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Flight Engineers...

PhatAJ2008

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I know they arent used anymore because computers can do what they used to (or I assume) but what did they used to do? What planes did they used to have them on? Do any planes still made today still need a flight engineer? I was thinking about this after reading something about that gigantic airbus and can't believe it only requires two people to fly...
 

FN FAL

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PhatAJ2008 said:
I know they arent used anymore because computers can do what they used to (or I assume) but what did they used to do? What planes did they used to have them on? Do any planes still made today still need a flight engineer? I was thinking about this after reading something about that gigantic airbus and can't believe it only requires two people to fly...
Gigantic Airbus and two pilots? Don't let people fool you...automation is reducing the number of pilots that airlines need to fly planes.
 

typhoonpilot

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PhatAJ2008 said:
I know they arent used anymore because computers can do what they used to (or I assume) but what did they used to do? What planes did they used to have them on? Do any planes still made today still need a flight engineer? I was thinking about this after reading something about that gigantic airbus and can't believe it only requires two people to fly...

The 727, early 747s, DC-8, DC-10, and L-1011 are airplanes that are still flying today with engineers. The 737 and DC-9 are two of the first aircraft designed without the engineer.

The flight engineer sets-up, operates, and monitors various aircraft systems that include air conditioning, pressurization, electrical, fuel, engine, and hydraulics.

On today's modern aircraft all of the F.E.'s work has been automated.



Typhoonpilot
 

mar

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But wait! There's more!

typhoonpilot said:
The 727, early 747s, DC-8, DC-10, and L-1011 are airplanes that are still flying today with engineers.

You're breaking my heart.

The DC6 is still flying today. It has an engineer. But ironically it was originally designed for a two person crew.

My understanding is that ALPA, way back when they used to fight for pilots, was instrumental in the addition of an FE station (straddling the center console).
 

typhoonpilot

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Sorry, my friend, the omission was not meant to demean the mighty DC-6 and those who fly/flew it :eek: .

You're right about ALPA. They had pilots sitting in the jumpseat of the 737 when it first came out.

TP
 

mar

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I think I'll get over it.

I just wanted to tease a "glass" pilot a little bit.

Cheers!
M
 

Workin'Stiff

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Lots..
The engineer certificate is slowing heading the ways of the navigator, radio operator, etc.
 

Spooky 1

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FE's

mar said:
You're breaking my heart.

The DC6 is still flying today. It has an engineer. But ironically it was originally designed for a two person crew.

My understanding is that ALPA, way back when they used to fight for pilots, was instrumental in the addition of an FE station (straddling the center console).

You can still operate the DC6 with only the two pilots with a FAA approved ferry permit under certain circumstances. The FE sat aft of the center console. Straddling it would really hurt! All kidding aside the FE or SO as were, operated the cowl flaps, fuel mixture, carb heat, engine blowers, power settings via manifold pressure, BMEP, and RPM to name but a few. It could be a pretty busy job at times. Engine starts were done by the FE as well.
 

hotwings402

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What do flight engineers do on jets? Do they start engines? or anything like that these days?
 

XTW

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hotwings402 said:
What do flight engineers do on jets?


They help to keep the two guys up front from killing everybody. It's the perfect place for an "unloaded" pilot to monitor the whole operation and get the "big" picture.

X
 

SMOE

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XTW said:
They help to keep the two guys up front from killing everybody. It's the perfect place for an "unloaded" pilot to monitor the whole operation and get the "big" picture.

X

XTW has the best summation of all. I was an FE for over 20 years and there's still several opportunities out there both in the military and civilian world. The only capacity replaced by computer has been system monitoring. I know several pilots that miss having a third set of eyeballs watching the show...

FE duties vary by airframe but largely they operate/monitor the aircraft systems and backup the pilots. A third set of eyes for the flight deck. My last tour was with the NATO E-3. The pilots got to fly the airplane...I ran it. Preflighted, started engines, ran the throttles (and flaps on touch and gos), ran all checklist, analyzed malfunctions/recommended/took appropriate corrective actions, operated/monitored aircraft systems, completed all takeoff, landing, and inflight performance data, calculated fuel endurance, holding, bingo.

There's a publication out there called "The Third Man". Its a brief history of the FE and a very interesting read. The FEs had their own union until the early 60s but ended up butting heads with ALPA and lost. That's why you now have pilots as SOs for a lot of outfits instead of Professional FEs.
Hope this helped...
 

FoxBravo

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The engineer and one of the pilots start the engines on classic 747's. They also read the checklists when the aircraft is moving. In the event of an emergency one pilot and the engineer run the emer/abnormal checklists. It really is handy once you get used to it. You only have to concentrate on the flying while they "fix" the problem. The engineer also sets the power for takeoff, climb, and cruise (at least at my company) if the auto-throttles aren't working. The old joke here is that the only TRUE emergency is the death of the FE. It is a dying career field. I have heard rumors that the new 747-xxx may be going back to the three man cockpit. I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Spooky 1

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SMOE said:
XTW has the best summation of all. I was an FE for over 20 years and there's still several opportunities out there both in the military and civilian world. The only capacity replaced by computer has been system monitoring. I know several pilots that miss having a third set of eyeballs watching the show...

FE duties vary by airframe but largely they operate/monitor the aircraft systems and backup the pilots. A third set of eyes for the flight deck. My last tour was with the NATO E-3. The pilots got to fly the airplane...I ran it. Preflighted, started engines, ran the throttles (and flaps on touch and gos), ran all checklist, analyzed malfunctions/recommended/took appropriate corrective actions, operated/monitored aircraft systems, completed all takeoff, landing, and inflight performance data, calculated fuel endurance, holding, bingo.

There's a publication out there called "The Third Man". Its a brief history of the FE and a very interesting read. The FEs had their own union until the early 60s but ended up butting heads with ALPA and lost. That's why you now have pilots as SOs for a lot of outfits instead of Professional FEs.
Hope this helped...

Just curious on the E3 how is it that the FE did the engine starts. My experience is on the 720B/320c and the pilots did the engine starts on that aircraft. Were the start switches located so the FE could get to them along with the start levers. Sounds complicated but then maybe the AF E3 was configured different than the civil B707. Also, correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to recall that the C135/KC135 did not have an FE station the the copilot ran the fuel and hydraulics, plus other duties traditionaly left to a designated FE. I agree that having an FE, whether it a PFE or a S/O is a great addition to the crew.
 
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Avro Man

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Workin'Stiff said:
The engineer certificate is slowing heading the ways of the navigator, radio operator, etc.

OK I know the radio operator is just the underpaid part 91 FO flying with a control hog captain... But what was the Navigator, You mean to tell me GPS wasn't created on the 8th day???
 

Spooky 1

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Navigators

Simple, he navigated by sun, stars, Loran A, Consolan, DR, pressure patterns, drift meters, and some smidgen of luck. Navigators left the scene pretty much during the mid to late sixties as the combination of dual doppler combined with Loran A, made their profession obsolete with the exception of some very hi lat. routes, i.e., Area of Magnetic Unreliability, Norhern Control Area, where grid navigation was required. The airlines like Pan Am, TWA, NWA all trained the remaining crew, Capt., F/O, S/O on this new doppler/loran combination, paid them a couple of dollars more an hour and sent the Navs packing. I believe UAL who used Navs on their mainland HNL routes gave the Navs an opportunity to transfer to the pilot group but have no idea how many might have opted for this. Intersting note, many navigators started out as radio operators and later became navigators. Radio operators were phased out pretty much during the fifties on international flights. I used to fly a Lockheed 1049H that had been owned and operated by KLM during the fifties. There was a position behind the Capt. for a radio operator. Apparently KLM used radio operators throughout Africa and down to Indonesia. The radio operator would send and receive clearances via the key (morse code) in many of these really remote parts of the world where even HF had not become available. So there, more than you ever wanted to know! Probably sorry you asked.
 

SMOE

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Spooky 1 said:
Just curious on the E3 how is it that the FE did the engine starts. My experience is on the 720B/320c and the pilots did the engine starts on that aircraft. Were the start switches located so the FE could get to them along with the start levers. Sounds complicated but then maybe the AF E3 was configured different than the civil B707. Also, correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to recall that the C135/KC135 did not have an FE station the the copilot ran the fuel and hydraulics, plus other duties traditionaly left to a designated FE. I agree that having an FE, whether it a PFE or a S/O is a great addition to the crew.

The E3 looks like a 707, but just like the KC-135, the systems are completely different the the 707. The start switches are on the overhead within easy reach of FE or pilot. The exception to the 135 was the WC-135 which had an FE who occupied the jump seat and had no panel. Can't say as he had a lot to do but I have no experience in it.
 

PHX767

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That's because..

The WC-135 didn't have a Boom Operator to watch the crew. :D

PHX
former Boom Operator/pilot watcher
now I are one...
 

TonyC

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PHX767 said:
That's because..
The WC-135 didn't have a Boom Operator to watch the crew. :D
Several other -135 variants had no boom operator, and no flight engineer. I was still using a slipstick when "booms" were using HP calculators to accomplish the Form F. :)



In fact... I wonder what one of these would bring on e-bay. ;)






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LJDRVR

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I always liked the old saw about the E-3's boldface. Supposedly the only memory item for the pilots was:

Seat Back........................ERECT
Coffee.............................STOW
Flight Engineer.................AWAKEN

Then of course there's the old joke about the only reason the B-727 requires an FO is birdstrike protection for the FE.
Hey SMOE, how's the new career at XJET treating you? I'm enjoying it alot, especially in light of the 700+souls hired under me in the last 15 months. Can't wait to be on reserve again.:D
 

TonyC

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LJDRVR said:
Then of course there's the old joke about the only reason the B-727 requires an FO is birdstrike protection for the FE.
That, and the gear handle is too short for the FE to reach it. That problem, of course, can be remedied with a broomstick and some duct tape. :)








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