I did search for this in the forums first, and although it answered some of my questions, it also confused me a bit!
What exactly did flight engineers do, were they there just to monitor the systems, or could they swap with pilots like the relief pilots do nowerdays?
Were they pilots, as in you started off as an F/E then moved up to F/O before captaincy?
Or were they the kind of engineers that are only on the ground nowerdays?
Finally its a stupid question, but was it better haveing an F/E when you were flying, not only as being another person to help fly, but also as another person to talk to instead of there just being they two of you? As I think that if I was a pilot then I would like more than 2 people for hours at a time!
And how come if from the 70's or 60's (please tell me which one) 737 classics could fly without engineers, were they still in later 707s, 727s and 747 classics, did they just not want to change the design?
Also people in other posts I have read mention professional flight engineers, so what is that, and how is it different from a lay one (is that the right term)?
Thanks for any answers you can give! Or any more questions that provide more information!