|Object Name:||Rate Integrating Gyro|
|Manufacturer:||British Aircraft Corporation|
|Division:||Guided Weapons [GW - of BAC]|
|Year of Manufacture:||Unknown|
|Location:||Main Object Store|
British Aircraft Corporation
Type No. 49/X
Serial No. 5653
By Agreement with Honeywell Inc.
A rate gyro is a type of gyroscope, which rather than indicating direction, indicates the rate of change of angle with time. In 1958 the then English Electric (later BAC then BAE Systems) acquired a license from Honeywell (and later with Northrop) to manufacture a Miniature Rate Gyro (MIG). The MIG employs a gimbal floated at neutral buoyancy in a fluorocarbon fluid and pivoted between jewelled bearings. The manufacture and assembly of such a gyro called for standards of precision unprecedented not only in industry but even in specialist laboratories. A crucial issue was vibration. The Instrument Wing was located between the Eastern Region main line to the north and the new Stevenage by-pass road, and further vibration came from machinery in the company's plant and even from the footfalls of the staff. Accordingly, test equipment is mounted on concrete plinths carried on 50-ton concrete rafts supported on air bellows resting on heavy foundations deep in the earth.
The assembly and test area were clean rooms fully temperature and humidity controlled and it is the only miniature inertial quality gyro in production in Europe. These gyros were used in inertial guidance systems for missiles and torpedoes for example.