I am making a down-to-the-1/128th-inch (literally, to the 1/128th inch) model of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress in SketchUp. Starting from zero, I had to make the entire plane up, and to be honest it looks exactly like the real thing at this point. I went down to copying every detail in even the dials and switches and levers, and realized something.
I saw that the pilot can control each of the 4 engines independently. Now, that isn't exactly the problem. The problem, is that the Pilot, "Second Pilot", and Flight Engineer can all control each of the 4 engines. And I can't figure out how that's supposed to work! I mean, can the flight engineer just turn up the throttle whenever? But what if the Pilot is going to speed up so that he/she can reach a higher altitude, but the flight engineer doesn't know that and so he turns the throttle down to decrease engine heat because the cowl flaps are at max degrees for stable flight?
Then there's the issue: If the flight engineer turns the throttle down at the same time that the pilot turns it up, what will the engines do? And I doubt the pilot would speak his every move to the "Second Pilot" and the Flight Engineer to prevent a mix-up. So, does the Flight engineer have to literally request permission and state his/her reasoning to the Pilot before changing the throttle?
And then I thought some more, and realized that the "Second Pilot" also has a "steering wheel", which I know for a fact that other co-pilots have in other planes, but I never knew why. The Pilot can handle the plane's steering by himself/herself, can't they? And even if they couldn't, giving the "Second Pilot" a steering wheel too... well, I can't see how that fixes anything. And if the "Second Pilot" turns the steering wheel at the same time that the pilot does, what does the plane do?
Same thing for the pedals I realized that the Pilot and "Second Pilot" both have. It makes no sense. I get that the "Second Pilot" could take control of the plane if needed because of these duplicate control instruments, but what would happen if they were (accidentally) used a the same time as another? And I also don't get why the Flight Engineer would need to be able to change the throttle. The Flight Engineer literally sits in the opposite direction of the front windows, so it isn't like Boeing wanted the Flight Engineer to be able to fly the plane.
Any suggestions would be very helpful. And, sorry about the gigantic question.