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This question is due to this question and the subsequent discussion in chat.

It looks like we have a few questions that are not really on topic, but rather are about military stuff and they are not closed only because an aircraft is involved.

Examples:

We currently list the following as our topics:

  • Flying technique, maneuvers, navigation, procedures, etc.
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Aviation Weather
  • Aviation Regulations
  • Aerodynamics (related to aircraft)
  • Aviation Safety

Do we want to change the list? or should we police more closely the questions that get asked?

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I agree with Federico's stance in principle, but often an asker does not have enough knowledge to discriminate whether a question has enough of an aviation component. It is up to the community to fill in this gap.

The countermeasures one is a good example, the only aviation part of it is that helicopter kinematics play a role in the lack of countermeasures, which is not something a lay person would know a priori. The same could be said for the A-10 question: does the plane play a significant role in the gun's effectiveness? There was also an older question about NCrit that was closed (and reopened after an edit), despite asking about a parameter that was not unique to the XFLR5 program. It was definitely close-worthy as asked, but also easy to rewrite in a useful direction.

Ultimately I think we should edit these questions to focus on the aviation part when possible, so that some profit can come of them. If that proves impossible or the OP wants to focus on the unrelated part, then we should close it as off-topic.

Regarding the actual on-topic page:

  • Add Engineers to the list of people in the target audience, since there are a bunch of us here anyway.

  • Add Aircraft Design and Manufacture as on-topic.

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  • $\begingroup$ so you say that we should try to edit. and if that fails? also, my question was about the "on-topic" page guidance, what do you say we should do there? $\endgroup$ – Federico Jul 23 at 7:07
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    $\begingroup$ If it can be edited to be on topic, either by pruning the off-topic tangent or by refocusing it on the underlying aviation aspect, we should. If that is not possible or the OP specifically wants to take it in a different direction, we should close it as off topic. I've added a note on the on-topic list. $\endgroup$ – AEhere Jul 23 at 7:49
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Personally I think that we should not accept questions that are not leading to any new aviation knowledge for the asker or any reader.

In particular, I would add the following to our "not about" list:

  • military tactics
  • military strategy

And the following to our "about" list:

  • Aircraft design and construction

I am ready to consider the tracking countermeasures borderline, but I do not see how a discussion on ammunition and tank armour belongs to an aviation site.

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  • $\begingroup$ I have been thinking of a wording that would keep that A-10 question out, but I can't come up with anything that is not contrived or overly particular. I have to say I would pedantically argue it fits past your tactics and strategy filters if it was my question, since it is about technical capabilities, not tactics. I would prefer to keep mission-related questions on the site, when they are actually about aviation, i.e. when the answer does not go off into armour specifications and terminal ballistics. $\endgroup$ – AEhere Jul 23 at 7:51
  • $\begingroup$ @AEhere ok, I see your point. I'll try to improve my wording $\endgroup$ – Federico Jul 23 at 8:11
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Yes it would be very good if the On Topic List is expanded. The current list is extremely limited, and would define the most popular tag (Aircraft Design) as off topic.

As also mentioned here.

  • Aircraft design
  • Weight and Balance
  • Structures (related to aircraft)
  • Aircraft performance
  • Aircraft systems
  • Flight dynamics
  • Thermodynamics (related to aircraft)
  • Stability and control
  • Aviation engines
  • Aviation history

Benefit of the doubt should go towards inclusion, unless obviously out of place. If an aircraft is involved, is the question not by definition about aviation?

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    $\begingroup$ "If an aircraft is involved, is the question not by definition about aviation?" I would say no, as shown by the example about tanks. $\endgroup$ – Federico Jul 16 at 6:34
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The military questions mentioned I can understand...E.G. the countermeasures question discussed above. I do not though understand why the first question you mentioned (Practical use of hoverboards) was off topic. There are many other questions about innovations in aviation and I would consider this just another one. Taken to an extreme, it seems like an ASE in the 1930s would vote to close questions about Jets or Helicopters!

I also disagreed with the closing of this question. I believe questions on aviation's impact on the environment are quite relevant as long as they don't spurn flame wars.

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