Vertical Gyro

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0179
Category: Gyro
Object Type: Sensor/Transducer
Object Name: Vertical Gyro
Part No: 15866-1A
Serial No: 3081140
Manufacturer: Bendix
Division: Eclipse-Pioneer [of Bendix]
Platform(s): VC10 
Year of Manufacture: circa 1968
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Archive Object Store

TSO-C4c: SAE AS-396B
TSO-C9b: SAE AS-402
TSO-C52: SAE AS-420
Wt. 17 lbs
Patent No. 2.890,430
Type No. 15866-1A
Serial No. 3081140
The Bendix Corporatio
Eclipse-Pioneer Division
Teterboro, New Jersey
Made in U.S.A.


The automatic flight control system of the Standard and Super VC10 was designed to be capable of development to full blind landing. To meet this requirement the system had to be capable of failure survival and this includes associated services such as power supplies and flying controls. The method of autopilot failure survival chosen was to provide two monitored systems which are fail soft, i.e. there is negligible aircraft disturbance after a failure. Only one autopilot is used to fly the aircraft, and the two systems, including power supplies, are completely independent. Each autopilot has a comparison monitor which detects faults and, in flight, will disconnect the system if these faults are likely to lead to dangerous conditions. For autoflare the system provides for
automatic changeover to the second monitored autopilot system, in the event of fault in the first. Under these conditions the second autopilot is primed and ready to take over. If for any reason the monitoring system fails to prevent an autopilot runaway, the control movement is limited to a safe amount by the yielding of a torque-limiting spring.

Many of the needed components were already present in the autopilot fit on the Standard VC10s, to achieve the autoland capacity the system on the Super received some additional items. The system, supplied by Elliott Brothers (London) Ltd, was based largely on components of the well-proved Bendix PB-20 autopilot, made under licence by Elliott, and interchangeable with American built components as installed in Boeing 707s. However, the system as a whole i.e., the dual autopilot concept was novel, and designed entirely by Elliott.
The Vertical Gyro was supplied by Bendix and was an electrically driven gyro forming the main vertical reference for the autopilot. In addition to providing pitch and roll attitude information, it also provides a signal which is used to give "up elevator" during turns. The Vertical Gyro has an interlock switch to prevent autopilot engagement before the gyro has run up.

This unit connects via two 750mm electrical cables.

Click to enlarge
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