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Gyroscopic Flight Instruments

Gyroscopic Flight Instruments

  • Several fl ight instruments utilize the properties of a gyroscope for their operation. The most common instruments containing gyroscopes are the turn coordinator, heading indicator, and attitude indicator.
  • Understanding how these instruments operate requires knowledge of the instrument power systems, gyroscopic principles, and the operating principles of each instrument.
  • Gyroscopic Principles
  • Any spinning object exhibits gyroscopic properties. A wheel or rotor designed and mounted to utilize these properties is called a gyroscope.
  • Two important design characteristics of an instrument gyro are great weight for its size, or high density, and rotation at high speed with low friction bearings.
  • There are two general types of mountings; the type used depends upon which property of the gyro is utilized.
  •  A freely or universally mounted gyroscope is free to rotate in any direction about its center of gravity. Such a wheel is said to have three planes of freedom.
  •  The wheel or rotor is free to rotate in any plane in relation to the base and is balanced so
  • that, with the gyro wheel at rest, it remains in the position in which it is placed.
  •  Restricted or semi-rigidly mounted gyroscopes are those mounted so that one of the planes of
  • freedom is held fi xed in relation to the base.
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