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Gyro’s, in planes, good or bad? Futaba’s latest Gyro GY533

Another article from Steve. This time he’s got his hands on the new Futaba GY533 gyro, which he has tested in a plane, yes a plane!

Enjoy the article below, Matt

GYRO`S……….. IN PLANES …….GOOD OR BAD ……….futaba latest GYRO.GY533

A topic that was not really my cup of tea however, when futaba released the gy553 gyro I thought “hey why not take a look”.

When I was flying my helicopters many moons ago a good gyro was a massive benefit to a helicopter, so what does a gyro bring too fixed wing flying?

I will say now this is all based on the futaba gyro. I know there are several different makes on the market at the present time. Using a futaba transmitter has benefits with futaba`s new gyro also , the transmitter I have used this on is the futaba 16iz radio a medium priced transmitter with all the latest hook up`s with this gyro.

Let’s look at what this gyro can offer the fixed wing flyer.

Futaba GYA 553 Gyro

3 independent setting for the gyro and a recovery mode. wow, this little unit can do all this (this gyro works with futaba sbus only ). I guess that’s the biggest downside if you do not use futabas tx`s and rx`s. However lets push on.

The instructions are a bit confusing so a good friend (Paul Hyme) was consulted on the set up. Even better news is you can plug the gyro into the futaba 16iz and do a direct programme. This made life a lot more simple and quicker to set up the gyro. The 16iz is the only Tx on the market that will do this function. However I am sure there  will be updates to the software for other futaba transmitters IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

So the little gyro was fitted and the correct orientation was set, very important that bit!!

Set the correct direction

The first gyro setting we have setup has been named flight 1, this basically has no gyro on , normal plane set up .

Flight 2 has the gyro on with around 50% gain on rudder, elevator and aileron. This will keep the model straight and level, compensating for the wind. This set up will give a little help without overriding the feel of the model.

Flight mode 3 is a higher gain setting and holds position. For example if you pull a 45 degree angle the model will hold this position. Put the model in knife edge position it will hold this position without any correction from the pilot. This setting does feel a little strange at first but it become a nice feel to the model.

I will say at this point the best results with any gyro will rely on a good fast servo with good torque and reliable cantering  , the gyro can only feedback information to the servos so if they are slow, the response will be slow!

A little nice touch to this gyro is recovery mode, this enables the model to return to level flight if you have a conflicting moment when trying a new manoeuvre, however if you are inches` from the ground then don’t rely on this, as the gyro does not sense height. It will not climb then relevel the aircraft it will only return the model back to level flight. I have tried this from many positions in flight  and it works fine.

So what do we gain from this little box of magic…..

To start with gyros are banned in f3a competitions so no real gain on this for me however it does open a new window on any model that may have a few niggly issues that the gyro can help with. Or if you want to learn a new manoeuvre it will help no end.

I have flown knife edge hands off and held the transmitter in the air for the length of the runway, so it is a great piece of tech from futaba .

Most jets flown now have gyro`s in them to aid cross wind landings and take offs in cross winds. I believe most of the Larger 3d aircraft also use gyros, so I believe it will become a norm in the modern pilot or even the older bolder pilots!

My next step was to reconfigure my AJ laser 200 z with this gyro to see how it would cope in a larger model , the laser is running savox servos 24kg and a fairly fast response time .

After fitting a new power box twin switch, new rx and the gyro, twin switch for a just in case effort not sure how much the gyro drains the batteries and also the servos will be working more if the gyro is on, so better safe than sorry .

On initial flight with the laser, all I can say is WOW, it has transformed the model in to a seriously lovely model to fly. It has taken away the little niggles with the aircraft. The plane was very good before to fly, but now with the gyro on board  it takes away all the mixing required.

How did we cope before I ask myself? The futaba gyro really is a great addition to any aircraft, however you still have to push the sticks ,and yes you can tell when the gyro is switched in.

Next step is to set up a 3d high rate set up for prop hanging and low speed manoeuvres, this will see how the gyro copes under a more demanding roll. I’m sure it will be fine.

More flight reports to follow.


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