We’ve now put 100+ hours on the RV and it was time for a little more maintenance. We’ve been making notes of things that needed a little attention and we’re now looking into those. For example, our DG (Directional Gyroscope) used to hold its heading fairly reliably, but recently it’s been loosing its heading at a rate that surprised us. We’ve therefore taken it out to have it worked on. Of course, before we have a professional fix it, I had to play with it myself. Below, you’ll find three videos of me playing with the gyro.
In the second video what you’ll notice is that as I apply a constant force to the base of the gyroscope it rotates counteracting that force of mine and does not move. Then as the axis of the gyro becomes coaxial with the axis I’m applying the torque about the gyro freely rotates. This gyro has limits on it to prevent itself from reaching, or passing that singularity because it becomes useless at those attitudes. Furthermore, it re-centers itself such that its rotational axis is in the “horizontal” plane when you push the knob in to either adjust the heading, or simply to re-center it. This is an important note because all gyros drift and if it did not re-center itself every time you adjusted it it could easily wind up with its axis of rotation about your yaw axis of rotation (ie the world’s N,S,E,W reference frame) at which point it would prove useless. Keep in mind that the base that I’m applying torques to is connected to the heading plate in the gyroscope that rotates and indicates the heading to the pilot. With that in mind the videos should make a lot more sense.