Enola Gay Cockpit

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Keith Lane, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Keith Lane

    Keith Lane Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,637
    Location:
    Conyers, Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Keith Lane
    Here's an interesting view of the office space of the B-29 Enola Gay.
    Go to full screen, the button on the right end of the controls and pan around. Quite a busy place. It chills me to think how incredibly young these pilots were. And how few hours they had when handed over the keys to such a monster. Paul Tibbets had a bunch of time, but the average line pilot only had a few hundred hours total time.

    http://www.davidpalermo.com/data/slideshow/4/enolagay/index.html
     
  2. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Messages:
    11,008
    Location:
    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dan Mc
    Neat find!

    Tibbets was a B-29 test pilot.

    Isn't it interesting that the turn and slip indicator is front and center on the jumbled panel?
     
  3. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,603
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bruce C
    You need a good FE.
     
  4. Keith Lane

    Keith Lane Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,637
    Location:
    Conyers, Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Keith Lane
    Ain't that the truth!
    I tried to zoom in on the FE's station. More gauges than the flight deck guys had for sure. Can anyone tell me just what the FE did? Mixture/Prop setting? Monitor fuel and oil consumption?
     
  5. AWACSEng

    AWACSEng Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,065
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill
    Pretty much the FE is/was the aircraft systems expert. I won't even try to compare what I do now to what those guys did then, but I'm pretty sure the duties have remained essentially the same. W+B calculations, performance, systems management(i.e. fuel balance and usage, electrics monitoring, pressurization, hydraulics, and any other aircraft specific systems), pre flight inspections, routine and non routine maintenance, as well as being another integral part of the flight deck crew in regards to CRM. As far as the additional controls in the B-29 and other large prop aircraft of the day like the Lockheed C-121 Connies I know the FE was also responsible for syncing the props.

    I would have loved to have had the opportunity to crew one of these older airplanes, but I sure do enjoy some of the automation of today that makes my life easier.
     
  6. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,603
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bruce C
    In the big piston birds, they did near everything BUT flight controls. This aircraft has two stage geared turbosuperchargers; going through 14 thousand or so they'd have to throttle back, change gears and re-establish MP; as the flying pilot has no controls of the type he has to "callout" what he wants.....

    Detecting temp troubles, overspeed, etc that was all on the FE. Mixtures/props- all done by the FE on command for "climb power", "cruise power", "descent power", etc etc.
     
  7. AWACSEng

    AWACSEng Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,065
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill
    Ok, so Dr Bruce is a better wordsmith than I. ;)
     
  8. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,711
    Location:
    Houston area, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave
    FE had the engines... including the throttles. Props were electric controlled with toggle switches.
     
  9. snowbird

    snowbird Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    158
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Snowbird
    A good friend of mine spent the summer of 1940 flying up to five missions a day in Spits in the Battle of Britain. He was shot down three times that summer. He was nineteen years old.
     
  10. Keith Lane

    Keith Lane Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,637
    Location:
    Conyers, Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Keith Lane
    If you have not yet read "The Few", I highly recommend it. It is also available as an audio book.
    It's the story of the American pilots who broke US neutrality laws to fly for the RAF in 40.

    http://www.thefewbook.com/home.html
     
  11. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    32,216
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    As well as running sweeps, setting power, managing fuel load and burn rates, controlling aircraft cabin temps, paralleling generators, and anything else he was told to do.

    our preflight took 4 hours.
     
  12. Ddayle

    Ddayle Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    915
    Location:
    Des Moines, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaveR
    Paul Tibbits lead the first 8th Air force B-17 bombing mission in Europe . After completing his tour in B-17's Hap sent him to Wichata to iron out the B29 Program. He created the B29 training program. The Fuselage that became the Enola Gay was selected on the factory floor by Paul. Paul began with the first bombing raid on Germany and ended with the war ending raid on Japan.
     
  13. AWACSEng

    AWACSEng Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,065
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill
    I included those duties in the first part of my post. Like I said, technology has changed but the root tasks are still there.
     
  14. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    14,240
    Location:
    Midlothian, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    3Green
    Great find...

    Check out the heating system ducts overhead... follow them to their vents.

    I couldn't find an airspeed indicator... wanted to see what the max indicated airspeed could have been.
     
  15. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    25,091
    Location:
    Paola, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    #bandozer
    Which seems very low, but when it was focused around training for the exact flying they were doing, that definitely made a difference. I've been reading "Hell Hawks!", about the P-47 pilots, and in there they say the average number was about 400 hours for the P-47s. Figuring similar for the bombers that time is still low, but when it's hard core training the whole time, it makes a bit more sense.

    The book goes on to say that the two things that really helped the air battle against the Germans were the more highly skilled pilots (German pilots were apparently ~150 hours out of school), and the fact that Americans could produce airplanes substantially faster than the Germans could.

    The more I learn about World War II history, the more it fascinates me.
     
  16. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Messages:
    42,554
    Location:
    Variable, but somewhere on earth
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iBazinga!
    So how did they control the nose wheel during steering? With all the throttles on the left of the pilot's seat I did not see a typical tiller. Did the B29 use the rudders to steer while on the ground?
     
  17. AWACSEng

    AWACSEng Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,065
    Location:
    Maryland
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill
    IIRC, the B-29 has a free-castering nose wheel. All differential braking I guess.
     
  18. Keith Lane

    Keith Lane Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,637
    Location:
    Conyers, Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Keith Lane
    True. The B-29 did have a free castering nosewheel. I worked at Lockheed -Georgia for 5 years, and since Bell Aircraft manufactured the B-29 there, there is a lot of historical info/pictures there.