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Attitude Indicator Essay

1011 words - 5 pages

Attitude Indicator
(Artificial Horizon)

The Attitude Indicator shows rotation about both the longitudinal axis to indicate the degree of bank, and about the lateral axis to indicate pitch (nose up, level or nose down). It utilizes the rigidity characteristic of the gyro. It is gimballed to permit rotation about the lateral axis indicating pitch attitude, and about the longitudinal axis to indicate roll attitude. Once powered up, the indicator is maintain in a fixed position no matter what the aircraft attitude may be.
There is also an adjustment knob used to adjust the wings up or down to align with the horizon bar. This allows adjustment to the height of the pilot. Preferably, ...view middle of the document...

When the pitch or bank attitude of the aircraft changes, the miniature aircraft, being fixed to the case, moves with it. These movements of the instrument case with respect to the gyro are shown on the face of the instrument as pitch and bank attitude changes of the miniature aircraft with respect to the horizon bar. Air is sucked through the filter, then through passages in the rear pivot and inner gimbal ring, then into the housing, where it is directed against the rotor vanes through two openings on opposite sides of the rotor. The air then passes through four equally spaced ports in the lower part of the rotor housing and is sucked out into the vacuum pump or venturi tube.
The chamber containing the ports is the erecting device that returns the spin axis to its vertical alignment whenever a precessing force, such as friction, displaces the rotor from its horizontal plane. The four exhaust ports are each half-covered by a pendulous vane, which allows discharge of equal volumes of air through each port when the rotor is properly erected. Any tilting of the rotor disturbs the total balance of the pendulous vanes, tending to close one vane of an opposite pair while the opposite vane opens a corresponding amount. The increase in air volume through the opening port exerts a precessing force on the rotor housing to erect the gyro, and the pendulous vanes return to a balanced condition.
Errors in the presented on the attitude indicator will result from any factor that prevents the vacuum system from operating within the suction limits, or from any force that disturbs the free rotation of the gyro at design speed. Some errors are caused by manufacturing and maintenance. These include poorly balanced components, clogged filters, improperly adjusted valves, and pump malfunction. Such errors can be minimized by proper inspection. 
Other errors, are caused by friction and worn parts. These errors, resulting in erratic precession and failure of the instrument to maintain...

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