Are combat flight and military aircraft questions on-scope? has been asked, but the consensus appears to have been 'wait and see with specific questions.' So, here's a specific one that I saw in the first question review queue: Why do Air Forces still use bombers?

To me, this question seems off-topic here, since it's more about military strategy and tactics than aviation, but since I didn't see any clear definition of whether it should be on-topic here or not, I wanted to pose the question here before just voting to close it. Should questions that are mostly focused on how militaries use aviation rather than on aviation itself be considered on-topic here?


3 Answers 3


The world of aviation is broad, you'd have to stray pretty far off for it to be off-topic in my book. Military aviation is very relevant to today's world so to me it is very on-topic.


I didn't even think that it might be off-topic when I saw it, but now that you bring it up....

I suppose that I'm okay with it since it is about the military use of aviation. That combined with the fact that it has some good answers leads me to be most inclined to leave it.

There is a popular niche for military aviation and it would be good to allow those people interested in it to participate in our site and put their expertise to use.


I think that the dividing line has to be in between questions of aviation engineering as it relates to military aircraft and questions about tactics.

In this particular case I think the question is fine because in essence all the person is asking is "what's the cheapest way to move a load through the air?" and he's asking it in the domain of military aviation. I think we'd all agree that the underlying question is entirely valid, and the domain hardly matters.

On the other hand, if somewhere were to ask: "why would someone use a bomber instead of an ICBM and what are the strategic advantages of both?", I'd say that the underlying question there is a question of tactics not engineering. Thus it would be off topic and it would be in our best interest to sent it off to a military SE where the questioner, after all, would get a much better answer...

  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... I guess I understood this question to be asking more of the latter question (the strategic/tactical advantages) than anything else. It seems like that's mostly what it got in the answers, too. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Oct 1, 2014 at 5:29
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm...looking at the question again, I can see what you're saying. I would have thought that the answer could have been mostly a cost/benefit based on engineering, but it seems to have gone the "tactics" route. GdD did have about half of their answer on topic... I dunno, part of me can't help but wonder if it should be voted out. All of that being said, there's really not a huge need just yet since it's really the only question of its kind so far. $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Oct 1, 2014 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see why tactics etc are necessarily off topic - Aviation is about Aviation, not "Aviation Engineering", "Commercial Aviation" or "General Aviation - there are plenty of questions about how Airlines operate, choose routes, why they use/retire certain aircraft etc that are nothing to do with flying a plane. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Story
    Nov 21, 2014 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Right, but they have no other home really. Questions about tactics would fit very nicely into a military Q&A, which, if we don't have one, really ought to be created. $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Nov 21, 2014 at 15:09

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