We can see this message multiple times a day:
"This question does not appear to be about aviation, within the scope defined in the help centre."
And if we then look up what the scope is, as is defined in the Help Centre, we see the following:
What topics can I ask about here?
Aviation Stack Exchange is a site for pilots, controllers, mechanics, and aviation enthusiasts. If you have a question about…
- Flying technique, maneuvers, navigation, procedures, etc.
- Air Traffic Control
- Aviation Weather
- Aviation Regulations
- Aerodynamics (related to aircraft)
- Aviation Safety ? and it's not about…
I find this quite a narrow definition, for the following reasons:
- Pilots and mechanics are proficient in controlling and repairing existing machinery. But they are not the designers of the machinery.
- There are six broad topics listed as on-topic. But the most popular tag, aircraft-design, is not one of any of them.
- There is one element of physics listed as on-topic, aerodynamics. But an aircraft that stays aloft is subject to a much larger array of physical laws than only aerodynamics: flight dynamics, thermodynamics (jet engines are off-topic!) - and that's only the dynamics, we're not even mentioning aircraft structures here.
I'm an aeronautical engineer, and the site is not for me unless I'm regarded as an enthusiast which sounds unprofessional. However, I personally find great delight in reading the wonderfully phrased and illustrated answers on aerodynamic questions that I can find nowhere else. These sort of answers make this site worthwhile and remarkable. I'm happy that this part of physics is considered on-topic.
Most other "why is it this way" questions would be off-topic: does a pilot really care about why an AC generator is 400Hz and not 50? Does a mechanic lie awake at night, wondering why some helicopters have 2 blades and some have 5?
So my question is: how narrow a definition do we wish to use for this site? Isn't it much more interesting to browse a site about all aspects of aviation, with explanations on why they are so? A broad vision with a large amount of Benefit Of The Doubt. Can someone re-write the Help Centre please?