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When flying, it is of the utmost importance to transfer both cargo and passengers safely from one destination to the other. In order to complete such a task, flight instruments which rely on the gyroscope are implemented and used. Also commonly referred to as directional gyros, these components are a necessary and key feature in indicating the direction in which an aircraft is traveling. The operation of a gyroscope is also reliant on its rapid rotational movement, and aircraft depend on gyroscopic heading indicators for their precision and ability to bypass conditions that would otherwise compromise a typical compass.
Unlike a conventional compass, a directional gyro utilizes a gyroscope capable of resisting changes to its position. This allows for the component to perform tasks otherwise not achievable by a magnetic compass. Rotating at a speed upwards of 24,000 rotations per minute (RPM), a gyroscopic heading indicator relies on the principle of rigidity in space in order to perform its functionality. For such a component to conduct accurate measurements, it is implemented in part of a vacuum system. This allows for the internal rotor to be affixed to a compass card gear and rotated along a vertical plane. As both the rotor and the compass card are relative to the vertical plane of the gyro, the aircraft is capable of rotating while the gyroscope remains stationary, providing accurate readings along the indicator display heading in 5-degree increments.
Despite the precision in direction given by the heading indicator, additional fine-tuning is needed every 10-15 minutes in order to mitigate errors brought about by mechanical friction. If mechanical friction is not regulated and corrected, it can lead the component to recess, resulting in an inaccurate directional reading within the display. Like all items, there are also instances in which the directional indicator can potentially fail. With the primary cause of gyro issues originating as bearing failure, typical signs that one should always monitor for throughout flight operations include, but are not limited to, abnormal vibrations from the component and heading drift. Other factors to be aware of that may indicate gyro failure are: wear over a long duration of service time, long periods of flight inactivity, dirty air within the component as a direct result of a faulty or missing vacuum filter, vacuum pump failure resulting in the internal buildup of debris, and lastly, harsh landings.
To keep flight instruments such as your gyroscopic heading indicator properly functioning, it is imperative that these instruments undergo regular inspections alongside having proper storage when not used. For instance, if your aircraft will be stored for an unknown duration of time, the gyro will need to be activated every six months for a thirty-minute time window. This allows the bearings within the device to be rotated and lubricated, ensuring that it is ready for its next use. Before operations, or upon receiving a new gyro, it is best to undergo an initial inspection, followed by vacuum maintenance. Done individually, each vacuum and gyro filter will need to be inspected for debris buildup and any potential defects.
As aircraft technology continues to advance with new innovations and strategies, devices such as the gyroscope and heading indicator have allowed for pilots to overcome the limitations of older devices such as magnetic compasses. If there are new, used, obsolete, or hard-to-find parts you are searching for, don’t hesitate to contact us at ASAP Aero Supplies. To ensure the quality of our offered items, we subject everything to rigorous testing, inspection, and cross-referencing prior to shipment. Due to our unwavering efforts in maintaining an inventory of excellent quality components, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. Get started today with a personalized quote for your comparisons when you fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website.
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