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Aircraft Model Variations

Posted by Dougiehd on 25 December 2017 - 03:07:32
331 posts, 12914 aircraft seen at 143 airports. Local Airport: CMB

Hi all

quick question, I've found many aircraft - particularly Soviet types - listed in a variety of ways. For example an Ilyushin IL76-TD, the Model can be listed as "Ilyushin IL-76", as "IL76" or as "IL76TD".

No big drama but it does affect my Top 20 types list.

I recall that a few years ago there was an initiative to remove the manufacturer from all the listings and just have the model name. I guess this was never completed?

I know that I can change these manually in my own Seen record, but just wondered if there is a standard and what that is?

Thanks and merry Christmas.

Data Editor Posted by VHarvey on 28 December 2017 - 20:34:30
19 posts, 12919 aircraft seen at 86 airports. Local Airport: YVR

Hi Dougie

I am the newest database editor but I largely only look after bizjets so am probably the least qualified to answer... This happens because there are two fields for the model and type, so the programming is set so that the '-' appears between the two fields, which is ideal for Airbus & Boeing eg 747 (model) and 436 (type) so it shows as 747-436. Other types its not so clear cut and it comes down to each individual editors intuition or personal preference. I am not sure if anyone can appreciate what a HUGE task it is to maintain a database like this, so not everyone is going to remember the exact format used for every aircraft type in the world, particularly those added largely on a one off frame by frame basis after the website was initially launched like the IL76 as your example. Personally, as this is a website for enthusiasts rather than a Wikipedia type page, I dont need to be told that an IL76 is an Ilyushin and I suspect that most of this websites users are the same. With the way the fields work, I would say the most uniform way would be the type is IL76 and model is TD so it would show up as IL76-TD to differentiate it from the MD. However, I think the manufacturers official designation is IL-76TD (and of course you now get IL-76TD-90...) so it can be hard to enter tidily enter that into the database without adding Ilyushin because to get the dash in the right place using the formatting the type would only be "IL". So you can see, using your example, why there might be difference in opinions between database editors and I dont know that it is practical to have a separate database for the editors with a uniform list of every aircraft and it sub models in the world to refer to each time a new frame is added.

I am trying to streamline the bizjets so there is a more uniform format in view of the top 20 lists. I created a post on this a while back and got several members opinions on it, for example no one wants a Global to also be a BD-700. Mostly I will be going with how it shows in the LAAS database as they are the most accurate. Ultimately the aim is to go through the production lists for all the bizjets - then the props - and not only make sure they are up to date, but also in a uniform format. Unfortunately this project is rather on the back burner as I am now really behind after a busy summer and I am still processing daily changes and additions from September, but over time as I update them it will slowly update organically, but in the meantime it will affect the top 20 lists while this is still a work in progress.

Sorry not to be more helpful, all the best for 2018 Vernon

Admin Posted by nighthawk on 01 January 2018 - 20:55:10
340 posts, 170 aircraft seen at 20 airports. Local Airport: CAX

Hi Vernon / Dougie.

The original database was imported from various sources. Unfortunately this has lead to a lot of inconsistencies, mainly from different sources listing things differently, but also due to inconsistencies within each source too.

The original format of displaying types as "model-type" was designed arounnd Airbus and Boeing naming conventions - it works great for them. It also allows us to group records based on the "model" field, allowing us to automatically generate production lists, and group sightings by type.

Unfortunately, this naming convention doesn't work for all aircraft types - Ilyushin as you mention, and some business jets too. We certainly don't want the "model" set to "IL" - no-one wants a production list of all "IL" aircraft!

So some compromises need to be made somewhere.

A new field - "display text" was added for the data editors a few years ago, which is now used for displaying the model type on the page. This allows the separate "model" and "type" fields to be overriden - hiding the "-" when not needed, and adding in extra ones where they are, all while allowing the model field to be retained for grouping similar types.

While this compromise helps get around the display issues on newer records that are entered, it still needs someone to go back and fix all the old ones that have defaulted to "model-type". There are currently 446,000 registration entries in the database - going through all of them is a mammoth task, and I certainly cant ask the current volunteers to do that, they are busy enough keeping up with all the new registration changes that happen every day.

One day they may all get resolved, but it'll take a while, unfortunately :(

Posted by jetwashphotos on 20 January 2018 - 18:11:19
221 posts, 27124 aircraft seen at 114 airports. Local Airport: YYZ


Just wondering as part of improving consistency of the db, if it is possible to shorten some of the aircraft types? For example, Bombardier CSeries CS300-(BD-500-1A11). Would Bombardier CS300 not suffice? These extended titles seems quite prevalent with the Bombardier and Embraer aircraft, and not entirely necessary.



Premium Posted by ux166c on 23 January 2018 - 04:53:44
166 posts, 2911 aircraft seen at 88 airports. Local Airport: RNT

I disagree, Stephen. I like having the model number. It is cut and dried from the civil register, whereas the nickname seems too to be highly varied. But at any rate, I would readily settle for more consistency. I also find myself frequently editing out dash marks between make and model. The make model dash marks system really is optimized only for Boeing and Airbus products. Cheers, Jonathan

Admin Posted by nighthawk on 24 January 2018 - 16:10:23
340 posts, 170 aircraft seen at 20 airports. Local Airport: CAX

Stephen / Jonathan,

This is a prime example of the problem we face, everyone wants them slightly different :-)

I'm looking into producing a standardised list of aircraft types, so at least it will be consistent across the same models, even if its not quite the format some prefer.

(Bombardier are probably the worst, their model types are very confusing)

Post Edited By nighthawk on 24/01/2018 - 16:10:55
Premium Posted by Polehill on 11 February 2018 - 10:00:18
168 posts, 9931 aircraft seen at 48 airports. Local Airport: MAN

Hi Vernon,

We seem to have duplicated models in the fleet lists, for example VistaJet Malta Fleet List shows BD-700 and the same aircraft as BD-700-1A10. It is the same in the Netjets Europe lists. However the lists do not show the same number of aircraft in each list, for example 20 in one list 29 in the other.



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