Gyro tips for airplanes - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:59 PM   #1
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Gyro tips for airplanes

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Posted this on another site. Figured I'd copy it here as well...

Having installed gyros in several planes (including jets), here are my tips:

Assign a switch to turn it on or off. If, dog forbid, it comes loose in the plane you will really, really, really want to be able to turn it off!

Verify, and verify again, the correction direction of the gyro. VERY important that you get this right. I've see the result of a gyro with reversed correction. It was not pretty. In fact, it resulted in the loss of the airframe, there was not enough time to turn off the gyro.

For dialing in the gyro, use a knob. Start with zero gain and go fly. During the flight, slowly add gain until it feels comfortable. Do this at maximum speed. If one of the axis starts to oscillate, back off the gain until it stops. Once you've found the gain you like, transfer that to a switch or flight mode. Do the same again for slow speed flight (landing set up.) You should be able to increase the gain for slow flight. Once again, when your happy with the gain setting, transfer it to a switch or flight mode.

If for some reason your plane starts to oscillate wildly as you gain speed (gain setting too high) the first thing you want to do is cut power and climb. This will scrub speed off so that you then have time to fumble for the switch to turn it off, land and figure out what the issue is. This actually happened to me with my first gyro on a jet. I inadvertently screwed up a mix and took off with 100% gain. Got the jet back and landed.

Understand the difference between rate mode and heading hold mode. They do very different things. I have not used heading hold mode, as I fly fast movers, but I understand that it can be quite useful in aerobatic planes. Most gyros allow you to switch between the two in flight (and with the help of a computer, some gyros can be configured to use a combination of both.)

Once you have the gyro gain figured out, you'll probably be able to reduce any exponential you may be using. Gyros tend to soften things at stick center on their own, reducing the need for exponential. You'll have to feel this out over several flights.

Have fun!
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Old 08-01-2016, 01:11 PM   #2
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Re: Gyro tips for airplanes

Not a gyro guy yet but very good info.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:00 PM   #3
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Re: Gyro tips for airplanes

I did use a rate gyro on a Top flite giant scale corsair. It certainly helped with keeping things straight on taking off. Eventually I got everything figured out and removed it. Now just need a Gyro to help with landing these warbirds.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:12 PM   #4
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Re: Gyro tips for airplanes

Rate mode will correct for wind and unwanted coupling or bad habits, it will also make a smaller model feel "bigger". A badly setup dual elevator will be less visible with a rate gyro.

Heading hold will try to maintain the current attitude of the aircraft , technically you could do a slow roll with only aileron input or hover hands off.

I have flown igyro's and cortex's in both modes I like rate mode, cannot fly in heading hold mode find it really weird.
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Old 08-01-2016, 05:46 PM   #5
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Re: Gyro tips for airplanes

Thanks for those tips! A couple of them are new to me, but they make perfect sense.

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