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I have asked several questions on stack exchange, but my questions are often not understood. They seem a little too pedantic.

This is an actual question that I wrote on the aviation stack exchange site but could not post due to the 40 minute rule. How can I improve this question?

A brief review of light aircraft designs one is struck by the similar performance figures of aircraft that have similar wing areas and engine horsepower. For example aircraft with a 180 HP engine rarely can fly faster than 120 knots if they have fixed gear. With retractable gear an increase in 10-15 knots seems reasonable.

Stall speeds are proportional to wing area and can be reduced with high lift devices such as vortex generators, slats, flaps and so on.

How reliable it the process of designing and aircraft based on the lift equation for determining the stalling speed and an empirical formula for cruising speed as a function of engine power? Is using a sophisticated design program the only way to obtain useful results, or will an empirical method described be useful for preliminary design without being too misleading? There are several tools available for aircraft design but they need the user to enter more than 25 different parameters.

For reference [this article l][1]ists light aircraft cruise speeds.

[1]: http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/article/understanding-speed-in-airplanes/#.WFKRAfmqqko

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, and welcome to Writers. I don't know what the "40-minute rule" is, but aside from that, for us to help you, you'll need to ask something more specific than "improve this." What about it needs improving? There are a few typos, but that's why SE allows other people to edit. If you posted it on Aviation and it was closed, they would give a reason. If you didn't post it, we (and you) don't know what, if anything, needs fixing. $\endgroup$ – Lauren Ipsum Dec 16 '16 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ change title to be the most specific question you can formulate. Start Q with an actual question, next describe why you want the anwer, finally give all the backgrouind information you've already researched $\endgroup$ – Craig Constantine Dec 16 '16 at 14:47
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    $\begingroup$ I agree. Making your title a concise question helps to focus on what you want in an answer. Starting the body with your main question helps make it clear what you are asking. Then you can go on to describe the background and what exactly you are looking for. If you've done your best there's nothing wrong with posting your question, and the users here can discuss in comments and help make edits to improve the question. Once you have enough rep feel free to drop by chat and discuss there to help in formulating a good question. $\endgroup$ – fooot Dec 16 '16 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ "How reliable it the process of designing and aircraft" Two typos in 9 words? Maybe you should work on proof reading and editing. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Dec 16 '16 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ As original poster - many thanks for the answers. As you can see I am really struggling with (is that the correct word) my writing skills. I am more used to computer languages than English, maybe thats the problem. Also, thanks for moving the question to "Aviation Meta". $\endgroup$ – stackex555 Dec 20 '16 at 3:24
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Looking at elements of your post:

How reliable it the process of designing and aircraft based on the lift equation for determining the stalling speed

  • What about: "Is the lift equation used for an early determination of the stalling speed, e.g. in the high-level design?" If this equation is not reliable/used, someone will explain why. This is easier than assessing/quantifying how reliable it is, and less subject to controversy.

  • If you have already worked on a possible use, then sharing the result of your work, e.g. a graphic showing the relationship you have found on a sample of aircraft, will likely improve the reception of the question. Someone may provide a counter example in a comment, you may use it to refine your reasoning and improve your post, or invalidate it.

one is struck by the similar performance figures of aircraft that have similar wing areas and engine horsepower [...] There are several tools available for aircraft design but they need the user to enter more than 25 different parameters

  • Why not listing some of these parameters, probably weight is an important one (and your previous observation may turn into considering wing loading rather than wing area).

Overall try to keep the post focused on a specific question, be cautious when bringing multiple aspects into the discussion, as if they are not linked as you expected, then it will be difficult to see how to answer in a simple way, and the question could be considered as "too broad" or "unclear" and closed.

Try to avoid a lengthy introduction, make your question clear as soon as possible to prevent readers being lost and to keep them interested in reading. In case you need to provide the context, at least visually separate your question (I sometimes use "Question:" in bold to clarify where the question is.

As a reader, I prefer to understand what the question is, and then being provided with context and details the OP thinks are useful to me. If they are not, that's not a big problem, I'll be able to discard them quickly because I already know what the topic is or isn't.

As @abelenky mentioned, opening the door for opinions is not welcome on the site, at least not as the core of the answer. Opinions are exchanged on the chat feature of the site.

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    $\begingroup$ Also, trying to limit yourself to one question per post will help too. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Dec 20 '16 at 16:48
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What kind of answer did you actually expect?

If the question(s) are "How reliable is the process?" and "Will an empirical method be useful without being misleading?", then I think the self-evident answers are:

"The process is pretty reliable, but not perfect."
and
"The empirical method is useful, but also imprecise, and therefore slightly misleading."

In otherwords, neither of those questions have answers that are both precisely accurate and meaningful. For example, one could not say, "the process is 83.5% reliable"

You seem to be inviting extended, opinionated discussion, rather than seeking a meaningful answer to a discrete question.

Before asking another question, ask yourself:
"What answer to this question would be objectively and unambiguously correct?"

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  • $\begingroup$ "You seem to be inviting extended, opinionated discussion, rather than seeking a meaningful answer to a discrete question" - you are right, I am more used to discussion fora, so I tend to use this site like a forum. $\endgroup$ – stackex555 Dec 20 '16 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ aviation.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask $\endgroup$ – abelenky Dec 20 '16 at 3:27
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    $\begingroup$ @stackex555 That is a fundamental difference in philosophy for the Stack Exchange sites versus traditional forums. We expect every questions to be an actual question which can be answered with a definitive answer and specifically prohibit questions which are intended to start a discussion. The format actually prevents discussions since the answers move around depending on the votes, so they need to be self-contained and not rely on previous answers (as so often happens in a forum). It's just a different (and in my opinion better) way of doing things and accomplishes different goals! $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Dec 20 '16 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ I understand that, and really like stackexchange with its band of experts ready to answer questions within a few hours. It's just that it takes getting used to, and these answers and comments have helped immensely. $\endgroup$ – stackex555 Dec 21 '16 at 3:57

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