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HOW COME ? Placement of Controls in Aircraft

Started by SteveZ , Dec 17 2016 03:21 AM

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#1 SteveZ

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:21 AM

Heres a simple question that Ive often wondered about for years. Ever notice that when it came to the old internal combustion engines of years past, the Army Air Force and US Navy had very different approaches as to where the THROTTLE and MIXTURE CONTROLS were placed in multi engine aircraft.


NAVY placed the throttles above the center console and the AIR CORPS placed theirs lower in the console between the pilot and co pilot which is common today.


For you experts out there that may know what the aircraft designers were thinking back in that era, why the two different approaches to the throttle control design ??


Ive asked a few old timer aircraft mechanics, ( all Navy mind you ) and the question never came up before.


LOL !  I know its a dumb question but nobody seems to really know.  HOW COME ??

#2 FtrPlt

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 08:08 AM

I suspect location was probably never specified so the aircraft manufacturers just put them where they felt appropriate. 

#3 Bluehawk

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 08:14 AM

I never noticed that, but, who knows, may be true.


The service branches often do stipulate design specs, especially for platforms (e.g. F-18 etc) used by more than one of them, more common today that during the recip-era one would imagine, if memory serves.

#4 lambo35

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 09:07 PM

I wonder if there is a relationship between wing placement [high-mid-low] and throttle control placement on multi-engine aircraft. Maybe to keep the cable/lever bending to a minimum?



#5 Maj. McRoy

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 06:43 PM

Throttle and related controls are commonly placed in relation to the wing position. High wing types had them overhead, and low wing types on the console. This was done in consideration of rigging and cable runs.

Strange but true... The B-17's odd looking throttles were adapted from an existing overhead configuration of a Boeing seaplane. They were used on the B-17 inverted from their original design.  

#6 lambo35

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 05:02 PM

Maj. Mc, thanx. That makes sense. The Grumman Goose, Catalina Airlines, I flew to Catalina Island on [rt.hand copilot seat] had overhead [high] throttle controls. Landing on water was a great experience. We took off from Long Beach, Ca., home of Douglas Aircraft.



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