On the sci-fi SE its ok for people to post questions asking for book/ show identifications. Can we do something similar on this site? I think that the person asking would have to have a photo or very good description to warrant this though.

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    $\begingroup$ There are services like tineye.com which finds duplicate images on web. Google image search is not that good as it will search all aircraft instead of exact match. $\endgroup$ – jak Feb 20 '14 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ Very tangential, but on Arqade, we are now disallowing identify this game questions without an audiovisual artifact. $\endgroup$ – One-One Mar 3 '14 at 9:49

This was going to be a comment to the egid's answer, but I think it is answer worthy.

I see why that [egid's answer] might seem like a reason not to, but with SO MANY different kinds of aircraft I think it would be pretty cool to have a place to come and ask such a question. A forum, on the other hand I would expect to be geared more towards conversation, whereas this is just a "simple" question... perfect for a Q&A site.

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    $\begingroup$ Especially if it is a famous or well-known photo of an airplane. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Feb 21 '14 at 1:14
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    $\begingroup$ I could get on board with this. We'd need pretty strict guidelines on how they're formatted, though, to keep things from going nuts. Could also be a reasonable blog topic, perhaps? $\endgroup$ – egid Mar 15 '14 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ I've now created the aircraft-identification tag. $\endgroup$ – Danny Beckett Apr 27 '14 at 22:21

I think these questions are most definitely on topic here and can be answered well; here is one I recently answered:

Can someone identify this warplane silhouette?

My one qualm is that, these sites are meant to turn up identical questions to ones already asked.

My suggestion is that once the aircraft is identified, the title of the post be edited with the name of the aircraft. E.g. "What is the plane in this picture? (Boeing 747-200)"

Otherwise, we end up with 5 questions asking about the same aircraft, without knowing it. (A user can't search for a post about that plane without knowing what it is!)

If we edit the title, all the person answering has to do on a new post asking for an ID is to link back to the original answered question (which is now searchable by the name of the aircraft, because of the title edit).

The question should be marked as a duplicate, but should NOT be down-voted because the user had no way of knowing that an answer existed already.

Although these questions aren't very searchable due to the nature of an image, as long as the user provides adequate information (a visual or well-written descriptive text), these questions can be quickly and easily answered, helping the user and fostering more growth. I for one would enjoy the challenge (and likely would many of us!) of identifying aircraft. It's not taking a whole lot of effort from the people answering questions and it will hopefully help our site grow.

Does anyone really think that if we allow this, the site will turn into endless aircraft id questions?


  • $\begingroup$ Let me pose this thought to you: if I decided to find a new random airplane picture every day and post a question titled, "What is this airplane?", how long do you think I would last before the moderators shut me down? I mean even if I verified 100% that the airplane had never been ID-requested before. I think the answer is not very long. If that's the case, why do we allow it at all? It clearly isn't the type of thing this site is intended for. If you think I'm wrong, I'll accept the aforementioned challenge and we can place bets on how long I can go even if I edit titles after. $\endgroup$ – Ryan Mortensen Feb 29 '20 at 23:30

Clear Yes from me.

Remember Flight's Christmas quiz? The "name that plane" section was always my favorite, and having a spot on the web for this would be helpful. Google is no match for humans (yet) when it comes to seeing the big picture.


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