Searching The Database

How to Search The Aviation Ancestry Adverts Database

It’s almost certain that “adverts’ you’re looking for are in the database (or will be soon!) – I’m the first to admit though that they’re not always easy to find. There are a few reasons for this, some historical and some by design. Where possible these are being addressed, but it will take time so for now here are some tips that should help you find what you want. Remember though – if you can`t find what you’re looking for please get in touch via the contact page.

The search function looks for keywords in the descriptive title field (above the image on the website) – This field isn’t always helpful in some contexts.

1. Keep your keywords to a minimum. – Let’s say you are looking for Jetstream adverts. (Could be Handley Page, Scottish Aviation or even British Aerospace)

Jetstream will always work, Handley Page Jetstream may not, similarly Jetstream 31 may not.

2. The search function isn`t smart. If you make a typo with your keyword or phrase it won`t recognise it as such. For example if you were looking for Westland and (mis) typed as Wetland – you’ll see the dreaded nothing found message.

and … Niad won`t work here so your best bet for now is just to search on Napier from say 1946 in this case.

3. Hyphens, apostrophes and plurals etc.. can all cause problems. For example Kings Cup is not the same as King’s Cup. You may need to try both. – (Whilst not grammatically ideal I’m progressively removing apostrophes and regularising hyphenated names)

Plurals; let’s say you searched on Hydraulics (plural) your search would return plenty of results, but may omit the singular. So try the singular first – it will include all the plurals anyway. Tip. Try without punctuation marks first.

4. Marks Mk … 4 IV etc. Oh dear, oh dear. Looking for a particular mark or aircraft is almost certainly doomed to fail. Sure the advert will be there, but the manner in which mark numbers appear on adverts seems to depend on the weather on the day or something. Even the same manufacturers express marks or types in different ways. So your best bet will always be to run a simple search for the type or product and then look for the Mark numbers in the adverts themselves. In this case Avro makes it easy by using the word Mark and number 3 – Mark 3. No abbreviations or Roman numerals. But Shackleton will work just fine.

5. Search By Year Band. OK, I doubt many of you will bother to bracket the search years but it will make life easier – honestly. There are often less pages to flick through and it’s easier to keep track of any items you may want to find again. (there are nearly 2800 Bristol ads.)

6. My Typos & Mistakes. Difficult to believe I know, but I’m correcting them on a fairly regular basis – however they could trip you up. So the “Keep It Simple” rule will help. Mostly the major keywords (eg company name or product type) are correct, but typos are to be found in the descriptive text. If you spot any do let me know please.

7. Hail The Directory! The classified directory will be work in progress for a long time to come, but it’s updated regularly and should make company searches and product searches more productive. (Keeping track of British Aviation companies and brand owners post WWII can be challenging at times)