Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Before the gyroscopic effects of the propeller can be understood, it is necessary to understand the basic principle of a gyroscope. All practical applications of the gyroscope are based upon two fundamental properties of gyroscopic action: rigidity in space and precession. The one of interest for this discussion is precession. Precession is the resultant action, or deflection, of a spinning rotor when a deflecting force is applied to its rim. When a force is applied, the resulting force takes effect 90° ahead of and in the direction of rotation. The rotating propeller of an airplane makes a very good gyroscope and thus has similar properties. Any time a force is applied to deflect the propeller out of its plane of rotation, the resulting force is 90° ahead of and in the direction of rotation and in the direction of application. It's causing a pitching moment, a yawing moment, or a combination of the two depending upon the point at which the force was applied... read more.

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