Feb Update & Database Search

February 2019 Update & Database Search Tips

I’ve added the new material from Aircraft Engineering & Aircraft Production Magazines for years 1939 – 1954. Unfortunately I don’t (yet) have full sets of these difficult to source originals but there’s a good spread which yielded an additional 1200 new entries for the database. (database count at February 2019 – 76,260)

Selson Machine Tools Pomini Vertical Milling & Boring Machine 1953

As the titles suggest there’s a welcome number of new entries for engineering machinery and machine tools in addition to new manufacturers. These will appear in the directory and A-Z sections of the website in due course – but all are available through the normal search function.

Database Search Hints:

We’re all used to smart searches like Google or Bing which are tolerant of typos and may even offer ‘helpful’ suggestions in the results. The Aviation Ancestry database isn`t smart – it matches your keyword(s) precisely to text in one of four database fields.

What this means in practice:

Less is more – in other words the more characters you enter into the search box, the less likely you are to score an exact match. For example; if you want to find an advert for a Bristol Mercury Mark 9 aircraft engine you might find attributes such as “Mark” may have been expressed in any number of different ways – Mk9, M.K.IX, MKIX etc – Searches aren`t case sensitive which makes life easier, but guessing the way attributes are expressed (including punctuation marks) could leave you fuming when Nothing Found appears.

For Best Results Set The Date Range:

Set the date parameters to your best guess – say 1932-1942 for the Mercury – try Bristol Mercury and scroll through to find the mark as displayed in the advert. Don’t be tempted to add words such as Aero Engine, Aero-Engine, Aircraft Engine, or additional words such as Gladiator or Blenheim. These principles holds good for all searches.

Hyphens, Commas, Periods and Apostrophes.

You may need to experiment here – For example: Rolls-Royce is correct, but Rolls Royce may also work but may not. This is just one example but consider that some users may be used to leaving out punctuation in searches, whilst others prefer to be more precise. Here the best advice is to leave out all punctuation (other than hyphens)

For example  Terry’s Clips will fail as the database can`t handle apostrophes – Terrys Clips will work. – But what will always work is Terry – Terr or even Te! – But if you’re going to be that economical be prepared for a lot of irrelevant (to you) results.

Check For Typos:

If no matches check your spelling for typos – eg Rols-Royce, Bristol Mervury will fail unless there happens to be a similar typo in the database!

That’s it – if at first you don`t succeed try less characters – if all else fails contact me and I’ll be happy help.


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