In the latest days I've seen a stream of suggested edits among which several only added a tag, often new or seldomly used, describing the model of aircraft mentioned in the question.
Do we need this?
Yes, I would like to have tags per aircraft type, when a question is specific to a particular aircraft type. Some people are specifically interested in a type of aircraft, and it makes it easier to find (and subscribe to!) questions about that type. It's especially relevant for feature-identification questions to find someone with good knowledge of the type. Other sites have similar tags, e.g. phone models on Android Enthusiasts, games on Arqade; and on the whole people find them useful.
I don't think we need to go down to different variants though (e.g. 747-200). There's such a thing as being too specific.
That said, we shouldn't have a huge effort of backfilling tags onto old questions. Making a large number of edits in a short term is very disruptive, it creates extra unnecessary work for reviewers (it takes more time to review the edit than make it!), and it screws up the front page.
Since I recently created the following tags
I assume that this question is partly motivated by my recent activity. Obviously, I follow all of these tags, which means that for each of the aforementioned tags there is one other follower.
In an ideal world, searching for "X-29" on Aviation Stack Exchange would produce all questions and answers on the Grumman X-29. Unfortunately, such a search also produces results on the MiG-29. To make matters worse, some people write "F4" instead of "F-4". Thus, I did create tags for specific aircraft, so that I could
quickly and efficiently find questions and answers on specific aircraft
subscribe to and be notified by email whenever there are new questions on specific aircraft
which would allow me to minimize the use of the search functionality in the future.
I belatedly apologize for the disruption this tag-creation and editing of old posts may have caused. I am most active on Mathematics Stack Exchange, whose frontpage can change entirely in less than 1 hour. I now realize Aviation Stack Exchange's frontpage is updated at a much slower rate.
Since I wholeheartedly agreed with Dan Hulme's answer when I read it days ago, I did not post an answer sooner, for I thought it would have been redundant. A recent message from the moderators encouraged me to write this answer.
I think, that it would be best to adapt a scheme, where there are both tags for models/model series as well as specific model versions/blocks/revisions.
This would allow a general question to be limited by model, and a detail question about a specific block of a model to be limited down to a block.
This would be interesting for identification, because often blocks can be hard to discern from one another.
More specific questions ask for more specific tags.
We have the F-16 fighter. There are a lot of versions of it.
general tag: F-16
more specific, variant: F-16E/F
block tag: F-16 Block 60
So someone asks a general question about the F-16, it just gets the normal tag. Someone asks about the indian "Super Viper" version of it, it would get a block 70 tag too, because that version is based on the block 70. (Some F-16 variants are based on more than one block)
I think it is important to get it down as detailed as possible; engines, equipment, performance, etc can all change for one aircraft model over the course of the lifetime. This can often be a cause for confusion.
No. There are hundreds of aircraft manufacturers with thousands of airplane models. It is useless and clutter the site.
On the other hand, there are some famous airplane models (e.g. Boeing only: 747, 777, 787) which are well known, are currently popular enough and fly a lot. I would like to search for all questions which are related to piper-pa-28 or airbus-a380.
When you hear F-16, you know that we are talking about General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, but j20 should not be tag.