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  1. #1

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    Airplane rudder gyro

    I have an uncontrolable WW1 triplane. Due to the scale landing gear which is well in front of the ballance point, I can't control takeoffs. I would like to install a gyro on the rudder for ground handleing.

    Will the GY401 work for this application? Also, can I use a non digitial servo with the GY401. I have a 9202 installed.

    After the airplane takes off, I have no further use for the gyro. Can I some how shut it off after take off?

    I called Futaba tech support and they said "get a GY611". I don't want to spend $370 if the GY401 will work.

    I have never used a gyro and have six other WW1 tail draggers that I have no problems with on take offs. Any help is appriciated.


  2. #2
    bobferguson's Avatar
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    I have a plane called a NewBee which I had trouble on takeoffs. I installed a GWS PG-03. Very cheap. It works great my plane go straight do the field now. I can't shut the gyro off but I thinks help the plane fly. I don't do any fancy flying so the gryo never gets in my way.

    ORIGINAL: jjmretired

    I have an uncontrolable WW1 triplane. Due to the scale landing gear which is well in front of the ballance point, I can't control takeoffs. I would like to install a gyro on the rudder for ground handleing.

    Will the GY401 work for this application? Also, can I use a non digitial servo with the GY401. I have a 9202 installed.

    After the airplane takes off, I have no further use for the gyro. Can I some how shut it off after take off?

    I called Futaba tech support and they said "get a GY611". I don't want to spend $370 if the GY401 will work.

    I have never used a gyro and have six other WW1 tail draggers that I have no problems with on take offs. Any help is appriciated.

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  3. #3
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Futaba doesn't really have an airplane gyro that's currently available. You can use the GY401, but you'd want to have it in heading-hold mode for takeoff, and then flip the switch to have it in regular mode with low gain. That could possibly help your takeoffs and then be as close to being turned off when you flip the switch to take it out of heading-hold mode.

    This may work out, but we can't be sure. Heli needs are different from airplane needs.
    Bill Baxter, Manager Hobby Services/Futaba Service/North America
    3002 N. Apollo Dr. Ste. 1 Champaign, IL 61822 USA
    Service Phone: 217 398-0007
    Email: hobbyservices@hobbico.com

  4. #4

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    I am using the GY401 on a Hangar 9 Twist with the medium-torque Futaba digital S3050 servo on the rudder and it works great. Also, I am using a 7CAP airplane transmitter.

    My settings: Switch E mapped to Channel 7
    Sub trim and Dual rates on the rudder channel 4 are 0% and 100% respectively.
    Set the End point adjustment on Channel 7 on the left to be 75% and 1% on the right.
    Set the travel limit using the gyro pot and not the end point or dual rate setting. In other words, if the rudder needs to move another 10 degrees at full transmitter deflection, turn the little travel limit gyro pot to get what you want.

    The heading hold mode is Switch E on and always turn on the transmitter with HH mode on. Don't move the airplane for 3-4 seconds to let the gyro initialize. If you can see the gyro the solid red LED is on when in HH mode. Then, turn off HH mode by switching switch E. Carry the plane to the flight line and, when it's lined up with the runway heading you want, switch back to HH mode and wait 3-4 seconds while the gyro initializes. Then move the rudder stick back and forth a couple of times and then center it. Don't forget this last step or the rudder may have an offset.

    After takeoff (or if you get into trouble) turn switch E off and you are back to regular rudder control.

    What I use the gyro for is on rudder for 3d Hovering and torque rolls. I take off in with switch E off and turn it on in flight when I'm ready for some 3D. Then I move the rudder back and forth a couple of times before going vertical and center the aircraft. This enables me to concentrate on engine, ailerons and elevator without having to worry too much about the rudder. When it falls out or I end the manuever I effectively turn off the gyro by switching switch E to off. By effectively I mean turning the rate gyro part off because I only have 1% gain set in the end point adjustment for channel 7.

    How I learned to do this was I built a small rudder and horizontal stab on a piece of 1/4" plywood and experimented. Before you fly make sure that Switch E turns off the gyro and turn the plane to ensure rudder only moves when commanded by the transmitter and centers when you are hands off. When the switch is on make sure the rudder turns in the direction of the turn (or more accurately a left turn generates a right turn rudder position). Also, with switch E on, the rudder will not go back to neutral until the plane returns to the start position or you move the rudder back to neutral with the transmitter.

    Works great and you don't need the S9254 expensive servo on an airplane. In fact you can use a non-digital servo but remember to switch DS (digital servo) off on the Gyro or, according to the manual, you will ruin your non-digital servo.

    Good Luck!
    hankhamner@verizon.net

  5. #5
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Wow Hank! This is an extremely timely post. A good friend (Gremlin Castle on RCU) bought a GY401 this week for use on his big DC-3. I ordered one for use on my 1/3 scale Bucker Jungmeister. As you probably know there is very little information out there on airplanes in comparison to helicopters.

    I probably have at least 60 flights on my Jungie but I've always toyed with the idea of installing a rudder gyro in it because like jjmretired's plane the gear is really forward and any amount of cross wind (common here in Texas) wants to make it weather vane pretty strongly. Of course adding the right amount of rudder is the key. I often get too much or too little. I don't have this problem with the other gassers that I fly. I am using a single Hitec HS-635HB in pull-pull on the rudder.

    You said: "Then, turn off HH mode by switching switch E. Carry the plane to the flight line and, when it's lined up with the runway heading you want, switch back to HH mode and wait 3-4 seconds while the gyro initializes. Then move the rudder stick back and forth a couple of times and then center it. Don't forget this last step or the rudder may have an offset."

    It is not really practical for me to carry a 27# plane out to the runway with the engine running and place it in position for takeoff. It would seem to me that once you initialized the gyro in AVCS mode you could taxi out, using the rudder stick, and line up with the direction that you expected the AVCS to hold without waiting the 3-4 seconds and moving the rudder stick back and forth. Am I wrong in understanding that the AVCS constantly updates the desired direction as the rudder comes back to neutral?

    You said: "After takeoff (or if you get into trouble) turn switch E off and you are back to regular rudder control.

    What I use the gyro for is on rudder for 3d Hovering and torque rolls. I take off in with switch E off and turn it on in flight when I'm ready for some 3D. Then I move the rudder back and forth a couple of times before going vertical and center the aircraft."
    Do you take off with the AVCS on or off? These two statements seem to conflict. Are you saying that the gyro has to be initialized before you pull up into a hover? Does the gyro have to go through an initialization process every time you move the switch from normal to AVCS? I thought that I understood that the initialization only took place one time during a flight when the receiver was turned on after the transmitter had been turned on with the switch in the AVCS mode. Right/wrong?

    At this point my only intention in using the AVCS is for takeoff.

    Thanks a lot for your help Hank, I'm in the learning mode at this time.


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    Ken
    WACO Brotherhood #70, Arlington TX home of the Dallas Cowboys, SupBowl45, Texas Rangers, World Series 2010, 2011

  6. #6
    Edgar Perez's Avatar
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    I use that gyro for the nose steering in turbine jets with great results. Never used it in heading hold
    Edgar Perez
    Puerto Rico

  7. #7
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Thanks Edgar. What transmitter do you use and what is the sensitivity set for on the normal (rate) mode?
    Ken
    WACO Brotherhood #70, Arlington TX home of the Dallas Cowboys, SupBowl45, Texas Rangers, World Series 2010, 2011

  8. #8

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Hi Big Bird!

    Sorry for the confusion and I probably made this too complicated.

    The most important thing is to turn on the transmitter with the switch on the heading hold setting (LED fully lit on the top of the gyro). Then, after three or four seconds you can taxi it out in either mode but, if it were me, I'd taxi with the HH mode off. Otherwise you will get some jerky movements. When you are ready for take off put in heading hold mode, move the rudder left and right and then center it. If you don't move the rudder back and forth before centering the gain seems to be lower than normal so I recommend moving the rudder quickly back and forth before moving it to center. When taking off in HH mode you can use the rudder to correct for small alignment issues but it's better on a squirly plane to let the gyro handle as much of the takeoff as possible. Taking off on a wide grass strip would be the safest until you know how your plane/gyro combination works.

    I take off with the AVCS (HH mode) off. I turn it on in flight and let the gyro initialize 3 seconds. Experiment with this as it may not be necessary but I know it works with the 3 second delay. Next time I fly I'll see what effect not initializing has, if any.

    Let me know how it works for you. To get more confident in the gyro, you may want to set up the gyro in an inexpensive plane and experiment. It works a lot better than my JR G500A rate gyro for 3D. As you know the rate gyro will not hold a heading. If you move it for 1 second and 30 degrees the rate gyro will move the opposite direction for 1 second and a 30 degree offset. In 100% calm wind this works okay but not for the winds in Texas. The HH gyro will keep the rudder 30% offset until it moves back to center.

    Final word. The GY401 does not like JR digital servos and, if using non-digital servos, don't forget to switch the DS (Digital Servo) toggle on the Gyro off. I'm not sure how to set up a JR Digital servo - I don't think I'd risk it without finding out for sure or you may ruin a nice servo.

    Good luck!


  9. #9
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    hlhamner, thanks a lot.

    I will be using a Hitec HS-635HB analog servo. Seems like this gyro will do just what I want. I do have a cheap junker that I can fly it in before I put it in the Jungie. However, I built a super cheap simulator that I can put it through it's paces on. Here is a photo.
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    Ken
    WACO Brotherhood #70, Arlington TX home of the Dallas Cowboys, SupBowl45, Texas Rangers, World Series 2010, 2011

  10. #10

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Nice simulator. Looks like the one I built except mine had a ply bottom and balsa stab and rudder.

    Let me know how it works out for you. It seems very few people are using gyros outside of the Heli crowd.

    Hank

  11. #11
    Big_Bird's Avatar
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Thanks Hank,

    I have several other gassers that handle fine in a cross wind but the Jungie is a special case. I hope to have the gyro in it and checked out before I go back down to Bomber Field in September. I'll let you know how it works out.
    Ken
    WACO Brotherhood #70, Arlington TX home of the Dallas Cowboys, SupBowl45, Texas Rangers, World Series 2010, 2011

  12. #12

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    JR makes a gyro for airplanes with very good instructions. It can be used with Futaba and Airtronics. G500A. www.jrradios.com/ProdInfo/Files/JRG500Agyro.pdf I don't understand why Futaba does'nt at least give some instructions on airplane set up for their gyros. Attatched is my hard to taxi Nieuport Triplane. Jay
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  13. #13

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Hi Jim,

    I also use the JR G500A rate gyro in my Hangar 9 Showtime 90 and it works fine. Being a rate gyro it will not perform like a good heading hold gyro like the Futaba GY401. The G500T is the JR heading hold Heli gyro and probably as good as the Futaba GY401 but I've never used it.

    As you know when you move the tail on an airplane equipped with a rate gyro the rudder will try to correct and then go back to center even with the tail has moved from the original heading. The heading hold gyro will not return to neutral automatically unless the airplane returns to the original heading. This is a big difference and why heading hold gyros work for take offs of jets and other scale airplanes where the rate gyros won't.

    Don't be too hard on Futaba's instruction writing. The instruction's for the JR G500A leave a lot to be desired also.

    It must be nice to be retired and get to fly when you want.

    Hank

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    It is. One or two flights then two hours of B.S. Then lunch.

  15. #15
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    jjmretired, that is a great looking triplane. Needs a pilot though.

    As you said Hank "It must be nice to be retired and get to fly when you want." You are so right. I retired at 57 in 1999 when the company made me a great offer that I couldn't refuse. I then went back to work for them as a Process Control Consultant for about 3 years and then really retired.

    There is very little information on gyro setup for airplanes. There was a pretty good write up in the Futaba GYA350 manual that is here. http://manuals.hobbico.com/fut/gya350-manual.pdf Unfortunately Futaba discontinued the GYA350. It was in the same price range as the 401. In this manual it says to absolutely not use AVCS mode for takeoff. And I have read here and other places to use AVCS for takeoff. Hank I know that you takeoff with the AVCS (HH mode) off but have you ever made a takeoff with the AVCS (HH mode) on? How did it work?
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    Ken
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  16. #16

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Jim,

    I have not used heading hold for takeoffs because I've only used the gyro for 3D. However, if you go to the Jet forums you will find many jet pilots use HH gyros for takeoffs to keep their aircraft from getting away from them. Below is an excerpt from Futaba's web site:

    http://www.futabarc.com/faq/faq-gyros.html#q340

    Lastly, gyros are extremely popular on the rudder of scale aircraft, especially complex nostalgic aircraft which are notorious for difficult ground handling. In this case many modelers DO use a heading lock gyro or AVCS (heading hold) mode in a switchable gyro, but then turn off the heading lock feature the moment the model breaks ground. This way the model will literally track perfectly straight with no rudder input from the pilot whatsoever.

    I'll try my Twist, a tail dragger, in HH mode for takeoffs and will let you know. Remember, if it is set up properly and you have the gain set wrong the tail may wag. Again, if you can always turn the gyro off by flipping a switch and then lower the gain before the next takeoff.

    Hank

  17. #17

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    The reason there is no pilot is his seat was taken by the gyro for the first flight. He now has his seat back and the gyro was moved forward. My wife holds the triplane, I rev the engine up, she turns loose and it's off the ground in 50' The gyro along with the prop blast on the rudder holds it straight as an arrow. Jay P.S. She's going to love this picture going on the internet.
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  18. #18

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Jay,

    Great looking airplane!

    I'd have to promise my wife the moon before she would come to my flying field much less help in holding me airplane for take off.

    Hank

  19. #19

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    I used a Futaba GY-401 gyro on a couple of airplanes that I have. I always use it to control the rudder and matched it with a Futaba digital servo. It makes for easy ground handling during takeoff. It also makes ground handling during landing easier (switch it on AFTER you touch down). On a 3D airplane, it can also be used for rudder control during hover.

    The most important item to remember about using gyros on an airplane is to be able to disable the gyro easy and fast. I got into trouble once when the rudder controlling AVCS gyro was accidentally enabled during flight. This caused the rudder to move to full deflection during an aileron turn, which causes a hard stall and spin in a 3D aircraft. Since I did not know what was going on, I almost lost the airplane. Finally, I noticed that the gyro was enabled and I disabled it. Since then, I moved the gyro controlling switch on my 14MZAP to the trainer switch. That way, it was spring loaded and required me to hold the switch to enable the gyro. Now, I fly without any gyros simple because they are too dangerous.

    In summary, a rudder controlling gyro is fun and educational on an airplane, but only for a short while. I had quite a bit of fun learning about rudder controlling gyros and how they operate in an aircraft during various maneuvers (like Immelmans). However, in my opinion, they are too dangerous to be there in the airplane all the time. If they are enabled and the pilot is unaware, then you can easily lose an aircraft.

  20. #20

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro


    ORIGINAL: jjmretired

    I have an uncontrolable WW1 triplane. Due to the scale landing gear which is well in front of the ballance point, I can't control takeoffs. I would like to install a gyro on the rudder for ground handleing.

    Will the GY401 work for this application? Also, can I use a non digitial servo with the GY401. I have a 9202 installed.

    After the airplane takes off, I have no further use for the gyro. Can I some how shut it off after take off?

    I called Futaba tech support and they said "get a GY611". I don't want to spend $370 if the GY401 will work.

    I have never used a gyro and have six other WW1 tail draggers that I have no problems with on take offs. Any help is appriciated.

    Brand: Futaba
    Model number: GYA352
    Condition: 100% Brand New (MINT)
    Features:
    Two axis control type (X-axis/Y-axis) Two axis of aileron, elevator or rudder can be simultancously controlled by GYA352. (For aileron, always use X-axis)
    Built-in gyro mixing for Elevon/V-tail wing
    AVCS used forward, climb, descent, back, knife edge, and other flying attitudes are main tained even when the wind shifts. Therefore, since meeting rudder is almost completely unnecessary, flying is easy. At the same time, the gyro automatically corrects bad tendencies of the aircraft
    SMM gyro sensor
    Newly developed very low drift SMM (Silicon Micro Machine) gyro sensor practically eliminates trim changes during flight
    Remote gain and mode switching functions
    Remote gain function lets you switch the gyro gain from the transmitter. AVCS mode/Normal mode/Gyro OFF can also be switched from the transmitter
    Intergrated type, compact size, and light weight Compact size (43x30x30.5mm) and light weight (49.5g) have been achieved by the use of high density mounting technology
    Conductive resin case improves EMC resistance (electrostatic, electromagnetic wave interference) Ratings:

    Control system : Digital advanced PI(Proportional Integration) control
    Gyro sensor : SMM(Silicon Micro Machine) system vibration gyro
    Operating voltage : +4 to +6VDC
    Dimensions : 43 x 30 x 30.5mm
    Weight : 49.5g (including connector)
    Functions : Gyro operation direction switch, Mixing switch, Gyro gain trimmer, and Control gain trimmer

  21. #21

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    What are you asking for the GYA3652?

  22. #22

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    I don't have one for sale. I'd like to get one though. I purchased both of my GY 401's from http://www.neogl.com/ . I've had great dealings with them prices seeme good and shipping was cheap and fast.

    Here's the link to the actual product. http://www.neogl.com/shop/product_in...roducts_id=197

    I just may have to order one for my Showtime 50 we'll see. Wife will never notice..lol I hope my info helps

    Wilki

  23. #23

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Maybe one of these? I don't imagine that you need any thing too fancy for rudder control on take off - I'm sure the mini or micro could do the job - it's dependent on how you orient the gyro!!!

    http://www.ikarus-modellbau.de/onlin...alist&cnid=258

  24. #24
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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    It's too bad that Futaba has gotten out of the airplane specific gyro business all together. The only gyros that they now list, according to their web site, are the GY240 (HH only non switchable), GY401, and GY611 (for large helicopters). All the rest have been discontinued.

    jkhorvath, it seems that your scare was a pilot induced situation rather than the fault of the gyro. I can think of several times when I did something that scared me such as landing with the elevator on very low rate when I needed high rate. I have to pay very close attention when I am flying. Senior moments are not allowed during flight.

    My initial flights with the Jungmeister / gyro will be with the AVCS off and in normal mode (rate). If normal is sufficient then I may never try AVCS.

    $124 is the best price I found for a 401 and here is how I did it. Omni models has a special on until the end of August where they will give a $15 discount for orders $150 or more. The 401 was $139 and I added some odds and ends to make the total come up to $150. There is no shipping charge over $100 and no tax. http://www.omnimodels.com/

    Jay, I understand now about the pilot. I have a good friend with a 1/3 scale BUSA Fokker DVII. I kept complaining to him about no pilot until he put one in. It sure improved the appearance of the plane.


    Ken
    WACO Brotherhood #70, Arlington TX home of the Dallas Cowboys, SupBowl45, Texas Rangers, World Series 2010, 2011

  25. #25

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    RE: Airplane rudder gyro

    Ken, Here's Albert.
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