Friday, 25 September 2009

Gyro back-up

I have been testing a back-up gyro for the last few days.

The eGyro is a fully portable, self-contained unit that provides attitude reference in case of failure of the primary instrument. It is powered by plugging in through the usual cigarette lighter socket, but battery power is an option.

The unit contains solid state gyros and accelerometers, and has no moving parts. No calibration is required, and according to the photocopied instructions that arrived with the unit, it only needs mounting with the right orientation. The unit will fit in the panel, but has no approval status (so homebuilt only). It can also be mounted, as here, by velcro.

I've only flown with it once so far, and after powering it up the unit self-aligned within a few seconds - in flight, however, it was very, very twitchy in pitch - so much so that it was necessary to mentally 'damp' the oscillations to gain any benefit.

I'll fly some more with it over the weekend to see if a different position will improve things. I shoud add that the black bar in this picture is a result of the photography, and when viewed without a digital SLR, the screen displays correctly.

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