As I understand, the standard procedure for advancing the throttle (for take-off) is as follows:

  1. Advance throttle to desired engine input & output (N1 & N2)
  2. Release brakes
  3. Gradually increase the throttle to maximum
  4. Throughout steps 1-3 either the pilot or the co-pilot control the throttle but not both

However, in this video of a B-52 we see a rather strange way of controlling the throttle. Starting at 0:44 the pilot and co-pilot take turns advancing the throttle in an inside-out manner. What is the reason behind this? Is there really a standard procedure for advancing throttle? Or does it vary based on the aircraft?

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Note: Below is valid for applying takeoff thrust (part of the question), but it's now evident it wasn't the takeoff being shown in the video. Refer to OSUZorba's answer.

According to the video description, that B-52 belongs to the 2d Bomb Wing, which operates the B-52H variant.

According to the declassified B-52H manual, the pilot flying should advance all the levers "deliberately and evenly" to the thrust gate. The thrust gate is adjusted prior to takeoff, usually by the copilot, to limit the levers to the set takeoff power setting.

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(15) Thrust gate

Initial reference to EPR (Engine Pressure Ratio) is not required. The pilot not flying then adjusts the proper EPR setting for each lever. So the standard procedure is close to what you have in mind.

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(Click to view full page)


The video shows the pilots starting the engines. The typical engine start procedure on the B-52, either engine number 4 or 5 is started first. This video shows them starting engine number 5 first. Once number 5 is running, you cross bleed air to engine 4, starting it. Once number 4 and 5 have stabilized at idle for 2 minutes, the other engines can be started. This crew chose to start 3 and 6, then 7&8 and 1&2 together.

The full engine start procedure starts on page 2-41 of the flight manual, T.O. 1B-52H-1, found here: http://www.avialogs.com/viewer/avialogs-documentviewer.php?id=15888

At the beginning of the video you can see all eight throttles are pulled back to the cutoff position and all the engine gauges (middle of instrument panel) are on their bottom pegs. Later during the takeoff roll, you can see that all the engine gauges are alive.

In this video you can see that all eight throttles are controlled in unison once the engines are started.

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    $\begingroup$ But starting the engines and advancing the throttles are not the same. $\endgroup$ – user7241 Dec 8 '17 at 5:58
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    $\begingroup$ @jjack you must advance the throttles to start the engines, per the procedure given in T.O. 1B-52H-1. Throttles pulled all the way back are in a cutoff position that actually closes both fuel shutoff valves (spar and engine). Throttle is advanced up to a certain percentage for engine lighting then advanced to help start the engine. The throttles are advanced further to increase bleed air production for starting the remaining engines. These aren't modern engines that start automatically through FADEC control. $\endgroup$ – OSUZorba Dec 8 '17 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ That makes sense. $\endgroup$ – user7241 Dec 8 '17 at 18:56

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