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Gyroscopes were envisioned by many as solutions to stability problems.

Maxim's steam regulating gyroscope: "The gyroscope and its attachments are suspended from a long steel tube, which in reality is a steam cylinder. The sleeve which supports the gyroscope moves freely in a longitudinal direction, and the whole is held in position by a triple-threaded screw on the small tube above the cylinder. The steam is admitted through a piston valve operated by a species of link motion, as shown. The piston-rod extends to each end of the cylinder, and regulates the rudders by pulling a small wire rope, the travel of the piston being about 8 feet. At the end of the cylinder (not shown) the piston-rod is provided with an arm and a nut which engages the small top tube—this tube being provided with a long spiral—so that, as the piston moves, the top tube is rotated, and thereby slides the gyroscope's support, and changes its position as relates to the piston valve."[1]

Some have suggested shifting weights, flowing mercury, and swinging pendulums; but none of these is of the least value, on account of the swaying action which has always to be encountered. A pendulum could not be depended upon for working machinery on board a ship, and the same laws apply to an airship. We have but one means at our disposal, and that is the gyroscope. When a gyroscope is spun at a very high velocity on a vertical axis, with the point of support very much above the center of gyration, it has a tendency to maintain a vertical axis; a horizontal or swinging motion of its support will not cause it to swing like a pendulum. It therefore becomes possible by its use to maintain an airship on an even keel.[2]

The Sperry Gyroscope Company notably developed several systems using gyroscopes.

Lawrence Burst Sperry, quoted in the 1918 Textbook of Military Aeronautics (pp. 25–27), explained the special usefulness of gyroscopes (and Sperry autopilot system) for nighttime flying and bombing. "The gyroscopic apparatus is capable of staying within one-quarter of one degree to the true horizontal. A sensitive aeroplane is held, through the intermediary of the servo motor and follow-up system, within three quarters of one degree of the position of this gyroscopic plane."

Enclosing categories Stability
Keywords Military, Navigation, Steam, USPC 74/5, CPC Y10T74/12
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This wiki has 94 patents in category "Gyroscope". Other techtypes related to Gyroscope: USPC 74/5

Patents in category Gyroscope