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RC Helicopter Gyro Explained

I recently bought a RC Helicopter - a Falcon 8911 4-Channel  RC with a built-in Gyroscope (Gyro for short). It's the first time I've seen a 4-Channel RC helicopter, let alone a one with a gyro, in the Sri Lankan market. The heli was pretty good, although I still need more 'flight training'.

I will do a separate post on my heli ;)
The thing that interested me most is the gyroscope. I knew the basic concept of a gyroscope but didn't know how it applied to helicopters. So I did a little research on the internet and found out a lot about gyros. To others who are interested, here's what I've learned.

First of all, what is a gyro? A gyroscope is a device for measuring or maintaining orientation (a.k.a. angular position). The most basic is the mechanical gyro. A mechanical gyro is essentially a wheel spinning at a high rated speed and whose axle is free to take any orientation. Based on the principles of conservation of angular momentum, the orientation of the axle remains nearly fixed, regardless of any motion of the platform on which it is mounted.
A mechanical gyro at work

Apart from the mechanical gyro, there are other types of gyros that are based on several other operation principles. These include solid state Ring Laser Gyroscopes, Fiber Optic Gyroscopes and super sensitive Quantum Gyroscopes (I wont go in to detail about these because they're bit complicated to explain. If you like to know about them leave a comment and I'll try to do a post on then too)

The most common type of gyro used today is the piezoelectric gyroscope, which is a type of vibrating structure gyroscope (a.k.a. Coriolis vibratory gyro). These works on the principle of 'a vibrating object tends to continue vibrating in the same plane as its support rotates'. Piezo gyros are found in many consumer electronic devices because of their small size. These include model aircrafts, computer pointing devices, mobile phones (e.g. iPhone), game controllers (e.g. Wii Remote), etc.

Lets see how they work with model aircrafts in the next post :)



  1. I would really appreciate it if you could include pointers to some of your sources in a post specially where additional information could be of help to the readers Timi.

  2. I added some reference links bro. I hope they help those who are interested to learn more :)

  3. there are gyroscope compasses aboard ships in addition to magnetic compasses


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