Q:

# How does a gyroscope function in a helicopter?

A:

A helicopter gyroscope serves to limit the left and right motion, or yaw, of the helicopter tail. This helps to keep the helicopter balanced and prevent it from spinning out of control. The motion is detected by a magnetic sensor and is sent to the tail rotor. Modern radio-controlled helicopters use crystal yaw detectors or non-mechanical gyros to balance the tail and preserve battery power.

## Keep Learning

Credit: Check-in London CC-BY-2.0

Radio-controlled helicopters require a yaw control section because the reactive torque is constantly changing. Any change in the engine speed or rotor blades can cause the helicopter to become unbalanced and spin out of control. The gyroscope manages these changes and keeps the helicopter flying with minimal difficulty. Flying a radio-controlled helicopter without a gyroscope requires copious amounts of effort and can take the fun out of flying.

As of 2014, the gyroscopes found in radio-controlled helicopters are actually accelerometers. They create a signal during acceleration that becomes stronger as acceleration increases. The accelerometers produce the same results as the original gyroscopes, but they create the results in a different way. They are much smaller and use less battery power than the original gyroscopes. This type of gyroscope is known as the MEMS, or micro electric-mechanical system, gyroscope.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A: Uniform motion describes an object that is moving in a specific direction at a constant speed. While uniform motion typically describes objects moving in a... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: Friction is a force that tends to stop motion or resist the motion of objects. Friction is always a negative force, which means it acts in a direction oppo... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: In their school science classes, students learn about Isaac Newton's laws of motion and his work on understanding gravity. Students in history classes may ... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: Objects that are not moving have potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy to enable motion, according to LiveScience. Potential energy become... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
PEOPLE SEARCH FOR