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floated gyroscope [1 record]

Record 1 2002-07-16


Subject field(s)
  • Measuring Instruments (Engineering)
  • Aircraft Piloting and Navigation
  • Navigation Instruments
  • Flight Instruments and Equipment (Aeroindustry)

A gyroscope in which the rotor is suspended in a liquid.


The first type of gyroscopic instrument to successfully reduce gimbal bearing friction to an acceptable level for precision applications was the floated gyroscope. In this instrument the rotating member is sealed within a hollow cylinder which forms the inner gimbal of the gyro. This is mounted in the gyro case whith a fluid surrounding the cylinder; the density of the fluid is chosen so as to exactly float the cylinder, thus removing the weight of the inner gimbal from the bearings and greatly relieving the bearing frictional load.


The actual gyroscope is floated on a film of liquid, and it is called a floating gyroscope to distinguish it from the pendulous type in which the gyroscope unit is suspended and hangs under gravity.


Floatation. Same as flotation.

Key term(s)
  • floating gyro
  • floatation gyroscope
  • liquid floated gyroscope
  • floating type gyroscope


  • Instruments de mesure (Ingénierie)
  • Pilotage et navigation aérienne
  • Instruments de navigation
  • Instruments et équipement de bord (Constructions aéronautiques)

Le gyroscope [...] baigne dans un liquide très visqueux, à une température de l'ordre de 60 à 80 °C, dont le rôle est double : 1- La viscosité importante sert d'amortissement 2- La densité est telle que ce liquide de flottaison donne une poussée d'Archimède qui équilibre le poids apparent. Ce qui réduit les efforts d'appui sur les paliers et donc les couples de frottement. Un tel dispositif porte bien son nom de gyroscope flottant.


La conservation du moment cinétique a donné lieu aux gyroscopes à toupie flottée, aux gyroscopes à toupie accordée (SEC) et au gyroscope à suspension électrostatique (GSE). Les gyroscopes flottés ont une toupie en flottaison dans un fluide qui compense les pertes par frottements.


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