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Proposal: Aviation and Aerospace

Is there space for questioning and answering about the topic of missiles

  • Is there any specific types of questions on "missiles" that you'd like in particular, or just missiles in general? – Qantas 94 Heavy Aug 10 '13 at 3:28
  • @Qantas in general – Hash Aug 10 '13 at 4:12
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My reasons for allowing missile questions:

  • Missile propulsion, control, and navigation are very much aerospace topics (and have common aspects with small aircraft).
  • Missiles are capable of achieving hypersonic flight, which is a distinct and interesting subsection of aerodynamics.
  • Military application is defined by a missile's payload, not the missile itself. Non-military applications for missiles (such as research) do exist, and questions about the non-military aspects of missiles would be off-topic on Military.
  • Missiles have some common elements with rockets, but are distinct in ways that would be off-topic for Space Exploration, because they aren't necessarily related to exploring space.
  • Missiles certainly ARE different from common aircraft, but that is a reason to include them. An aviation and aerospace topic that only discussed airplanes would be incomplete.

I can see how pilots might not be interested in missile topics. But this site also welcomes:

...ATCs, mechanics, aero and astro-engineers, students and enthusiasts

A site concerned with the science of flight would be diminished if it excluded missiles from the discussion.

  • 1
    This site is about much more than the science of flight. And plenty of missile questions will be about other things, and of little interest to other aviators. Obviously questions equally applicable to aircraft and missiles would be on topic - this discussion should really only be about questions that are only applicable to missiles and not aircraft. – DJClayworth Aug 22 '13 at 3:25
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    I'm fine with the site being about more than science, but you seem bent on it ONLY being about aviation. Missile flight is still flight, and studying it doesn't prevent questions about piloting. Aviators don't need to be interested in 100% of topics, so why exclude those subjects? – Seth Battin Aug 22 '13 at 7:19
  • The touchstone of whether two topics belong in the same stack exchange is whether or not there is significant overlap between the communities that interest them. I suggest that the overlap of communities interested in anti-tank missiles and aviation is very small. – DJClayworth Aug 22 '13 at 13:32
  • I would agree that it would be off-topic to ask how best to blow up a tank. It would also be off-topic to ask about the best lens filter to use for UAV photography. Those would both be boat questions. Is the question about (missile) flight? On-topic. Is the question about what happens after the missile flies somewhere and activates its internal explosive? Off-topic. – Seth Battin Aug 22 '13 at 14:58
  • Your answer above says that missile questions should be on topic, so I don't see how questions about using a missile to destroy a tank would be off-topic. If only some questions about missiles are on-topic, could you revise your answer to reflect that. – DJClayworth Aug 22 '13 at 15:34
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    I just explained how they are different. Of course two different questions must be judged differently. The potential for someone to ask an off-topic question about missiles, one of which you keep referring to, does not preclude on-topic questions. – Seth Battin Aug 22 '13 at 18:17
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Sure, aerodynamics will be covered by this site and a missile definitely falls into this realm. There will be a little bit of crossover with the Space guys (if you have questions about missiles that leave the atmosphere) but that could probably be asked on either site and get good answers.

  • Only a minority of questions are going to be about aerodynamics. Should questions not about aerodynamics, but only about missiles (not other aircraft) be on topic? – DJClayworth Aug 22 '13 at 3:21
  • @DJClayworth: As long as they fall under "Aviation" or "Aerospace" then absolutely! As I asked in a comment on your answer, what kind of missile questions do you envision flooding the site that you believe would be off-topic (other than the same types of questions which would be off-topic for airplanes)? – lnafziger Aug 22 '13 at 7:24
  • Please don't put words in my mouth. I never said anything about 'flooded'. But if you need an example: "What is the warhead of the 9K112 Kobra ground fired anti-tank missile?" – DJClayworth Aug 22 '13 at 13:27
  • @DJClayworth: For the record, I never stated that you did say that (so please don't put words into my mouth :-) ). It does seem to be what you are afraid of however, just based on your many comments against it. The specific question that you suggested above would indeed probably be considered off-topic on this site. But then there are many questions that could be asked about the 9K112 missile that would be on topic. The subject is general enough that the questions would need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Just like the rest of them. – lnafziger Aug 22 '13 at 16:47
  • I quote:"what kind of missile questions do you envision flooding the site?" – DJClayworth Aug 22 '13 at 17:08
  • @DJClayworth: And that quote somehow says that I said that you said that? No, it is just a question. – lnafziger Aug 22 '13 at 18:21
  • I'm not sure what is going on here, but the quote I posted two posts above this is taken verbatim from your post five posts above this. Are you saying you didn't write that post? – DJClayworth Aug 22 '13 at 19:40
  • @DJClayworth: Oh seriously man. I said exactly that. But that doesn't say that you said that the site would be flooded. It ASKS you what kind of missile questions do you envision flooding.... Very different things. Can you just drop it now and we can delete all of these extraneous unproductive comments??? – lnafziger Aug 22 '13 at 21:35
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Let's put the alternative answer and see who supports it.

Missiles are very different from 'planes', in both technology and function. 'Aviation' normally implies manned aircraft, and missiles pretty much never fall into that. Also missiles are almost invariably military, or possibly space. They would find a place on sites devoted to each of those. Lets look at some specific:

  • Ground-to-ground missiles, e.g. anti-tank missiles. Extremely peripheral in their relationship to aviation. These missile generally have very primitive aerodynamics. They don't have pilots, maintenence, navigation, or really anything much in common with a plane.
  • Air-to-air missiles. These are specifically weapon systems, and so much more applicable to military. While I can imagine some questions about those missile applicable to aviation, questions about their working would be much more applicable to Military.
  • Ground to air missiles. Very similar to the above. So is air-to-ground.
  • Inter-continental missiles. Probably the most applicable to this site, in that they 'fly' at a similar altitude to actual planes. But still they have little overlap with aircraft in use, function, technology or community of interest.

The overlap of community between those interested in planes and those interested in missiles is very small, and they shouldn't be included. If a question is equally applicable to a missile and an aircraft, then it can be included.

There are some topics that could be on-topic, even if they are about missiles - I would expect that ones explicitly related to aerodynamics would be OK ("Why do the steering fins of a missile rotate as a whole rather than have flaps at the back?"). But there are plenty of possible missile-related questions that are nothing to do with aviation or aeronatics.

Let me be more explicit about some questions about missiles that I believe should be off topic:

  1. What is the maximum range of an AT-12 Swinger ground-launched anti-tank missile? (Compare "What is the maximum range of a Boeing 737", which should be on-topic)
  2. How many crew does it take to fire a Sagger anti-tank missile? (Compare "How many crew does it take to fly a Cessna Citation", which should be on-topic)
  3. "What is the propulsion system of a Swatter anti-tank missile?" (Compare "What engines are used by an F22?", which should be on-topic).
  • Where would questions be about missiles then if not a part of A&A? – Qantas 94 Heavy Aug 14 '13 at 7:33
  • We have proposals for both Military and Space. – DJClayworth Aug 14 '13 at 15:01
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    I would say that if it is an aerodynamics question, then it doesn't matter if it is a "manned aircraft" or not. If it is some other type of question (targeting, etc) then it would probably belong somewhere else. – lnafziger Aug 14 '13 at 21:54
  • A question that was equally applicable to missiles and aircraft would of course be on topic. I'm only arguing for the exclusion of questions only applicable to missiles. – DJClayworth Aug 14 '13 at 22:16
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    Each of your bullet points above contain an aerodynamics aspect that would be very much on topic here. Not to mention that "Aerospace" (this site is not just Aviation) is defined as "The branch of technology and industry concerned with both aviation and space flight." so I don't know why we would limit the topic to only questions that are similar to airplanes. Besides, other than electrical/design questions (which would usually be off-topic for airplane design issues) what kind of questions do you see being asked that are not related to aviation or aerospace? – lnafziger Aug 15 '13 at 16:43
  • Thanks for being devil's advocate. I voted against you. :) – Seth Battin Aug 21 '13 at 22:57
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    I disagree that examples 1 and 3 should be off topic. They both fall under the aerospace topic. – lnafziger Aug 22 '13 at 21:41
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Would Missile and Missile Technology not fall into a defense category?

There is no doubt that the aerodynamics of missile flight would be relevant, but the application of the technology should not be part of this site as it is irrelevant to the Aviation industry, unless you are on the receiving end of one : )

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