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Aerobatics and Gyroscope Response

To manufacturers’ satisfaction, aerobatics, berlin doner and the g-loads connected with them have little to no effect on the lifespan of running gyros so long as they are free or uncaged throughout these manoeuvres. Due to the massive angular momentum of the spinning mass and the consequent quadrature forces, locking the gyros in a caged position during these motions may harm the spin bearings and/or gimbal bearings. The gyro should be uncaged for aerobatic manoeuvres and recaged for level flight.

Gyroscope, aerobatics Response

The rotor of a directional gyro can be easily hoisted onto a horizontal plane and aligned with the magnetic compass by using the gyro’s caging capability. If the pilot encounters a spinning heading card while doing aerobatic manoeuvres, he or she can stop the card’s rotation by pulling the caging knob aerobatics. Pull the caging knob until the plane is flying straight and level again, then line up the heading card with the compass needle.

Most horizontal aerobatics gyros, if they don’t have a caging mechanism, will allow for a full 360 degrees of roll and around +/-85 degrees of pitch. The precise pitch and roll information is maintained even after complete revolutions thanks to controlled precession. During the vast majority of aerobatic manoeuvres, the Horizon Gyro can be relied on to remain upright (with its spin axis aligned to the dynamic vertical) and offer accurate pitch and roll references. However, the Horizon Gyro could “spin out” if you perform any of the following manoeuvres. The major drawback is that the Horizon Gyro may not be fully formed and provide accurate pitch and roll data for 10-20 minutes of level flight.

If the Horizon Gyro rolls during an aerobatics performance, the pilot only needs to pull the caging knob to realign the gyro rotor with a vertical reference and return to level flying (*with the Earth’s horizon serving as a reference). Depending on how well the pilot aligns his aircraft with level flight during the caging procedure, the gyro indication could be off by a few degrees; however, the pilot would still have access to useful pitch and roll information, and the slight error would be corrected by the internal erecting system in 2 or 3 minutes.

*Aerobatic manoeuvres are prohibited except under visual flight rules when the horizon is clearly visible.


Hello, I’m Jerry Bishop, and I fly privately and fix old aerobatics. I have been a designer for aircraft instrumentation for 45 years (gyros, vacuum pumps, and engine instruments). Spend some time at Pilot One, and then head on over to Jerry’s Hangar for more info, images, and anecdotes about piloting. I enjoy reading web publications to expand my knowledge about aeroplanes.


As a content strategist and marketer, I help companies reach their target audiences through compelling stories and powerful marketing techniques. My experience ranges from developing long-form blog posts to crafting tailored email campaigns. I've also worked as an editor for a magazine, which has given me the skills to understand complex writing structures and how to craft engaging content that resonates with readers.

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