewis, citing Wikipedia as the source of the name. That means the current naming convention is already causing people to use this name, even though it is not correct according to official Air Force documents. - Ken keisel (talk) 22:30, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Dont really think this is the place for repeating the same arguments, whatever the agreed guideline here it will not change the local consensus related to that article. MilborneOne (talk) 22:40, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
In fact, it is quite relevant to this discussion. It is the current naming convention, being discussed here, that resulted in the name used in the Barling Bomber article. What is being discussed now is the consequences of this naming convention, and what changes should be made to prevent future issues such as this. - Ken keisel (talk) 22:44, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Ken: even if your proposal here were adopted and there is no consensus to do so, then this particular case would still be one of unclear naming and would still require a consensus on the article talk page to agree on an article name. You can't ram though your own personal favourite name for this one aircraft here on this page by changing the guidelines. No matter what is decided there will always be unclear naming and the need to gain a consensus on the naming. There will also be those editors who espouse one name over others, but consensus will be for another name and then that editor will just have to accept the consensus and drop it. - Ahunt (talk) 23:05, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
What I'm suggesting is that there be a modification made to the naming convention to bring it in line with the convention employed by the most respected RS. When Robert Jackson, Ray Wagner, Jane's, AAHS, and U.S. Air Force documents all agree on one name, and that name doesn't conform to our naming convention, then our convention has a flaw. I would also question why you feel my advocating the name used by 22 different RS, including the sources I've mentioned above, would be considered an attempt to "ram though your own personal favourite name". Are you attempting to say that Jackson, Wagner, Jane's, AAHS, and Air Force documentation are for my use only? If that's the case, than what is your definition of RS? It is beginning to appear that you are attempting to establish a criteria for acceptable RS that they must first agree with the current naming convention. - Ken keisel (talk) 21:07, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose any change to the current standard. While it may not be perfect, it works, and avoids the previous confusing hodgepodge of systems that the current standard was adopted to resolve. - The Bushranger One ping only 07:23, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
    • There is no perfect standard, but there are minor clarifications that could be made to the current one that would cut down on the number of naming "exceptions" to this rule. Reducing the number of exceptions would reduce conflict, and generate names that more consistantly match those in use by the best RS. The convention would continue to work, it would just work better than it does now. - Ken keisel (talk) 23:32, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Can we close this discussion as no consensus to change? Per WP:STICK, this discussion is going nowhere. - BilCat (talk) 20:17, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

I still think that there are a number of improvements that could be made to this guideline. For example, a brief explanation of why we include "make" in article titles (as per the equivalent car guideline) might avoid the "M-D-N vs commonname" issue (which started this whole discussion) being raised again. However, as long as there are several editors who reply to any proposed improvement with "Oppose any change" (rather than considering the actual issues) there will be no consensus for change. DexDor (talk) 06:27, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
The current M-D-N atyle was submitted on several occasions during the last several users years, primarily by User:Rlandmann, and defeated each time. I opposed it every time I saw the issue come up. Then last year, it was submitted for consideration again, and passed with no opposition! Consensus can and does change, but harping over the same issue in several locations will not help to persaude people to change their minds. In fact, such harping is more likely to ensure that they don't, given human nature. In the long run, this is a relatively minor issue. Don't disparage the editors who disagree with you as not "considering the actual issues", back off the issue for a while, and see what happens next year. - BilCat (talk) 17:13, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
The current convention is a good start to solving the naming issue for aircraft, and generally is not bad. It just needs cleaned up a bit to make it function more smoothly, and provide names that consistantly match the RS. Delaying that process is irrational, as it is only going to lead to more problems in the meantime. Since the convention is still fresh it is better to polish it now, then have it hang around until it's become fixed in place in its current form. Work on the convention should never really be "closed" as BilCat suggests, as there will always be new developments that come up that may call for a bit of tweaking. One should never consider something like this "done". I suggest that we discuss the best way of switching "manufacturer" to "designer", using the "designing manufacturer" or "design bureau" as the first preference, then the "individual designer" if no "designing manufacturer" or "design bureau" existed. - Ken keisel (talk) 17:49, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
That's not what I said or meant. - BilCat (talk) 18:15, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Child articles[edit]

After getting into this discussion on the issue of what a child article split off a main aircraft type article should be called, I am wondering if we shouldn't add something on that subject to this page? The only previous dicussion of the issue I am aware of is in this split discussion where MB1 said, "...if sub-articles are created can they match the parent like Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II sub-article name", which is what I have been going on as very sensible. - Ahunt (talk) 19:42, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

That works with Hawker Hurricane variants though sometimes you should heed other guidelines and hence List of Hawker Hurricane operators rather than Hawker Hurricane operators. GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:17, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree about lists, but for sub-articles that are not lists I believe it should be Foo sub-article. MilborneOne (talk) 21:35, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I can agree to that! Should we put it into this page? - Ahunt (talk) 21:47, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
We seem to have a consensus on this, so I have added a section on it, please do review my wording. - Ahunt (talk) 15:41, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it needs to include a bit about "List of..."GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:56, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Fixed, see what you think now! - Ahunt (talk) 20:32, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that shows it nicely. GraemeLeggett (talk) 20:51, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Infobox data for companies[edit]

This has been discussed before, but since it is somewhat related to the naming conventions issues discussed above, I'm raising it again in a separate post. Currently, we use the "Manufacturer" field in Template:Infobox aircraft type for both the actual prime contractor/designer/builder, and generally include the Soviet/Russian-style design bureaus (OKBs) in this filed also. Sometimes editors add the design bureau to the "Designer" field, and put the builder in the "Manufacturer" field.

I'd like to propose adding 2 new fields to the infobox, "Design bureau" and "Builder" (or "Constructor", or something more appropriate), that would give us more flexibility in addressing the actual designers and builders. This wouldn't affect the naming conventions, as we already give precedence to the OKBs in the article titles as "Manufacturers".

I'd also like to propose a change the output of the existing "Designer" field to something that makes it more clear the field is for single-person designers, not project heads/design chiefs. This is per our current guidelines, whoch state:"The person or persons who designed the aircraft. Only appropriate for single designers, not project leaders." However, I'm not sure how to rename it, as "Single-person designer" is to wordy and contrived. - BilCat (talk) 11:06, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps leave a note at Template talk:Infobox aircraft type on this discussion, I think the same players watch both so we probably dont need to move it. Perhaps add Design Engineer (for an individual) and Design Organisation (for an OKB or similar) as alternate fields to Designer if needed to cover your who designed it points. Perhaps also a "Built By" to cover who actually built it which could include licensed building companies. Design Bureau would be covered by Design Organisation like the OKB. The Built By would be the same as Manufacturer but would have a narrow meaning to cover the actual construction:
  • |manufacturer = Use when the type is designed and built by the same company
  • |designer = Only appropriate for single designers, not project leaders - depracted use design engineer and design organisation as required
  • |design engineer= Individual who designed the aircraft
  • |design organisation=Company or bureau who designed or holds the design rights to the aircraft
  • |built by = Who actually built the aircraft if different from the design organisation

MilborneOne (talk) 12:58, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Sometimes the brain isn't very creative lat e at night, so thanks for coming up with good terms to use! I think it would be good to drop notes at the template page and at WT:AIR, as sometimes editors only watch certain pages, or they get de-watchlisted inavdertantly. - BilCat (talk) 14:18, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Keep it simple. Just add "|design organization=". Manufacturer remains the business that built the airframes whether they also designed it or not. So you'd handle cases like this. Designer is understood to be an individual in common use so need to change. Design organization is patently not an individual.
For Airco DH.4
|designer= Geoffrey de Havilland
|manufacturer=Airco, Glendower Aircraft Company, Palladium Autocars, Vulcan Motor and Engineering et al
For Blackburn Roc
|design organisation=Blackburn
|manufacturer=Boulton Paul
This way, we have minimal transition issues. GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:57, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Those are good points, but I still would like to have "built by" as an option, especially for licensees and contructors in the OKB system. I'm OK with keeping "Designer" as is, though we could make the output read "Design engineer". Also, we could reconsider using the "Design" field only for single-person designers, as the use of project heads/chief desingers in that field seems to be quite common. - BilCat (talk) 15:18, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I should chime in and point out that "Design engineer" is probably a bit too specific as a large number of small aircraft have been designed by non-engineers (ie amateurs). "Designer" is probably best. - Ahunt (talk) 16:11, 11 September 2011 (UTC
Good points, I think we are saying stick to Designer, add design organization and built by, I think that should answer the points made with the mimimum of disruption. If the two new fields are not compulsory the current articles are ok as is but they can be added if needed. We would need to make the notes for design organisation (OKBs and companies that designed but not built as Graeme described aboved) and built by (for additional constructors per Bill) clearer. MilborneOne (talk) 16:31, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Concur with those suggestions. I can adde the fields in once we have the consesnsu to do so simply by copying the ecxisting fields, as this template os only semi-protected. If we decide we want Manufacturer to disable the design organisation and built by field, that's beyond my abilities. - BilCat (talk) 18:02, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
What if instead of using built by as the parameter we used more manufacturers to parallel the "user" and "more users" fields? Clearer or less clearGraemeLeggett (talk) 17:33, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I think it would be less clear, as were trying to distinguish these builders from the initial designers(/builders). But it's an alternative worth considering. I'm certainly open to whatever the final consensus is on thses new fields, and I'm not trying to "dominate" the discussions by squelching any input I don't necessarily agree with. I'm not quite as bad about that as some other editors seem to think! ;) - BilCat (talk) 18:02, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Oh, do we have an alternate word for "organisation"/"organization that aviods the spelling differences? I can add fields for both spellings, but it would be better to have just one field. - BilCat (talk) 18:25, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
The output on "Designer" is currently "Designed by". I think that would work for "Design Organization" too, so we wouldn't have to add a separate field for Design organization, just for "Built by". - BilCat (talk) 18:34, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've added the "builder" field to the infobox template, which has an output of "Built by". See Witteman-Lewis XNBL-1 for a test, using "Designed by" and "Built by", but with nothing in the "Manufacturer" field. - BilCat (talk) 18:45, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

If we decide we want separate fields for the single-person designer and design organization, we can change the output of the Designer field to read "Designer", and have the design organisation field output as "Designed by". - BilCat (talk) 21:18, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Suggest using "group" to avoid the organisation or organization spellings. -Fnlayson (talk) 21:23, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm fine with "Design group", if we think it's unambiguous enough. - BilCat (talk) 01:17, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
I think "Design group" has the right level of amibiguity to cover an organ of the state, a university department, a private design bureau, or a bunch of like minded individuals. Could even be "Designing group". GraemeLeggett (talk) 08:09, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
So we're OK with adding "Design group" - is that fine as the infobox output also? Any problems with me changing the output of "Designer" to read "Designer" instead of "Designed by"? And are we fine with "builder" having an output of "Built by"? - BilCat (talk) 11:03, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
  • That seems fine to me. -Fnlayson (talk) 13:38, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
I have no problem with the change in wording, but you picked an unfortunate choice to test it. The Army Air Service Engineering Division was never involved in the design or assembly of the Barling Bomber. In fact, several of my books make a point of mentioning that the Barling was never associated with McCook Field, apart using pilots from the Test Division to fly it. - Ken keisel (talk) 21:36, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Why has this not been implemented yet? BP OMowe (talk) 17:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
It has been implemented, at l east the coding is in the template, at Template:Infobox aircraft type. What articles are you trying to use it on? I can take a look and see why it's not working for you. - BilCat (talk) 18:14, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
The info was added to the JAS 39 Gripen article, it got reversed here with the comment "Infobox designer field is only meant for individual(s)" which also what the description on the Template:Infobox_aircraft_type says. BP OMowe (talk) 19:33, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
This is an old discussion on the template itself. We can discuss it on the Gripen's talk page, and you can present reliable sources there. - BilCat (talk) 19:58, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I think I'm not making myself clear here. From what I understood, the consensus was that the template should include designing organisations as well as individual designers. If that is correct, the template itself does not properly reflect that consensus as the description reads "designer - The person or persons who designed the aircraft. Only appropriate for single designers, not project leaders" and thus excludes design organisations. BP OMowe (talk) 20:38, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Apologies for digging this back up, but I ran into a bit of a problem while wondering how to work this into hte Douglas BTD Destroyer article. The aircraft was designed by "a group led by Ed Heinemann. That seems infobox-mentionable, except "designer" is meant for single designers, not groups, while "Design Group: Ed Heinemann" looks very odd, as would "...Ed Heinemann-led". Would it be possible to change designer to chief designer or lead designer? I realise that would open it up from "just one person", but it would make more sense overall, I think. - The Bushranger One ping only 01:37, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

It may be just best to explain that in the text and leave the box parameter empty! - Ahunt (talk) 09:36, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Likely so, but what can I say, I'm the Box Ghost! ;) - The Bushranger One ping only 09:40, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
👍 Like - Ahunt (talk) 10:10, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Suggested wording " Heinemanns's design-group " . BP OMowe (talk) 17:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Use the template's design group field, which was added at the time this discussion was going on. -Fnlayson (talk) 16:29, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

RFC – WP title decision practice[edit]

Over the past several months there has been contentious debate over aspects of WP:Article Titles policy. That contentiousness has led to efforts to improve the overall effectiveness of the policy and associated processes. An RFC entitled: Wikipedia talk:Article titles/RFC-Article title decision practice has been initiated to assess the communities’ understanding of our title decision making policy. As a project that has created or influenced subject specific naming conventions, participants in this project are encouraged to review and participate in the RFC.--Mike Cline (talk) 19:09, 16 February 2012 (UTC)