What are switchpacks and engineers throttles?


'Not a new member'
Was reading about someone modifying a 741 throttle to look like a 744 one, they said the engineers throttles had to be removed and switchpacks modifed, what the heck are those? Also I noticed on some aircraft they have 2 rows of handles, one for pilot and one for co-pilot, assumily both pilots needing to have their hands on the trottle at the same time, is this no longer a requirement and why? change of regs or what?



New Member
Sounds like someone's been looking at Matt Sheil's site (http://www.hyway.com.au/747/747.html). For those who don't know, Matt's a gent in Australia that's building himself a 744 sim.

At any rate, on 747's with the flight engineer position, one of the FE's jobs was to trim the throttles (similar to what the FADEC does on newer engines) so they produced equal thrust. Essentially, as I understand it, the PF would set the throttles in roughly the correct position for takeoff, and the FE would then trim them out.

So, when simulating a 744, he needed to remove the engineer's handles as the autothrottle system automagically performs this.

Not sure about the switchpacks...


New Member
It might just be that the switches are in a different configuration. The only time I have seen AC with separate throttles for each pilot was when the console between the pilots was too wide for each to reach 1 set mounted in the middle.
Alot of the old AC had most of the engine controls on the FE panel. Especially the big piston transports. Managing 4 big radials was a full time job. This would have been less of a factor on a jet AC, but the earliest jets were pretty crude and probably needed more attention.