International Journal of Aviation Sciences (IJAS)


Based on the notion that applied research can be theoretically grounded or not theoretically grounded, I suggest that there are roughly four categories within which quality work in this area can fall: basic research, auxiliary assumptions, theory combined with auxiliary assumptions, and research without theory. Although the importance of auxiliary assumptions in traversing the distance between theories and their applications cannot validly be denied, applied researchers, including those in the aviation area, often have ignored them. But auxiliary assumptions play an important role in understanding the four categories that I propose. Finally, I argue that much of the applied research that actually is performed, again including aviation research, falls into none of the four categories and fails to contribute substantially to the field. My hope and expectation is that the present article will stimulate higher quality applied research by clearly explicating the important issues researchers should consider prior to beginning a line of investigation.

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