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Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit #4101742 05/20/16 09:33 AM
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Blaze Offline OP
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Look here at the B-36. Two flight engineers required for the engines.


http://oppositelock.kinja.com/b-36-peacemaker-360-degree-cockpit-view-826469619


Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Blaze] #4101791 05/20/16 10:18 AM
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Kuato Offline
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Pretty busy...with 10 engines and 50s technology I'm sure that fuel management was a nightmare!


Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete
Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Blaze] #4101795 05/20/16 10:20 AM
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440Magnum Offline
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The flight engineer on a B-36 was a busy guy. 6 P&W R-4360 radials, each one with 28 cylinders, 4 magnetos, 56 spark plugs, two turbochargers. The turbochargers are individually controlled, and as the airplane moved from takeoff to cruise, one turbo would be shut down as mass-flow through the engine decreased. At high altitude cruse, RPM would be kept very low (through prop pitch control) and the throttle wide-open and boost fairly high for efficiency. At the very edge of its altitude range, the engine was barely stable. Any subtle decrease in power (a misfire or few, hitting a patch of hotter/thinner air, etc.) could cause "boost collapse" where the turbo would suddenly slow due to a drop in exhaust pressure, which would drop boost, which would further lower exhaust pressure, and basically kill the engine's power output. The FE would have to quickly move the prop control lever to increase RPM get mass moving through the engine again to spin the turbo back up and re-establish boost, then tweak it all back to the ragged edge to maintain efficiency and keep the engine RPM synch'd with the other 5 so that the pilot and the rest of the crew wouldn't complain about the vibrations.

And on top of that, the later B-36 had 4 turbojets that had to be started and stopped as well. FE's were only kept in the 707 and 727 cockpits by union rules by the early 60s, and don't even exist anymore. But they had a BIG job on the last generation piston-engine aircraft.


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Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: 440Magnum] #4101805 05/20/16 10:32 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
FE's were only kept in the 707 and 727 cockpits by union rules by the early 60s, and don't even exist anymore. But they had a BIG job on the last generation piston-engine aircraft.


The Flight Engineers were absolutely needed on the 707 and on the 727. Those panels and all the systems management were part of the airplane design. The 747, of similar vintage, needed an FE as well. Take a look at a 727 FE panel for example - The FO and CAPT couldn't perform even the simplest tasks from their stations, e.g. throw the 7 switches in proper sequence required to start the APU...or parallel the generators...all things that are done automatically now...but were done by hand in the early years of the jet age.

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/2/3/0/1255032.jpg

Step up to the 747, and the engineer had even more to do...including things like engaging body gear steering below 25 knots on rollout, along with managing fuel feed, transfer, and pressurization, electrical load and paralleling, and hydraulics...

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/6/7/1/0764176.jpg

Now, the 737-100 "required" an FE because of union rules...even though an engineer panel was never built into the airplane. The "FE" just sat on the jumpseat...so, perhaps you're thinking of that airplane.

Last edited by Astro14; 05/20/16 10:35 AM.

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Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Astro14] #4101881 05/20/16 11:56 AM
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Oldmoparguy1 Offline
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Amazing!


A Randomly Selected Thought For The Day:
If Noah had used Zip, he could have used a smaller boat.
Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Blaze] #4102374 05/20/16 11:40 PM
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tom slick Offline
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That is neat, it really took a lot to run those planes.

The only cockpit I'm familiar with is the C-130E/H Hercules. The FE sits between and behind the pilots. The navigator has a desk and equipment at the rear right of the cockpit.
The 32 gauges in the center are engine


FE panel


The FE and Nav were eliminated with the C-130J and it has a glass cockpit so those engine gauges I've spent hours staring at are gone.


You get what you pay for...
So keep in mind how much you paid for this advice.
Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Blaze] #4102517 05/21/16 07:32 AM
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Smoky14 Offline
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Like so many things in life, we FE's have become unnecessary and close to extinction. We were, at one time, at least worth our weight in fuel, or at least we thought we were.

Smoky the usless


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Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Blaze] #4103390 05/22/16 08:16 AM
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LoneRanger Offline
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Thought we'd have seen a picture post of some glass cockpits by now.



2019 Ford F-150 ................................(Factory fill)
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Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Blaze] #4103401 05/22/16 08:27 AM
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Olas Offline
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Cable ties should hold it
Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: LoneRanger] #4103957 05/22/16 10:26 PM
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tom slick Offline
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Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
Thought we'd have seen a picture post of some glass cockpits by now.


C-130J cockpit with HUD




The B-52 is pretty basic but 8 throttles is pretty cool


You get what you pay for...
So keep in mind how much you paid for this advice.
Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Astro14] #4104312 05/23/16 11:53 AM
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440Magnum Offline
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Originally Posted By: Astro14
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
FE's were only kept in the 707 and 727 cockpits by union rules by the early 60s, and don't even exist anymore. But they had a BIG job on the last generation piston-engine aircraft.


The Flight Engineers were absolutely needed on the 707 and on the 727. Those panels and all the systems management were part of the airplane design. The 747, of similar vintage, needed an FE as well. Take a look at a 727 FE panel for example - The FO and CAPT couldn't perform even the simplest tasks from their stations, e.g. throw the 7 switches in proper sequence required to start the APU...or parallel the generators...all things that are done automatically now...but were done by hand in the early years of the jet age.

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/2/3/0/1255032.jpg

Step up to the 747, and the engineer had even more to do...including things like engaging body gear steering below 25 knots on rollout, along with managing fuel feed, transfer, and pressurization, electrical load and paralleling, and hydraulics...

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/6/7/1/0764176.jpg

Now, the 737-100 "required" an FE because of union rules...even though an engineer panel was never built into the airplane. The "FE" just sat on the jumpseat...so, perhaps you're thinking of that airplane.


"Need a FE" vs. "designed to have a FE" are very different things... and the 727 vs 737 illustrates it perfectly.

On the last generation piston airliners and even on turboprops- the FE was in many ways more important than the bus driver. smile The B-36 is the ultimate example, but even military jets like the B-52 and turboprops like the Orion, C-130, etc. had a pretty busy FE.

I can't speak directly to the 707 as I've never known anyone who flew one (I have known a couple of people who flew KC-135s, which are very similar... though not "the same" by a long stretch even though that's a common misconception). Given that its (original) engine systems were a good bit more primitive than the 72 and 73, I can imagine that its FE was reasonably busy managing them and the primitive cabin environmental systems as well as electrical. But conceptually, the need was already vanishing. with no mags, turbos, cowl flaps, 2-speed superchargers to shift, prop pitch to manage, RPM's to synchronize, cylinder head temps, high oil consumption, etc. to track.

I've talked at length to a former 727 pilot who came up through the ranks starting as a FE... and the FE was absolutely NOT "necessary" for the airplane from a basic design and workload management perspective. The cockpit layout was designed, by CHOICE, not NECESSITY, with some controls only present at the FE's console... but that doesn't mean they had to be there at all. It was done solely to preserve the job of the FE, and he said it was the most mind-numbingly boring thing he ever did and that it was practically considered hazing for new employees to make them suffer through being a 727 FE. All those controls could have been reallocated so that the pilot and co-pilot could cover them easily without making their workload too high, as was eventually done on the 737. After all, the 72 and 73 were only a couple of years apart in their introduction, and not significantly different at all in systems.



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Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Blaze] #4104347 05/23/16 12:23 PM
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Astro14 Offline
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No.

The FE was a necessity for the 707, 727, and 747.

The 737 was a far simpler (domestic short-haul, twin engine airplane) built in a time when electric loads, pneumatic loads and fuel balancing were all done manually. Even Concorde was designed with an FE because the position was a necessity.

Your one conversation was with a pilot who had seen what automation could do to replace the FE. But automation wasn't up to the task when the 707, 727 and 747 were designed.

The 747-400 model reduced the number of switches on the cockpit from over 900 to about 280 by automating all the FE tasks. That's technology circa 1992.

That didn't exist in 1962, when the 727 was designed. So, your pilot friend is wrong. You need to talk with the Boeing engineers who were there when the airplane was designed, bit some guy who was bitter about his new hire job, and began flying in an age when automation could handle his job.

Last edited by Astro14; 05/23/16 12:25 PM.

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Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Blaze] #4104394 05/23/16 01:23 PM
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The DC-9 was the forerunner in the transport category two-man cockpit by meeting the less than 80,000lb limit. The Diesel 9 was designed for two pilots and Boeing had to do additional certification work to get the 737 certified for two. It initially hurt the sales of the 737.


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Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: Astro14] #4105119 05/24/16 10:12 AM
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440Magnum Offline
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Originally Posted By: Astro14
No.

The FE was a necessity for the 707, 727, and 747.

The 737 was a far simpler (domestic short-haul, twin engine airplane) built in a time when electric loads, pneumatic loads and fuel balancing were all done manually. Even Concorde was designed with an FE because the position was a necessity.

Your one conversation was with a pilot who had seen what automation could do to replace the FE. But automation wasn't up to the task when the 707, 727 and 747 were designed.


No one ever said that the Concorde didn't need a FE- when you have to make sure shock waves stay captured in engine inlets, its a little much for the bus driver to do. Same applies to the 74 Classics, they just had too many systems.

But back to the 72, Its much more than a conversation with one pilot. Wife of a former co-worker is a Boeing engineer, and the whole topic has been debated and laid to rest in aviation literature for decades. The 727 and 737 were in design during the same years (the 727 was ahead in the process by a year or so), the same level of automation technology was available for both, and they differ by 1 engine (the first generations even used the same type of engine). They didn't even choose to fight the pilots' union over the 72, but took on the fight for the 73. Again, its not a case of me saying "you don't need anyone sitting at the FE station," obviously you do because it was designed for someone there. But had the union battle not seemed so un-winnable, Boeing would have DEFINITELY eliminated that position in a 72 and designed the controls and systems more like the 73. They did not want it there or think it was actually necessary.

The DC-9 was in the process around the same time, and Douglas won the fight by adding the argument "it's so small..." That broke down the barrier and later versions of the 73 were certified for 2-man ops.


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Re: Planes with the coolest set of gauges/cockpit [Re: 440Magnum] #4107919 05/27/16 09:55 AM
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Concordes inlets were similar to the F-14, an airplane designed in 1968, which happened to use a computer to program them...along with the fuel scheduling...that's what 4 years of technological advance gets you...well, that and the willingness to pay for the tech, as the unit cost of the airplane exceeded that of the 727.

The "need" for an FE depends on the ability of technology to handle the job, and the preference of the customer - do you want to pay for cutting edge tech in the purchase price? Or pay for conventional tech and eat the extra crew cost?

What you heard about the 727 is exactly opposite of what I've heard. I don't doubt that you heard it..,but wonder where Boeing, and United at the time, were on that technology/cost analysis...things were changing rapidly in the 60s...


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