unattendedbag
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Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:08 pm

I have noticed several military aircraft types with second party manufacturer titles. For example the "TUSAS F-16CG Night Falcon".


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Photo © Kristof Jonckheere



According to this website: http://www.f-16.net/news_article2421.html the aircraft is manufactured by Lockheed Martin and then flown to another location and outfitted with a alternate avionics suite. Why is the manufacturer title of the aircraft changed when minor changes are made to the inside of the airplane? It's a bit like calling my car a "Sony Mustang" because my Ford Mustang has a Sony cd player in the dash.

am I missing some information?
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NPeterman
Posts: 193
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RE: Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:25 am

Eexcellent Question Unattended Bag. The F-16's genealogy and production history can be rather complex to put it nicely.

To my knowledge. Turkish F-16's, excepting maybe the first batch, are actually produced under license in Turkey, by TUSAS, so to be technical, the vast majority are TUSAS F-16C Block 30s/CG Night Falcons or CJs. the first batch, 8 F-16C Block 30s (so not the aircraft subtype pictured) were manufactured by General Dynamics in Texas. The rest were manufactured locally in Turkey. Similarly, the F-16s of the EPAF nations in the F-16 program (Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Dennmark) built their aicrafft at either Fokker or SABCA, and as such, SABCA/Fokker F-16A/AM/B/BM Fighting Falcon is correct. In Dennmark, aircraft manufactured by both Fokker and SABCA were recieved, so a mix of manufacturers could be seen in a search for their aircraft, and would be correct. Where this could get tricky is that I know that several of the EPAF nations actually took delivery of GD built F-16A/Bs, which depending on the history of the airfrane, could make a difference on how it should be labeled (Dennmark too 7 es-USAF F-16A's, Norway took 2 F-16B's from GD). If you want to verify, F-16.net mainatins an excellent database of F-16 serials. Otherwise, I would trust the auto complete function when uploading (don't delete their data unless you have some sort of compelling reason to do so, and I've never encountered this, but I'd assume there is someone you should email to see about getting the issue fixed-Mods could you step in and answer that part?). Additional license production was undertaken by South Korea (by KAI) In addition, there was aa split between General Dynamics and TUSAS for the F-16's produced between TUSAS-both supplied aircraft to the EAF. There is also the Mitsubishi F-2, but thats not a real Viper...

Sorry for the long winded response-can you tell that I'm an F-16 nut? This is as much information as I remember off of the top of my head at 11:25 PM. I hope it was of some help in answering your question.

Nick

Edited: Typoes, twice  Smile

[Edited 2011-09-19 20:28:06]
 
GPHOTO
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:44 pm

RE: Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:27 pm

Hello,

The naming convention for Airliners.net aircraft is quite a long and complicated story. However, in short, to avoid discrepancies, aircraft were for many years named after the builder of the aircraft, not the company who designed the aircraft. So F-16's built by Fokker were listed as, for example Fokker F-16A Fighting Falcon. Some people liked this, some accepted it and some hated it, but it did stop any confusion about who an aircraft should be listed under - you just needed to know where it was built.

Last year we took the decision to revisit this system for those aircraft which were proving most unacceptable to viewers. We have created some guidelines for a few naming conventions that make sense and the Head Editors will slot relevant types into the most appropriate system as we review them. If you have a look in the Photo Index under 'G' for General Dynamics, you will find that Fokker and SABCA built macines have now been moved under the General Dynamics banner. Some will not like the fact that Fokker and SABCA are still in the name, others will like it, some will not like the fact the aircraft have been placed under their designers heading rather than the actual builder. It isn't possible for us to keep everyone happy, I'm sorry about that. We have tried hard to create a system that is most acceptable to the majority of users and now we are beginning to roll it out, carefully and gradually.

There is much work to do and we will not rush due to some of the behind-the-scenes intricacies that you cannot see. We are well aware of what types need treatment, so no need to bombard us with requests for your favourites!

Best regards,

Jim
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petertenthije
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RE: Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:17 pm

Quoting gphoto (Reply 2):
to avoid discrepancies, aircraft were for many years named after the builder of the aircraft

Does this apply only to military aircraft? There are several examples in the civilian world where this rule is not used. For instance, back in the former USSR the design bureaux were seperate from the aircraft factories. Therefor the Tu-204 (to name but one example) is designed, but not build, by Tupolev. It is build by Aviastar or Kazan Aircraft Production Association. In the database only Tupolev is mentioned.
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aviopic
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RE: Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:53 pm

Quoting PETERTENTHIJE (Reply 3):
In the database only Tupolev is mentioned.

  
The only thing I personally expect from a well respected database(like a.net is) is consistency.
Although I prefer the new system which sounds more logic to me, the old was consistent and the new isn't(yet ?).
If licence builds are named by their original manufacturers(designers) name than I think it is best applied throughout the complete database to avoid confusion.
In other words a Fairchild F-27 should be a Fokker(fairchild)F.27 for example and I guess there are many more.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
GPHOTO
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RE: Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:40 am

Quoting PETERTENTHIJE (Reply 3):
Does this apply only to military aircraft?

No. The Russian system is a good example that there was always some discrepancy, where aircraft were often not built by the 'company' that designed them. For those not familiar with the Russian system, aircraft tended to be designed by one organisation (such as MiG or Tupolev) but series production was carried out by factories elsewhere, assigned by the government. Often only the initial prototypes were built by the design bureau itself. This naming approach will continue, with Tupolev and MiG, for example, remaining as the names used for these aircraft types.

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 4):
Although I prefer the new system which sounds more logic to me, the old was consistent and the new isn't(yet ?).

That was the great advantage of the old system - it was always consistent (ok, apart from a few areas such as Russian manufacturers!) and could be applied fairly easily with limited research or decision making. That is why it was implemented. Unfortunately, it could also lead to some aircraft types that nobody would recognise. For example have you ever heard of a Zmaj Hurricane? That's a Hawker Hurricane built by Zmaj in Yugoslavia. Very few people have heard of this, but under the old system it would have to be listed as such. There is also the disadvantage that the mechanics of the system would not allow us to group together all the different builders of an aircraft under one heading. So if you wanted to find all the Hawker Hurricanes in the database, you would have to know every organisation that built them - and who could we expect to know that, especially for every aircraft type that has ever been built? I'd never even heard of Zmaj until I started looking into the Hurricane and that was only because another member of the team pointed it out to me.....

There is a consistency with the new system, but rather than have one fixed rule to try and squeeze every type of aircraft into, we found that we actually needed a few. We have kept this to as few as possible, after all, it makes it easier for us to manage the database if we keep the number of rules down to the minimum needed. We are still feeling our way with this new approach and we are moving very carefully. In the end it comes down to a team of people deciding what rule fits best for what aircraft type. Our aim is to provide a sensible name for each aircraft type that can be accepted by the majority and best fits with both the facts and takes into account the accepted convention. We won't make things up, you can be sure of that, but it could be that not all assemblers get a mention.

There are systems in place behind what is visible on the site to ensure that this is controlled and the Editing team have the information they need to ensure things are kept working in harmony.

Even with the new system some types will sit stubbornly between two rules that we have and then we have no choice but to choose one way or the other. However, these 50/50 possibilities will be kept to an absolute minimum and I am sure you can agree we cannot allow both to happen at the same time!

We have been putting more effort into the types available to pick in the Photo Upload menus and this will continue. We hope this will help reduce some of the confusion about what types you should use when uploading and we will continue to expand this continusously.

Best regards,

Jim
Erm, is this thing on?
 
petertenthije
Posts: 3267
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:00 pm

RE: Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:06 am

Would it not be easier to put a seperate column in the database for manufacturers? Use the current aircract type for the designer type, and another field for the manufacturer?

That way the Tupolev Tu-204 can be entered in the database as Tupolev Tu-204, with an additional datafield for Aviastar. For the F-16 the entry would become General Dynamics F-16 with an additional datafield for Lockheed/Fokker/SABCA etc. I know that adding a column to an existing database is a pain in the ass, in particular a database as extensive as the A.net database, but it would solve the problem once and for all.

To make the search function easier still you might even want to consider splitting "General Dynamics F-16" into two fields. One for General Dynamics and one for F-16. This might be usefull since a lot of people probably associate the F-16 with Lockheed instead of General Dynamics. There are plenty other aircraft types where this goes. In that case you would have three fields where today only one is used: designer, manufacturer, type.
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2H4
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RE: Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:51 pm

Quoting gphoto (Reply 5):
if you wanted to find all the Hawker Hurricanes in the database, you would have to know every organisation that built them - and who could we expect to know that, especially for every aircraft type that has ever been built?

This, to me, is one of the greatest benefits to the new system. If you happen to shoot and upload a great photo of, say, a "Fokker" F-16, many visitors will likely never see it. If they use the search engine to find F-16s, they will likely search for General Dynamics or Lockheed-Martin. Or, if they click on the name of one of those to view more shots of F-16s, there's a good chance your photo will remain hidden in the group of Fokker F-16s.

One of the main goals here is to ensure the aircraft info is as accurate as possible while also ensuring the naming system doesn't hide photos away in small groups of obscure subcontractors.

Quoting PETERTENTHIJE (Reply 6):

Would it not be easier to put a seperate column in the database for manufacturers? Use the current aircract type for the designer type, and another field for the manufacturer?

This would be the ultimate fix. It would make database administration far easier. It would organize the photos in a manner that is both accurate and consistent. It would serve the most discriminating aviation historian and the most casual visitor equally well. The photos could be organized in a completely logical manner. But adding a new field would require an investment in programming resources. And presently, that is unavailable to us.
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GPHOTO
Posts: 799
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RE: Second Party Aircraft "Manufacturers"

Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:12 am

Quoting PETERTENTHIJE (Reply 6):
Would it not be easier to put a seperate column in the database for manufacturers? Use the current aircract type for the designer type, and another field for the manufacturer?

This was indeed our original scheme, but the resources to implement this were not available, so we had to come up with something else. The alternative was to leave things as they are, which for some types in the database was unacceptable to almost everyone.

We know this new approach it is not perfect, but do you think it is better than what we have now? We think so, so we think it is worth putting our effort into rolling it out. With an eye to future possibilities, we will also try to make sure that what we do makes it easier to transition to whatever improvements we might be able to implement then.

There will still be a few areas that are not fully satisfactory, but as this project progresses you should be able to find more of what you want to see, more often, in the places you expect to find them.

Best regards,

Jim
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