Flight Engineer's Position

Between the copilot and the radio operator is the Flight Engineer's station. The B-29 was the first military aircraft with a special position dedicated to the function (previous aircraft like the B-17 had the flight engineer doing double duty, without a dedicated instrument/control panel) With the B-29's incredible complexity, someone to full-time manage the care and feeding of the flight systems was essential.

Flight Engineer's station

The picture above gives you an appreciation for the magnitude of this job. Please note these photos were taken in the summer of 2003 during reassembly of the aircraft, and many people were still working in the fuselage, so not all the switches are shown in the correct positions.

Flight Engineer's station from center aisle

Left side Flight Engineer's panel detail

Left detail against the fuselage (UV light knobs have been removed for restoration)